Best Classroom Light Filters That Totally Transform Lighting

best-light-filters

Hello again! I’ve recently watched a TV documentary that explained the negative effects fluorescent lights have on people and animals. Since I have been teaching with fluorescent lighting for years, I decided to take a deeper look at the issue.

And…

In this article, I will explain some of the negative impacts of fluorescent light on the behavior of children and give the remedy in the form of light filters.

We compiled a few of our best options that you can choose from and the EI Original made it on top of our list. Soon, you’ll find out why. ;)

With fluorescent light filters, you can transform your classroom into an optimal learning environment. Go on reading to see my picks:

Product Details
1. Educational Insights The Original Fluorescent Light Filters

Since 2005

  • Strong Magnets
  • Easy Install
  • Heat Resistant
  • Set Of 4
  • Certified Safe
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2. GlareShade Fluorescent Light Coverings

Flame Retardant

  • 10 Magnets
  • 10 Sewn-In Magnets
  • Washable
  • Pack Of 5 Or 10
  • Certified Fire Safe
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3. Octo Lights Fluorescent Light Covers  - Cloud 001

Eco-Friendly Material

  • Hi-Quality Prints
  • 20 Cloud Designs
  • Flexible Sheet
  • ‎UL Certified
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4. Educational Insights Fluorescent Light Filters

Mind Stimulating

  • Natural Blue Light
  • Sewn-In Magnets
  • Sets Calm Tone
  • Certified Fire Safe
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5. EveryDay Educate Fluorescent Light Covers

Softer Ambiance

  • Absorbs UV Rays
  • Free Extra Magnets
  • Easy Install
  • 100% Money-Back
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The Top 11 Best Light Filters – Reviewed

  1. Educational Insights Original Fluorescent Light Filters
  2. EI-1232 Fluorescent Light Filters
  3. GlareShade Fluorescent Light Filter Diffuser Covers
  4. Everyday Educate Fluorescent Light Covers
  5. Abilitations Cozy Shades Softening Light Filters
  6. Premium Fluorescent Light Covers
  7. Forest Canopy View
  8. Octo Lights Fluorescent Light Covers
  9. Pete The Cat School’s Cool! Decorative Light Filters 
  10. Flower Daisy With Ladybug
  11. Austere Marble Skypanels

1. EI Original Fluorescent Light Filters

Educational Insights The Original Fluorescent Light Filters in Whisper White 4-Pack, Reduce Glare & Flicker, Easy Setup for Office, Hospitals, Home & Classrooms

This is a set of four white fabric panels that fit over standard ceiling fixtures. The EI Fluorescent Light Filters panels are 2 X 4 feet, heat-resistant, and come with a Certificate of Conformance for retarding flame.

Goodies I Found

  • Easy to install for one person
  • Soften the light to reduce eye strain
  • Super strong magnets

Final Verdict

These are created by Educational Insights, the first company to manufacture fluorescent light filters in 2005. They definitely make the classroom more conducive to studying.

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2. EI-1232 Fluorescent Light Filters

These blue fluorescent light covers are also manufactured by Educational Insights. The difference is these reduce glare a bit more and provide a natural blue light that helps alertness.

Goodies I Found

  • Flame retardant
  • Reduce eyestrain and headaches
  • Strong magnets for easy installation

Final verdict: I like the blue color because blue light is known to stimulate alertness. It doesn’t make the room blue, but the light-softening aspect is more.

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3. GlareShade Fluorescent Light Filter Diffuser Covers

GlareShade Fluorescent Light Coverings | Magnetic Skylight or Ceiling Light Fixture Covers | Eliminate Harsh Glare Headaches & Eyestrain | Classroom Supplies | Cubicle Accessories (5 Pack/Blue)

These filters come in a pack of five or 10 and are also blue. The GlareShade is considered good for children with special needs and those who are sensitive to the pulsating light of fluorescent light.

These provide natural light by diffusing fluorescent lighting and blocking vibrations. The fabric is similar to parachute material.

Goodies I Found

  • Flame retardant fabric certified fire-safe
  • Fits standard fluorescent light fixtures
  • Ten rare-earth magnets rather than the usual six for a tighter fit

Final Verdict

Some teachers I know say this light covers actually block the radiant heat and make their classrooms cooler.

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4. Everyday Educate Fluorescent Light Covers

Fluorescent Light Covers | Fluorescent Light Covers for Ceiling Lights, Classroom, Office, or Light Covers Fluorescent Filter- Eliminates Flicker & Glare - 48" by 24" (4 Pack, Off White)

This Everyday Educate is a set of four 48 X 24 inches in off-white. These filters are best for diffusing the light and creating a softer ambiance. The fabric is made from polycarbonate plastic. They meet the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 701 fire-retardant requirements.

Goodies I Found

  • Reduces eye strain by cutting glare
  • Increases visibility in the classroom
  • Gives full-spectrum light

Final Verdict

I like these light filters because they have reduced the number of migraines of a teacher I know. The off-white color creates a softer light than the white filters or blue filters.

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5. Abilitations Cozy Shades Softening Light Filters

Abilitations Cozy Shades Softening Light Filters - 54 x 24 inches - Pack of 4 - Striped Green, Blue and Purple

These light filters come in three colors and can be mixed and matched. The Cozy Shades are larger than the others at 54 x 24 inches. The panels are flame-retardant polyester and come in a pack of four. These light filters are specifically manufactured for classrooms.

Goodies I Found

  • Help visually sensitive people
  • Contribute to a calming atmosphere
  • Can be used as single or double swags on each light fixture

Final Verdict

These light covers claim to be designed for children who find it difficult to learn in conventional fluorescent light. They help modify behavioral and motor responses. I like the way they look as they seem to add a decorative aspect and while muting the glare, they enliven the atmosphere.

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6. Make Great Light Premium Covers

Premium Fluorescent Light Covers | Block UV| Block Glare to Help Reduce Headaches, Eyestrain, Seasonal Depression | Supports Focus and Clarity | Work, Office, Home

Manufactured by Make Great Light, these light filters eliminate glare and block UV rays. They are made with heat-resistant acrylic with dimensions of 46.5 x 22.5 inches.

Goodies I Found

  • These light filters can be trimmed to fit any light fixture
  • They will last up to 10 years
  • They create a healthy balance of light spectrum

Final Verdict

These are a good option if you don’t like the blue color and need a light filter that is taped into place because magnets won’t work. They block glare but don’t dim the light significantly.

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7. Dockside Décor Forest Canopy View

Forest Canopy View - 2ft x 4ft Drop Ceiling Fluorescent Decorative Ceiling Light Cover Skylight Film Filter

Made by Dockside Décor & Graphics, this light filter resembles the sky with treetops. The panels are two by four feet and automatically stick to your fluorescent light diffuser. They don’t need to be glued or taped. They modify the light for a nice effect and can be cut to size.

Goodies I Found

  • Beautiful appearance
  • Great for a windowless room with a skylight

Final Verdict

I wouldn’t put this on all of my fluorescent lights but it might work on one light with a regular light filter on the others. Children like it because it adds a bit of novelty to an ordinary classroom.

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8. Octo Lights Fluorescent Light Covers

Octo Lights Fluorescent Light Covers for Classroom Office - Eliminate Harsh Glare Causing Eyestrain and Headaches. Office & Classroom Decorations - Cloud 001

Octo Lights is a decorative light cover that turns ordinary fluorescent light into the cloud-covered sky. It’s a flexible two-by-four-foot sheet that attaches to the acrylic diffuser cover. The material is eco-friendly and reduces glare but it’s not specifically designed for classrooms. It naturally adheres to the existing light diffuser and doesn’t require glue.

Goodies I Found

  • UL Certified for safety
  • High-quality photo prints
  • 20 different cloudy skies

Final Verdict

This is another decorative light filter that is mainly for appearance. It does block glare and children really like it, but it doesn’t claim to enhance the learning experience.

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9. Pete The Cat School’s Cool! Decorative Light Filters

Educational Insights The Original Pete the Cat Decorative Light Filters 3-Pack, Reduce Glare & Flicker, Easy Setup for Office, Hospitals, Home & Classrooms

A light filter that attaches with six magnets and fits on any standard fluorescent light fixture. Cute designs of Pete The Cat that kids like. With fire-retardant material, this filter cuts glare and diffuses the light to help reduce stress and anxiety caused by normal fluorescent lights. The size is two by four feet. It is manufactured by Educational Insights, so you know it’s suitable for a classroom.

Goodies I Found

  • Colorful
  • Sewn-in magnets
  • Easy to install

Final Verdict

These light filters do reduce glare and make for a more conducive classroom. I don’t use them because they distract some of my students from whatever activity we are doing. I think they are better for kindergarten or pre-school rooms.

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10. Flower Daisy With Ladybug

Octo Lights Fluorescent Light Covers for Classroom Office - Eliminate Harsh Glare Causing Eyestrain and Headaches. Office & Classroom Decorations - Flower 002

As with all Octo Lights filters, this Flower Daisy has beautiful photographs that are enhanced by the light in the back. It’s two by four feet and made from flexible material to stick to the light’s normal light diffuser. It sticks naturally and doesn’t need glue.

Goodies I Found

  • Fire-safe
  • Very attractive and useful for talking points
  • Made from sustainable materials

Final Verdict

This is attractive and good for cutting glare, but as with the other Octo photographs, it doesn’t claim to improve the learning environment. While I might put one of these in my classroom for fun, I prefer to stick with the light filters that add full-spectrum light to address the health issues with fluorescent light.

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11. Austere Marble Skypanels

These Austere Skypanels decorative ceiling light filters will not distract young children from their activities as some might but do break the monotony and add a design element. They are the standard four by two feet and reduce harsh glare. As with the other acrylic filters, they are not stickers.

Goodies I Found

  • Can be trimmed to fit any light fixture, but cutting the acrylic is not easy
  • Elegant and sophisticated design

Final Verdict

The classic look is nice for some applications, but not necessarily the best for a classroom of third-graders since there are other options. Having said that, it is decorative without being so attractive that it distracts children away from what they are doing.

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Serious Damage That Fluorescent Lights Can Have On People – Explained

Since it doesn’t produce the full spectrum of light as the sun does, your body doesn’t get the health benefits of sunlight. This can disturb the circadian rhythms and other body chemistry. The results of this deficiency may be:

  • Eyestrain
  • Migraine headaches
  • Melatonin suppression causing disrupted sleep
  • Seasonal disorders or depression
  • Endocrine disruption for a lax immune system
  • Menstrual cycle disruption
  • Increase in the development of malignant tumors
  • Maturation disruption
  • Agoraphobia or anxiety
  • Obesity

This is not good for anyone’s health, but especially damaging to children as things like eye strain, obesity or anxiety could affect their whole life.

In decades past, fluorescent light was a cheaper form of lighting compared to incandescent lights, which is why they became ubiquitous in classrooms and office buildings.

Only after studies conducted over the years did people begin to realize the damage regular exposure to fluorescent light could cause. 

The Importance Of Using Light Filters

Light filters are made from heat-resistant fabric or acrylic and attach to standard office or classroom fluorescent light fixtures with built-in, sturdy magnets. The acrylic sheets don’t use magnets – they stick naturally to the conventional light cover or diffuser without tape or glue.

Both types of light filters reduce the glare and flicker produced by the light.

However, light filters not only block glare and create a more pleasant atmosphere, but they may also produce full-spectrum light. This is a great advantage for children and adults.

All in all, the benefits of light covers for classrooms are:

  • Improves concentration –  When the eyes are not focused properly, it can affect alertness and concentration. It was long thought that warm light was the most like sunlight, but recent studies show that blue light rays help children stay focused especially when they are exposed early in the day. The blue light shrinks the diameter of the pupil, which results in higher visual accuracy. The study also shows a direct link between pupil size and reading performance. This is because of a greater light spectrum and not just more brightness. This problem is solved with light filters.
  • Reduces anxiety and tension – Some covers have images of nature, cartoon characters, and other designs to make them more attractive for some applications. I added a few of these, but you have to decide if you want a graphic on all of your lights. Images of the sky or forests have been shown to reduce anxiety and stress. Too many forest images may make your classroom too dark. However, one or two can have a positive effect.
  • Promotes positive behavior – Light filters don’t magically make naughty children nice, but they do contribute to how every child feels, which leads to better overall behavior. You may feel sad or grumpy and you’re not sure why. It’s the same for children, and being away from a full spectrum of light most of the day, especially in the morning hours, can mean the pineal gland doesn’t get cued to release serotonin. This may mean the children do not reach their full potential.
  • Reduces eye strain – I always thought if I had sufficient light to see what I’m doing, my eyes were not straining. It turns out, this isn’t always true. Fluorescent light can cause overexposure to bright light that can result in extreme eye strain. This means dry eyes that lead to other conditions. The medical term is over-illumination. It means the artificial light in any room is more than required to properly function. It not only affects the eyes it affects mental concentration. Don’t worry, fluorescent light filters remedy this problem.
  • Migraine headaches – No one is saying that fluorescent lights cause migraine headaches, but there is evidence that they exacerbate the problem for people who get migraines and other types of headaches, such as from tension or stress. This is because the electric current that interacts with mercury vapor inside the tube tends to pulse, which is the flicker you experience. Even if the flicker is not obvious, it has been linked to increased migraines and in some people, seizures. It’s kind of amazing that a simple thing like a light filter that modifies the type of light emitted can help with such serious problems.

How To Install A Fluorescent Light Cover

You can call a professional or even get a friend or colleague to help you install your light filters, but it’s easy to do, and I did it myself. You will need a ladder, and if you use the type of cover that sticks to the existing light diffuser, you will need a flat-head screwdriver. Otherwise, the covers that attach with magnets fit on the light and nothing needs to be removed.

  1. Climb up the ladder. It may be safer to have someone hold the ladder still while you climb.
  2. Open the existing cover. It should open easily but it may need a push with your screwdriver.
  3. Apply the sheet face down on the diffuser and smoothen it out to make sure there aren’t any bubbles.
  4. Close the light cover and you are done.

Here’s a useful video that gives a few more details to make installation easy:

By the way, before we get to a wary, let me direct you to this article that I came across that gives an in-depth explanation about how light affects humans, their development, and health, based on clinical studies.

Final Thoughts

In my opinion, if you have fluorescent lighting in your classroom, you should seriously consider covering it with a light filter. And the best choice you can make is the Educational Insights Fluorescent Light Filters. It will not only make the classroom more attractive, but it will also have a positive impact on your student’s learning experience and health.

My Top Pick Educational Insights The Original Fluorescent Light Filters in Whisper White 4-Pack, Reduce Glare & Flicker, Easy Setup for Office, Hospitals, Home & Classrooms

Educational Insights Fluorescent Light Filters

Goodies I Found

  • Easy to install for one person
  • Soften the light to reduce eye strain
  • Super strong magnets

Final Verdict

These are created by the first company to manufacture fluorescent light filters in 2005. They definitely make the classroom more conducive to studying.

Check price →

Last Updated on August 8, 2021 by Emily

Emily/ author of the article

Emily is an active mother of two and a dedicated elementary school teacher. She believes the latest technology has made a huge impact on the quality of early learning and has worked hard to upgrade her classroom and her own children’s learning experience through technology.
She created this blog to make it easier for other teachers to take advantage of some of the best devices out there to upgrade their classrooms without having to do the research themselves. She loves to hear your tech-based problems and share her extensive experience :)

MyTechClassroom.com
Comments: 2
  1. Nancy C.

    Emily: Thank you for your insights about introducing technology into the classroom. I didn’t grow up using electronic devices and my family didn’t get a personal computer until long after they were in common use. Consequently, I am not as tech-savvy as many of my colleagues. Your blog has helped me a lot. Now, I want to use light filters in the hope it will calm the atmosphere in my classroom. I have seen light filters with designs, photographs, and cartoons and know I don’t want to use the ones with clouds or forests, but I can’t decide between the blue or the off-white. Please give me your opinion. Thanks.

    1. Emily (author)

      Dear Nancy: It’s true, light filters really do make a difference in the atmosphere of any place where young children congregate, such as a classroom. The first fluorescent light filters for classrooms were manufactured by Educational Insights in 2005. I don’t know if it is because of a lack of marketing or research, but the filters didn’t make a big hit at that time. Now we know more about the impact light has on human and animal behavior, and this is especially true in the classroom where children need to concentrate and focus most of the time. I recommend the Educational Insights Fluorescent Light Filters because they are very effective in softening the glare, blocking radiant heat and are hardly noticeable. They resemble the normal light cover and teachers and students forget about them. I like photo prints too, but only for certain places such as an office or cafeteria. Hope this helps. I’d love to hear about your experience with light filters.

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