Enlightening Lighting

12 April 2014
Welcome back to the Bright Ideas Blog Hop Link-Up!  If you're a repeat viewer I do appreciate it.  If you're new here...I welcome you with open Internet arms.  Today I'm going to show you how to defeat everyone's common enemy Mr. Fluorescent Lighting. (I'll try not to swear).

So my bright idea is actually how to dim lighting.

If it is possible to hate fluorescent lighting then I do.  If hate is bit harsh then let me try these; loathe, despise, abhor, detest, intolerable cruelty.  Obviously, lighting is a pretty important feature in classrooms.  Teachers use varieties of lighting supplement such as natural light, lamps, Christmas lights, and more.  I use all those except for natural light.  I have zero windows in my room.  None.  I'm more of a cave.

No windows.  No direct access to the outside world.  So lighting is an important source but fluorescent lighting is horrible on my eyes and creates a blindingly sterile environment.  But I have three large fluorescent lights in my room.  

A few years ago I decided to fix this issue by draping flags over my lights.  I took a couple of large sized state/country flags and draped them over my lights creating a softer environment making the classroom more livable (teachable).

I use a combination of paper clips and push pins to hold the flags over the lights.  Set-up is simple by just poking holes in the flags with the paper clips, giving them a little bend, and hooking them to the ceiling structural makeup (drop ceiling).  I use the push pins to fill in gaps where the flag sides hang too low.  This entire procedure takes less than five minutes (per flag).

Now I know some people will say "what about fire prevention?"  Good question--but I've had fire marshals (not Fire Marshal Bill) look at them, but they're good.  In fact, there is enough slack in the flag they're not even touching the light (or the entire fixture), which is done on purpose.  I would still recommend checking with your principal to see if it's okay.  Some state/counties have fire codes that won't allow it, so just be safe. I mean it's not like a lot of our older schools aren't filled with asbestos in the walls and ceilings too.

There are some companies that sell variations of this, but that's kind of a rip off (IMO).  I think flags look a little cooler while adding to the decor of the room.  After all, flags are educational devices, every single part of them symbolizes something.

So there you have it.  My bright idea is to actually make the rooms more dim.  And I didn't even swear when writing about my disdain for fluorescent lighting hanging eight feet away from me.  Quick, easy, and efficient.  

Make sure to check out the link-up below for other ideas (which are probably better than mine).  There are around 150 other posts filled with tips, info, and ideas that make classrooms successful!.  I urge you to scroll down and check them out.  You can even look by grade level.  Do it now!


  1. I love this idea!! But I think our fire Marshall would not go for this. I guess I better check with him before I go hanging flags on my ceiling! Thanks for the neat way to dim that horrible fluorescent lighting!!

  2. I am so mad right now. I WANT to do this....but I got nailed AGAIN for having stuff hanging from the ceiling and flags would definitely qualify as hanging from the ceiling. You only have three lights? I have at least 20. Not fair. I do have a window though...so I guess we are even. I'm proud of you for not saying any bad words!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  3. Very clever!! We can hang things from the ceiling in certain areas, but I have hanging fluorescent lights that are in cages almost, so this still wouldn't work. But I'm almost jealous that I don't have them now! (Almost... I do have 2 big beautiful windows).

    Tales of a Teacher

  4. What a completely original and cool idea! I'm am going to check this out at my school for sure - thanks!
    Whimsy Workshop Teaching

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. I am a huge fan of dimmed lighting everywhere. This would have been great for my multicultural luncheon and festival on Friday.
    :) Shelley

    And if I wasn't on cold medication I wouldn't have had to delete my comment because I spelled my name wrong. Sheesh! lol

  7. Great idea. Please visit this new educational website when you have a chance: Created by Teachers, Exclusively for Teachers


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