6 Important Lessons for Integrating Natural Lighting
By Jeff Brain | September 05, 2017
Maybe you have seen natural lighting skylight systems installed in commercial buildings, or maybe you have read anarticle about the benefits and appeal of natural lighting, or maybe you are simply curious about the latest trends in lighting design and technology. If you are looking to learn how to get started with a natural lighting system, read the six important points we have listed below.
1. Consult the Manufacturer
Do not be intimidated by the idea of adding a natural lighting system to your building. Manufacturers are there to answer any questions you may have about their product’s design and its compatibility with your building’s structure and function. Oftentimes, useful information can be found on the FAQs page of a skylight manufacturer’s website.
2. One Skylight Does Not Fit All Applications
Homes, office buildings, and industrial facilities all have different needs and require different skylight designs. Make sure to research successful installations to find out which skylight is the best fit for your facility. Whichever system fits the structure of your building and provides the best quality of light at the proper light level throughout the day with the fewest number of units is generally considered the best fit for your needs.To learn more about how the different systems compare, consider downloading our free eBook A Guide to Selecting the Best Skylight Solution for Commercial Buildings.
3. View the Product In Action
When you see the skylight in person and get a sense of how the product brings natural light into a space, you can better judge whether it will be the right skylight for your application. No amount of calculations, certifications, and recommendations can replace what you will learn when you see the skylight firsthand.
4. Aim For the Proper Light Levels
Assess the function of the space and research what the proper light levels will be. Tables which list footcandle and lux recommendations are available online. These tables outline how different uses of a space require different light levels. Look at what is recommended for your building’s function, so you can aim to bring the amount of light in. Following the recommendation will help you to avoid over-spending or underspending on your lighting system and ensure that there is enough light for building occupants to feel comfortable and safe in the space.
5. Prepare a Layout
The spacing of skylight units depends on two factors: (1) how bright and diffuse the light coming from the skylight unit is and (2) the height of the ceiling. When the ceiling is high, the light will spread further but the light will also be dimmer. When the ceiling is lower, the light will have a narrow spread but high intensity. Ask the manufacturer or architect to prepare a layout that takes photometric calculations of the skylight system into consideration so you can have an accurate rendering of the effects of natural light in your space.
6. Calculate the ROI
Natural lighting cansave money. It not only cuts down on lighting and HVAC costs, but it also increases employee productivity and health. AnROI analysis will determine how long it will take for the cost-saving benefits of a natural lighting system to pay off the cost of the purchase, shipping, and installation of the product.
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