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PLoS One. 2017 Jul 31;12(7):e0181772. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0181772. eCollection 2017.

Pilot study of a novel classroom designed to prevent myopia by increasing children's exposure to outdoor light.

Author information

Henan Eye Institute, Henan Eye Hospital, Henan Provincial People's Hospital, People's Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, China.
State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China.
The Department of Ophthalmology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China.
School of Architecture, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China.
Guangming Eye Hospital, Yangjiang, People's Republic of China.
Research School of Biology, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.
Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.
ORBIS International, New York, NY, United States of America.
Translational Research for Equitable Eye care, Centre for Public Health, Royal Victoria Hospital, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom.


We sought to assess light characteristics and user acceptability of a prototype Bright Classroom (BC), designed to prevent children's myopia by exposing them to light conditions resembling the outdoors. Conditions were measured throughout the school year in the glass-constructed BC, a traditional classroom (TC) and outdoors. Teachers and children completed user questionnaires, and children rated reading comfort at different light intensities. A total of 230 children (mean age 10.2 years, 57.4% boys) and 13 teachers (36.8 years, 15.4% men) completed questionnaires. The median (Inter Quartile Range) light intensity in the BC (2,540 [1,330-4,060] lux) was greater than the TC (477 [245-738] lux, P < 0.001), though less than outdoors (19,500 [8,960-36,000] lux, P < 0.001). A prominent spectral peak at 490-560 nm was present in the BC and outdoors, but less so in the TC. Teachers and children gave higher overall ratings to the BC than TC, and light intensity in the BC in summer and on sunny days (>5,000 lux) was at the upper limit of children's comfort for reading. In summary, light intensity in the BC exceeds TC, and is at the practical upper limit for routine use. Children and teachers prefer the BC.

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