Found in many specialist schools and colleges, Calm Rooms are dedicated spaces where pupils can go to escape distraction when under the strains or pressures of their difficulty. Dave Heath, site manager at Portland School, has given us a great explanation of the improvements project he’s just overseen to the school’s existing calm rooms, using InStyle’s RGB (colour-changing) LED strips and other LED products.

Over to Dave:

“Portland School & Specialist College, in Stoke-On-Trent, provides educational and support specialisms for pupils with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

“Alongside the usual classroom you would find in any school, we have Calm Rooms which are calming environments in calming colours, some with age appropriate character murals and soft seating. Calm Rooms are where the pupils can go without distraction when under the strains or pressures of their difficulty.

RGB lights set to lime colour in a Portland school calm room

RGB lights set to rose colour in a Portland school calm room

“We wanted to improve our calm rooms and various aspects were addressed. The item of most noticeable benefit was lighting. The LED lighting has a huge effect on the overall colour of the room.

“Previously bright and clinical, our calm room lighting is now soft and pleasant with thousands of colour choices. The light level is adjustable from soft and calming to bright and clinical again for maintenance and cleaning.

“Pupils choose a colour that best suits them or selects to have the colours gently scrolling from one calming colour to the next while they use self-regulating techniques to reduce their stresses.

“We have had some great feedback from parents, staff, pupils and even other schools. But best of all, our calm rooms are having a positive impact on our pupils.

Pupils choose a colour that best suits them

“Instyle LED provided the lighting products we needed. They gave us some great information which helped us design our lighting schemes, not that our designs were ever going to be complicated, but their help enabled us to choose the right products for our needs.

Ceiling perimeter LED strips in the process of being fitted

“Each calm room is essentially the same, with ceiling perimeter lighting consisting of either 15w RGB 24v LED tape or 20w RGBW 24v LED tape, enclosed within either clear trunking or corner profile with frosted diffuser.

Cool calming light from dropdown-effect LEDs

“In each calm room we constructed alcove seating and used concealed LED lighting to create a dropdown lighting effect to the back of the alcove.”

LED control & power supply

Single-zone wireless wall controller for RGB LED lights offers easy touch control

The lighting is controlled by an RF controller which is wall mounted on a standard light switch pattress;  the original light switches were removed and we fitted the new controller in their place.

“We wanted fixed location controls for our lighting rather than the remote control type. This control unit is flat, discreet and touch sensitive. It is also easy to control with simple colour choice and lux level options.

“Behind the scenes, or more specifically above the ceiling tiles, there is either a 200w or 320w power supply unit which transforms 240v to 24v to power the controller and the RF receiver, which in turn controls the LED lighting.”

LED multichannel receiver and Mean Well power-supply


This is a brilliant installation… so simple, effective and very useful and practical. InStyle thank Dave sincerely for his great project description and images, and send our best wishes to him and all the staff at Portland.

There are more pictures of the project in the gallery below: