Sensory room lighting – Glenwood School, Benfleet


Sensory room lighting for Glenwood School was one of our most exciting projects ever: star ceilings for two sensory rooms in a brand new school, purpose-built for learners with severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties.


I was honoured to be invited to visit Glenwood and see the sensory rooms for myself. The first room I visited was designed for learners who can actively interact with the sensory facilities on offer, which included bubble tubes, an infinity mirror with a range of lighting and a floor panel with sound and light that learners can explore by moving across its squares.  Above our heads was the Solar Disc led star ceiling, designed and built specifically to fit the space. This panel offers twinkling star lights on a concentric circular design, with colour changing edge lighting around both the inner and outer discs. Learners can choose the colour they would like for each edge lighting circle separately as well as picking the program for the twinkling lights.  Learners with more advanced fine motor skills can interact with the light independently using the remote control supplied.


Glenwood’s other sensory room has a different feel.  It has been designed to provide an enriching sensory experience for those learners with more complex needs.  The room has a water bed with a 2d Spiral design star ceiling above it, specially commissioned to provide interest on what was otherwise a bland expanse of white ceiling.  This starlight panel provides interest to learners using the water bed. Other features of the room included a fibre optic curtain, a lit marble display wall and a mirror ball as well as floor to ceiling bubble tubes.

When planning these sensory rooms, I wanted a wow factor.  For many of our learners, their world is upwards – they cannot sit or move independently, so having a focal point on the ceiling catches their interest”
— Nikki Woodruff, class teacher at Glenwood School

Nikki found Stellar Lighting online and worked with us to agree appropriate sizes and designs for the two sensory rooms’ lighting, making sure it would not foul the operation of the room’s ceiling track hoist.  Nikki said “We use the lights to encourage the learners to notice that something has changed in their environment. Once they have noticed a change, we can work with them to establish whether they like that change and to consider how they feel.  The lights are great - I love them!”.


Glenwood School was wonderfully welcoming to me – many thanks to Nikki and colleagues for having me over!  It was clear from the moment I walked through the door that the school has a supportive and positive atmosphere and we’re super proud to have seen Stellar Lighting starry ceilings in such a fantastic place.


If you too are planning a sensory room and would like one of these beautiful star ceilings, please get in contact to see what we can do for you.

Sarah Watson