New Light Creates Bright Sparks

Link Between Light and Cognitive Performance?

Osram lighting study in Ulm, Germany, reveals positive effects of light on cognitive performance of students: A study investigating the effects of light on the performance of students at two schools in Ulm, Germany, was carried out by the "ZNL TransferZentrum für Neurowissenschaften und Lernen" (Transfer Centre for Neuroscience and Learning) in conjunction with lighting manufacturer Osram between November 2011 and February 2012. The aim of the study was to find out whether lighting that simulates daylight could increase concentration and cognitive performance in students. The results were consistently positive; due to the biologically optimised lighting in the classrooms, the students who took part in the Osram study achieved better results than the comparison group in standardised tests for concentration ability, and their performance speed also increased.

ZNL and Osram began the field study on the effects on cognitive performance in November 2011 at the Ferdinand von Steinbeiss School and the Robert Bosch School in Ulm, Germany. In each case, one classroom was fitted with the biologically optimised light, and the young people, ranging from 17 to 20 years old, attended classes both in the classroom with the new lighting and in classrooms with conventional lighting. For the duration of the study, the students had to repeatedly take various standardised performance and concentration tests, such as Brickenkamp's d2 test of attention (see details of the test under "Further information"). The test results were compared for biologically effective light in relation to conventional lighting.

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