ST. LOUIS – Students in three St. Louis Public Schools are benefiting from the next generation of lighting designed to improve outcomes in classes and athletics thanks to a new pilot program called SHINE STL.
The program is sponsored by the Electrical Connection, a partnership between IBEW Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), the St. Louis Cardinals and Cardinals Care, PLANLED and the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation.
SHINE is a national community program initiated by PLANLED to fulfill a mission to improve human life while updating the quality and energy efficiency of lighting.
Over the last few months, the SHINE STL program has introduced higher quality LED human-centric lighting to a computer lab at Lyon Academy, the gymnasium at Gateway Elementary and the multi-purpose room at Gateway Michael schools. It is the same lighting concept from PLANLED that was installed at Busch Stadium this year to illuminate night games.
‘GIFT OF LIGHT’
The completed project was celebrated at a special event with students at Gateway Elementary on Oct. 16, featuring St. Louis Cardinal Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith, who also serves as SHINE STL ambassador. Smith called the program “a gift of light.”
“It is also our commitment to awaken students’ love for learning by bringing the first-person experience of space-age lighting in classrooms and gyms where they will connect the dots between biology, math and science to realize what they learn in school can make a difference in people’s lives,” Smith said.
Michael Hall, vice president of community relations and the executive director of Cardinals Care, said PLANLED and Samjin LED supplied the materials and engineering and the Electrical Connection donated the labor for the installation.
“I cannot thank them enough for what they have done,” Hall said.
Jim Curran, Electrical Connection executive vice president, said the Electrical Connection’s IBEW/NECA partners saw a greater purpose to this community service.
“The goal is to not only improve educational outcomes, but to inspire students to be difference makers themselves and consider a career in our electrical industry which is engineering and installing new technologies that connect the world and keep pace with lifestyle and business needs,” Curran said.
He noted that IBEW/NECA installed the new lighting this year Busch Stadium – one of many electrical and communications projects it has performed over the decades for the Cardinals. It has also been performing electrical and communications work at St. Louis Public Schools for more than 100 years.
NECA contractor Kaemmerlen Electric teamed with IBEW to begin installing the new lighting in August. The work entailed taking down the old lighting and safely installing the human centric lighting panels, including dimmer switches and other lighting controls.
DELIVERS BETTER COLOR AND VISUAL ACUITY
“The goal of human-centric lighting is to deliver better color and visual acuity as well as healthier circadian rhythm and improved performance in schools, offices, healthcare facilities and more,” said PLANLED CEO John Hwang.
“Integrating daylight and electric light to create lighting strategies focused on human health, along with traditional requirements for visual acuity and comfort, can lead to healthier and more productive environments.”
Dr. Kelvin Adams, superintendent of St. Louis Public Schools, added: “We are excited to see community partners come together in this pilot program to help us improve education in Saint Louis Public Schools. The LED human-centric lighting program will allow us to study the results at targeted locations to guide our districtwide investment in lighting to improve educational outcomes.”