There are many documented benefits to implementing daylighting in a facility, such as a reduction in HVAC and lighting costs, but there are an additional range of less known benefits. Below are four examples of the supplementary benefits provided by natural lighting.
Boosts Retail Sales
Natural light has been proven to be extremely attractive to the human eye. We have a subconscious attraction to natural light, which extends to our buying habits. Items displayed under daylighting have been shown to sell significantly better than those displayed under artificial lighting—even if the items are identical. A sales analysis by PG&E found that daylit stores had sales figures up to 40% higher than non-daylit stores.
Studies show that storing vegetables under indirect sunlight can actually extend its shelf-life and maintain its nutritional value. Many vegetables contain metabolites, such as glucosinolates and chlorophyll, which provide the majority of the nutritional value. These chemicals break down over time when exposed to artificial light, but have been shown to last significantly longer when stored under a day night light cycle.
Protects Visual Health
While the holistic health benefits of daylighting are well documented, many people would be surprised to learn that it also has a major effect on visual health. The intermittent flickering and high-blue spectrum light that most artificial lighting generates can have a markedly negative effect on vision. Studies have linked this to both stress induced migraines and macular degeneration. Integrating diffuse natural light into your facility can help defray these issues, protecting occupants’ visual health.
Maintain Sleep Cycles
Light also has an intrinsic effect on how the human body experiences rest. Light affects our production of melatonin—the neurotransmitter which controls sleep—which means that spending time under artificial lighting can actually contribute to the development of insomnia. Using natural lighting to expose building occupants to the natural day/night light cycle is an important step in maintaining their circadian rhythm and providing quality, restful sleep.