Can your work be done with the lights off?

Published 9:30 am Friday, May 6, 2016

It seems pretty obvious to me that in order for most people to get their work done they need two things: a good working environment with little to no distractions and the lights need to be on. Well, unfortunately, I have a feeling that many students in Franklin City Public Schools are having trouble with those two things.

Back in 2013, Franklin City Public Schools signed a contract with ABM Inc. to become more energy efficient in order to save money. This project was finished by November 2014 and one of the energy efficient updates was to the lights in all three schools.

The new light fixtures are digitally balanced and have motion detectors so if no one is in the area, the lights turn out.

This sounds like a great idea. Why should the lights be on if no one is in the area?

Well, this week while I was interviewing a teacher about a school project, I got to see the power of these new lights.

As this teacher and I were sitting there talking, the lights would go off about every 10 minutes. After the third time, I finally asked what was wrong with them. That is when I was informed that this happens all the time.

You see, what I learned was that, yes, these lights have motion detectors, but they don’t only go off if no one is in the area, they go off if there isn’t any movement. So if students are taking notes completing a worksheet or taking a test and nobody gets out of their seat for 10 minutes, the lights go off. That seems like a huge problem to me.

Not only is it annoying, it’s a huge distraction for those students who are trying to focus on their work. It also takes time from their day to have to make sure the lights are always staying on.

Although it seems that the school system is saving money from these energy saving lights, I can’t help but wonder if it’s costing them something more?

My suggestion is for the city school board to look into this issue. See if the students are in fact distracted by these lights. I can’t imagine that I am the only one who feels this way.

Perhaps a better choice would be to have the motion detectors on the lights in the halls, cafeteria, auditorium, gym and etc. but take them off those that are in the classrooms.

REBECCA CHAPPELL is a staff writer at The Tidewater News. She can be contacted at 562-3187 or