Pupils’ Concentration Levels Improve With New Classroom Lighting System

April 11, 2011

Epsom, UK – Epsom and Ewell High School is the first school in the UK to have a tailor-made classroom lighting system fitted to improve the learning environment for pupils. And results from a recently released pilot study show that the Philips SchoolVision lighting system positively impacts pupils’ concentration levels.


The system, which features different lighting settings that help create different classroom ambiances, was installed in two of the school’s science laboratories before the start of term last September. Since then, City University London has carried out a series of standard D2 Test Trials (a standard psychometric test to measure concentration) as well as focus group research with teachers and pupils. The study has delivered the following results:


  • Year 7 pupils in one of the SchoolVision classrooms saw their scores on the D2 tests increase by 17 points (D2 test mean percentile score)
  • Year 7 pupils in the other SchoolVision classroom improved their scores by 40 points (D2 test mean percentile score)
  • A control group demonstrated no improvement in concentration levels over the same time frame


The findings echo those from other research into the effects of the SchoolVision lighting system. A year long study in a primary school in Hamburg, Germany found that, with the SchoolVision lighting system, pupil reading speeds increased by 35%, frequency of errors fell by almost 45% and restlessness was reduced by 75%.  


A similar study in Amsterdam,  the Netherlands, shows equally positive results, reporting that pupils score on average 18% higher in concentration tests with the Philips SchoolVision lighting system. Pupils were also shown to be more motivated by this lighting system and rated their learning environment higher.


Alex Russell, Epsom and Ewell High School’s Head, says: “Our aim is to offer our pupils and parents the best teachers, the best content and the best environment. SchoolVision has changed the environment in two of our classrooms, quickly and dramatically. The results from the study speak for themselves and the feedback from pupils and teachers has been overwhelmingly positive. This is the kind of lighting solution that is needed in all schools across the country.”


Peter Maskell, chairman, Philips UK, explains the system: “SchoolVision has been specifically  designed to enhance the learning environment in schools. Lighting has been shown to have a significant effect on our mood, our energy levels and our ability to concentrate. Offering four different light settings, SchoolVision is based on the idea that different tasks require different levels of energy and concentration. SchoolVision’s four settings - Normal, Energy, Focus and Calm – produce lights of different colour and intensity to create the best atmosphere for a particular task.


“The results of the study further demonstrate how lighting can play an important role in creating an optimum environment and in turn enhance people’s well-being, especially when it comes to learning.”


Commenting on how SchoolVision benefits both teachers and pupils, lead researcher Dr Efrosyni Konstantinou from City University London’s Centre for Performance at Work,, highlights that, more than anything, different students have different learning needs.


“An adjustable, flexible lighting system that can be modified to facilitate the diverse preferences of the students is ideal for improved learning in the class room. On the whole, in qualitative interviews, both students and teachers noted how the lighting changes positively impacted the mood in the classroom. The benefits associated with the different SchoolVision lighting settings included better concentration, increased alertness, enhanced efficiency and a calmer mood which indicate that the SchoolVision can be the beginning to a new way of teaching and learning for future student generations,” concludes Dr Konstantinou.





Further information

Note to editors:


*The SchoolVision system has four dedicated lighting settings for the teacher to select via a touchpad. The four light settings combine different levels of light intensity and colour tone/temperature to create a particular ambience that matches specific tasks or the time of day:


  1. Normal – for regular classroom activities
  2. Energy – helps to invigorate pupils when they need to be more active
  3. Focus – aids concentration during challenging tasks
  4. Calm – brings a relaxing ambience to the work or quiet times


The system is based on the research that indicates that not only are receptors in our eyes sensitive to the visible spectrum of light, there are also receptors which cause a biological effect on the production of the hormones melatonin and cortisol. While melatonin makes us sleepy and relaxed, cortisol makes us feel awake and active. This can be applied to a lighting system which helps stimulate these hormones for specific activities and time of the day.



For further information and for interview opportunities , please contact:

Jovana Lakcevic

Tel: +44 (0)20 7395 7141



Laura Wilkinson

Philips UK, corporate communications

Tel: +44 (0)1482 298677



About Epsom and Ewell High School

Epsom and Ewell High School, located in the outlying suburbs of London, is attended by over 1,500 pupils aged between 11-18. The local authority school has many outstanding features and supports students in achieving the best progress in their education. Behaviour is outstanding and students are motivated, articulate and polite with a clear focus on learning.

About Royal Philips Electronics

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of “sense and simplicity”. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs 119,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of EUR 25.4 billion in 2010, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at


About the Centre for Performance at Work and City University London:

The Centre for Performance at Work helps organisations achieve optimum levels of performance and well-being through leading-edge research and practice. It is based in City University London.


City University London is an international University with a reputation for academic excellence and a central London location. It was placed in the top 5% of world universities by Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2010-11.


The University leads London in education, research and enterprise for business and the professions and is broadly-based with world leading strengths in the arts, including journalism and music; informatics; social sciences; engineering and mathematical sciences; business; law; community and health sciences.