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Filed under: Central Asia Environment Social inclusion

Classroom with poor lighting

Before lighting replacement

Chances are, lighting is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about what children need to learn.

But without proper lighting, struggling to see the chalkboard means you can’t focus on learning.

The state norms and standards of the Republic of Kazakhstan state that the lighting norm for a school study area (the area around a student’s desk) is 300 lux and 500 lux at the blackboard. (Lux is a unit of light intensity indicating the amount of light present in a given area).

In February 2013, team members of the joint UNDP/Global Environment Facility (GEF) project, Promotion of Energy-Efficient Lighting in Kazakhstan, investigated the lighting levels at several schools in rural regions of Kazakhstan.

The results of these checks were mostly discouraging, with many schools found to be in need of updated lighting systems.

A man manipulating a Lux-meter in the classroom

Reading luxmeter data

Poor lighting can result in eyesight problems in many ways. Not only does trying to see the chalkboard in the dark strain the eyes, but other factors such as the ripple ratio (a variation in the electrical current, which results in flickering), the colour and temperature of the light, and the presence of a buzzing noise all cause strain and can lead to eyesight problems.

The project team set to work, designing modernized lighting systems for several classrooms that would both meet the country’s lighting standards and be energy efficient.

A man assembling a new lighting fixture at the ceiling

Starting assembling new lighting fixtures

Energy-efficient LED luminaires (light fixtures) were purchased from lighting manufacturers who had won the bidding set by the project and whose products met the needs of the schools. New luminaires were successfully installed in schools in several rural areas of Kazakhstan this past October.

In the classroom with new efficient lighting, a cameraman registers the scene

TV came to report on these new energy-efficient lightings

The clear and balanced lighting now present in these classrooms is allowing students to focus on learning instead of just struggling to see.

We hope this pilot project will provide an incentive for local authorities to implement cost-effective and energy-efficient lighting modernization projects in other schools across the country.

Question: Did you have a successful experience that actually inspired local authorities to replicate similar projects? What is the main trigger to get authorities involved?

  • http://www.aquademica.se/mogel/ Mögel

    Great article. It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained!

  • Dinara Tamabayeva

    Thank you, Mögel! We’re happy that our news is positive and entertaining!

  • Larry

    Dinara,
    Glad you are using LEDs rather than the Hg containing less expensive lights.
    This not only saves energy, but reduces toxic waste.
    Larry

    • Dinara Tamabayeva

      Thank you for your comment, Dr.Duffy (Larry). Yes, nowadays LEDs are the safest and most efficient sources of light.

  • http://www.researchwriters.co.uk/ megan potter

    This is really great and can make a positive impact on student motivation.