3 Examples Of Office Lighting That Let Employees See the Sun

By Jeff Brain | December 22, 2015

When upgrading outdated and inefficient office lighting, there are many benefits to be gained, including reduced lighting and HVAC costs and a boost in employee productivity. While many building owners opt to replace their old lights with new LED bulbs, studies show that the best lighting methods are those which use no bulbs or electricity and let your employees see the sun.

Here are three examples of office lighting methods which bring natural sunlight directly into your space.

Window Controls

While window controls such as automated blinds and self-shading glass are not a replacement for other forms of lighting, they act as an excellent lighting supplement. Automated blinds adjust with changing light levels to minimize glare and heat transfer, and self-shading glass, like SageGlass, does this without blocking the window’s view. A clear view of the outdoors is shown to increase productivity, and both types of window controls work with the windows that are already integrated into your structure and make them an intelligent lighting solution.

Tubular Skylights

Tubular skylights are a unique form of passive skylight designed to bring light deep into buildings. They use highly reflective light tubes to channel light into a building and move light around structural obstructions, which brings natural illumination to places where other skylights cannot reach. They are not always the best choice, since they do not provide enough light for large, industrial or commercial spaces. However, in small offices or residential spaces, they are an efficient form of lighting. Additionally, their key advantage can be a double-edged sword in situations where long light tubes are required. This is because for every 10 ft. the light has to travel through the tubes, these skylights experience a 3% loss in intensity, which can quickly diminish the quality of light a space receives.

Active Daylighting Systems

One of the most efficient options for sun-centric office lighting is active daylighting systems, such as solar tracking skylights. While these skylights are designed with larger spaces in mind, they have been successfully integrated into a wide range of office applications. Their design offers the greatest reduction of electrical light usage, because their mirrors track the sun throughout the day and reflect the sunlight into the building, providing up to 10+ hours of free, natural light per day in comparison to the 4-6 hours offered by traditional skylights.

Why Is This Important?

It may seem like the extra effort to integrate these sustainable lighting methods is unnecessary, however, it actually offers a wide range of benefits for your employees. Exposure to sunlight throughout the day improves employee moods and decreases stress levels. Studies have also linked moderate sunlight exposure to the prevention of rickets, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, and some autoimmune diseases.

For more information on the benefits modern skylights can bring to your office, download our eBook The Power of Daylighting in Building Design.

Download The Power of Daylighting In Building Design


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