Daylighting Systems for Military Applications

Natural, active daylighting in military installations will not only reduce costs, but also improve the health and productivity of the armed forces.


In 2009, the Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps declared energy efficiency a top priority. The military must now reduce energy use and aim to optimize warfighting and national defense capabilities. Sustainable technologies mitigate the cost of energy consumption from the use of computers and communications systems, which have electrical power sources that are vulnerable to attack.

Electric lighting accounts for 30% to 50% of annual energy use in Marine and Army barracks. The United States Navy concluded, after reviewing many energy efficient lighting technologies, that daylighting provides the greatest savings; a properly installed daylighting system reduces the cost of electricity in a facility by 40-80%. In a separate daylighting case study, the United States Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) found that daylighting reduces energy use by the following percentages:

  • Lighting 82%
  • Heating 63%
  • Cooling 47%
  • Ancillary Equipment (mostly fans) 31%

Additionally, daylighting lessens the effects of extreme physical and psychological pressure. Sunlight is beneficial in "reducing stress and anxiety, high blood pressure, and decreasing the length of recovery time needed" after a physical injury.

Natural light also improves productivity. A study done in one Boeing facility showed that natural light improves the worker’s ability to detect imperfections in jet panels during assembly by 20%, which saves on electrical and labor costs. 

Ciralight SunTrackers are an active daylighting solution. Contact our sales team today for more information about SunTracker technology.

(1) Grimes, Barbara and Bahnfleth, William P. (1990). “A Study of Current and Potential Use of Daylight In Designing Military Facilities.”

(2) “Study of the Relationship between Patients’ Recovery and Indoor Daylight Environment of Patient Rooms in Healthcare Facilities,”

(3) U.S. Department of Energy and Rocky Mountain Institute Report, “Greening the Building and the Bottom Line: Increasing Productivity Through Energy-Efficient Design,” 1994

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