Classroom engagement and setting the stage for fun don’t have to be hard or require lots of work. One way we set the stage and make our classroom FUN is with lighting. We’ve been using LED lights in our classroom for a few years and we’ve finally settled on the best lights to use!
Why Classroom Lighting?
The first is to make the classroom fun! The lights add a sense of joy and whimsy to the room!
Second, for our end of the day dance parties! We celebrate the end of EVERY DAY with a dance party! The lights really add to the celebration each day!
Third, the lights help transform the classroom! With the lights and a few simple decorations we can be under the sea or in space. These lights make setting the stage for learning easy. Glow day? Easy with lights taht are blue! Valentine’s Day? Red and pink lights mean love. So if you’re looking for an easy way to do some theme teaching or a mini-transformation grab some lights!
What Lights Do You Use?
Over the years, we’ve added lights and replaced lights. That meant there were different kinds of lights and different remotes. It was a hot mess. This year our goal was to simplify the lights and get everything onto one remote. We ended up with 2 remotes but it works great! So here are the lights we use:
These are the lights that you see under our smartboard and on the floor. We have a total of 8. We have 6 in front of the classroom and two sitting on top of the cubbies. These lights are bright and they all work on the same remote! They can also be tilted so we can change the way the light fills the classroom.
These lights worked GREAT for our first every GLOW DAY! When the lights are set to blue, they act as black light and anything bright or neon will glow!
Around the ceiling and around our bulletin board, we have strips of LED lights!
We have three sets of these lights in our classroom! And they all work on the same remote.
So, now let’s address a few things!
- If we have a student with sensory issues or epilepsy, then obviously we would not make the lights flash. And we can set them to just WHITE if needed. The lights can also be dimmed so we can still use them SAFELY!
- What about the fire marshall? Yes, we have a fire marshall. No, we’re not the best of friends. But we also have a principal that takes care of us. We get notice of the fire marshall arriving so we turn off all decorative lighting. And that usually does the trick! It also depends on the fire marshall. We have a different one every year so some years they are more strict than others.
Who Chooses The Color?
The color of the lights is another way to give students control of their classroom: they choose the colors. In our classroom, we don’t have classroom jobs. We have a BOSS of THE DAY! How do we choose this boss? Simple. I just go down my roster and whoever is next on the list is the BOSS OF THE DAY! The Boss is our line leader, calendar helper, and they write the morning message. AND they get choose the light color for the day!
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I have to ask… does your school give you a budget for the beginning of each year? How much of your own money do you spend? I’ve spent $200+ so far and our school district doesn’t provide teachers with any money and we get very few school-provided supplies. Most of our families are low-income, so many do not purchase supplies from the list or give donations. I struggle to make my classroom what I’d like it to be for my kids because I just don’t have the money to do that. Your classroom is just amazing! I love it!
We only get approximately $200 as well. The rest comes out of our own pockets.
How many sets did you purchase to light your room?
Hi! I’m looking to get lights this year. Do they all connect together so you don’t have a bunch of cords going down to the outlet? What is a good way to plug them in without having a bunch of cords running down the wall? Thanks so much for sharing your tips and tricks!
They CAN connect together.
For those 10 rolls, do they connect with each other? Do you have 10 individual remotes? Use 10 individual outlets?
1 Remote controls them all!
I’m also curious to how you wired them with the plugs so that you don’t have a mess of electrical cords everywhere.
Very carefully! lol
Do you have the link to the strip lights? The other lights led me to Amazon but the strip lights did not.
Hi! I just updated the post with a link! Here’s the link:
Thank you for adding the link. One last question… how are they secured to the ceiling? I have seen sets that have adhesive but don’t think these do. Can’t wait to add lighting to my room.
I use binder clips!
I love all this! Thank you for sharing. How do you secure them with binder clips?? Also, do the strip lights, when blue, create a black light effect too, or just the flood lights?
Binder clips are clipped to my drop ceiling.
Love you and all of your classroom tips,tricks and ideas!! I teach Pre-K and my classroom is a fraction of the size of yours but I am super excited to bring some more fun to school with the lighting you use, Just got them today from amazon. Quick question, do you have the fun lights on all day or just at arrival Dance Party and dismissal?
Some of them are on all day along with our overhead lighting but I turn the overhead lighting out for fun during certain ties like our dismissal dance party.