How Daylighting Systems Can Enhance a Building Interior
By Torrin Greathouse | August 28, 2015
A huge deal of the discussion about daylighting systems is devoted to technical issues: energy savings, heat loss and gain, and return on investment. Perhaps more important than these however, are the less visible benefits daylighting offers for your building interior. From aesthetics to human health, incorporating daylight offers a wide range of benefits for your building.
Higher Quality Light
Natural sunlight provides far higher quality illumination than any artificial lighting product. All light sources give off a different spectrum of light, graphed with a special power distribution (SPD) curve. Popular mechanics released a graphic comparing the SPDs of incandescent, fluorescent and LED bulbs with the SPD of sunlight. None of these artificial light sources compared to the broad spectrum sunlight skylights can provide, cementing sunlight as the best light available.
More Aesthetically Pleasing
One major benefit this higher quality light provides is a more pleasant interior space. This is, in part, due to the increase in color rendition that natural light provides. Under commonly used fluorescent lighting human eyes can differentiate as few as eight shades of each color, while they are able to recognize 50,000 different shades in natural sunlight. This high quality illumination has been shown to actually increase return customers in retail locations. Customers attribute their attraction to these locations to “non-specific positive environmental feelings,” because living under daylight looks and feels better than artificial light.
Healthier More Productive Environment
Another major set of benefits daylighting systems provide are for building occupants. High quality natural light is proven to be beneficial for both physical and mental health. Not only does natural light help prevent a wide range of medical problems, from rickets to multiple sclerosis, it has also been shown to reduce the effects of seasonal affective disorder and insomnia. Beyond this, the quality of light has been shown to improve the mood of employees by reducing stress. These factors combine to provide an increase of productivity of between 6-16% in buildings that integrate daylighting systems.
Ciralight produces a cutting-edge solar tracking daylighting system. This skylight combines solar power and GPS technology to angle a set of mirrors, following the sun as it moves across the sky. This allows them to provide healthy, beautiful light for up to 10.5 hours a day.