How Can Daylighting & Artificial Light Work In Unison
By Jeff Brain | October 20, 2016
Both well integrated daylighting and high quality artificial lights, such as broad spectrum LEDs, provide a range of building benefits which the other system cannot. While it is most common for facilities to lean on artificial lighting, it is important not to ignore the benefits of natural light. These systems are often seen as contrary to each other, but the best solution is usually to consolidate the benefits of both. Below are three key ways in which you can combine artificial and natural light in your facility.
Alternate Lighting Schemes
Daylighting has been proven to deliver higher quality light than artificial lighting, more consistent, broader spectrum, and with a better color rendering index. This in turn helps to improve workplace productivity, improving health and minimizing eye strain, however, natural light is not always an option. Most buildings include multiple stories, or small interior rooms that may not be optimal for illuminating with skylights. In this case, lighting the top story, or large public areas with skylights, then supplementing this with artificial lighting is an effective option.
Daylighting & Night Lighting
One of the key advantages of daylighting is that it allows a facility to expend far less electricity for lighting throughout the day. This is especially true of solar tracking skylights which can light a facility for up to 10+ hours per day, as opposed to the 4-6 hours traditional skylights provide. If your facility needs to run in the early morning or into the night though, you will need to also integrate artificial light. After deciding which lighting option serves you best when natural light is not available you can separate your lighting scheme into day and night lighting.
Full Lighting Integration
Over the last year, advanced lighting controls have risen rapidly in popularity, and offer a unique new way to integrate natural and artificial lighting. Systems like solar tracking skylights already use solar panels to power their motors, it is only a small step to use these panels to power lighting controls which would automate LED lamps to slowly replace the sun’s light as it sinks below the horizon. This sort of direct integration would not only consolidate the benefits of both systems, providing drastically reduced energy costs, it would also provide consistent high quality light 24 hours a day.