31 Advantages of Effective Daylighting
- A proper daylighting plan can reduce energy costs with little or no additional investment in systems.
- A proper daylighting plan can reduce electricity costs.
- A proper daylighting plan can reduce HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) costs.
- Energy savings range from 15 to 40 percent (facilitiesnet.com)
- People have a natural attraction and need for daylight.
- Proper daylight can prevent eyestrain in the workplace or school building.
- Proper daylight can help increase concentration and maintain focus on the task at hand.
- While there can be some upfront additional costs, the overall long-term savings will typically make up for any initial dollars spent on daylighting.
- Can have a direct impact on well-being, productivity, and overall sense of satisfaction.
- Creates a more calm and productive environment because it connects people to the outdoors.
- According to a study done by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, people perform 10 to 25 percent better on tests of mental function and memory recall when they work in a room with daylight and a view, compared to those with no daylight or view.
- People with a view and exposure to natural light are less likely to report negative health symptoms, according to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.
- The Heschong Mahone Group, Inc., an organization that provides professional consulting services in the field of energy efficiency, found that office workers perform 6 to 12 percent faster when their indoor work environment offers exposure to daylight.
- According to a daylighting and work performance study by the California Energy Commission, exposure to daylight was consistently linked to a higher level of concentration and better short-term memory recall.
- The study by California Energy Commission also concluded that students in classrooms with the highest levels of daylight performed 7 to 18 percent higher on standardized tests.
- Students in classrooms with the highest levels of daylight were found to progress 20 percent faster on math tests and 26 percent faster on reading tests over the course of one year, according to the Heschong Mahone Group.
- A positive correlation has been made between the number of hours of useful daylight and retail sales, according to two separate studies performed by the Heschong Mahone Group and the California Energy Commission.
- Daylight is an effective stimulant to the human visual system and human circadian system.
- Throughout the day, the variation in the light spectrum of natural daylight is unmatched by any constructed light source. The variation of the natural light spectrum positively “affects the performance of chromatic tasks, where the perception of color is an inherent part of the task”, according to L.G. Williams, author of Perception and Psychophysics.
- Windows that provide a view as well as daylight can reduce stress.
- Reduces the incidence of health problems caused by the rapid fluctuations in light output of typical electric lighting.
- Windows increase the value of a rental space. Not only does it help lower heating and cooling costs, but windows also increase the amount of natural light in the home or office space. A study performed by Building Technology Innovations revealed that increased natural light makes the rental space look bigger and more open, resulting in people’s willingness to pay more.
- The U.S. Green Building Council reported that there is a correlation between the Biophilia Hypothesis and the number of sick days called off by employees. The Biophilia hypothesis suggests that humans have an innate need to be in contact with nature. Daylighting systems fulfill this need for contact with nature, resulting in increased health and a decreased number of sick days taken by employees.
- Research performed by Robert S. Hardt, a nutri-epgenetic biochemical analyst, concluded that exposure to bright light at the appropriate time of day and for the appropriate duration can alleviate sleeping disorders and even breast cancer caused by the suppression of the pineal gland’s production of melatonin found in night-shift workers.
- Daylighting systems give individuals in a home or office place the ability to control the amount of natural light coming through a window, allowing for their own personal preferences to be met.
- A study published by the International Journal of Energy Engineering showed that daylight has been proven to make staff work easier, reduce hospital stays, and increase patient comfort. Source:
- People who get regular exposure to sunlight tend to be more optimistic, sleep better at night and have a higher sense of well-being.
- Sunlight causes our brains to produce serotonin, a hormone that can improve mood by alleviating pain, providing energy and making us feel happy and well rested.
- South-facing windows allow most winter sunlight into the home but little direct sun during the summer, especially when properly shaded.
- North-facing windows admit relatively even, natural light, producing little glare and almost no unwanted summer heat gain.
- East- and west-facing windows provide good daylight penetration in the morning and evening, respectively, but may cause glare, admit a lot of heat during the summer when it is usually not wanted, and contribute little to solar heating during the winter. For more information about the benefits of daylighting, visit Guardian.com and download our white paper.