Why Daylighting is One of the Hottest Sustainable Building Solutions

By Torrin Greathouse | October 30, 2015

The range of sustainable building solutions on the market today can be extremely overwhelming. Deciding on the best systems to install for your facility, whether it is a new building or a retrofit project, depends upon a lot of variables. Here are a few reasons why daylighting is a good sustainable solution for your building, and why so many businesses have adopted them.

Offers Alternative to Artificial Lights

While there are various sustainable electric lights available on the market today, many are fairly inefficient and waste electricity by generating heat. Daylighting is preferable to systems which use electricity and bulbs because it generates less physical and electrical waste. Not only that, but daylighting systems do not come along with the frequent and costly repairs of artificial lights or the cost of replacing bulbs. Beyond that, exposure to natural light helps counteract health issues which can be caused by over exposure to artificial light. Many fluorescent and LED bulbs emit a high percentage of their light in the blue spectrum. This can degrade the human circadian rhythm, and is a contributing cause to both insomnia and Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Reduces Carbon Footprint

Most people do not realize the contribution electricity production has to global warming; however, 67% of the electricity in the U.S. is produced by burning fossil fuels. This makes reducing your electricity usage an essential part of minimizing your building’s carbon footprint. Daylighting is one of the only sustainable building solutions which allows you to shut off electrical lights throughout the day, eliminating a major source of electricity usage and lessening your building’s contribution to carbon emissions.

Lowers Electrical Costs

Incorporating daylighting as one of your facility’s sustainable building solutions can make a huge impact on your energy consumption. In 2010, lighting accounted for approximately 10% of the energy consumption in residential buildings and 20% in commercial buildings. In offices this number can be as high as 40%. Because of this, the possible savings from replacing artificial lighting with natural light are extremely high. Depending on the daylighting system you install, it can lower your energy use for lighting, and lighting related HVAC use, by between 50% and 80%.

To learn more about incorporating daylighting, or other sustainable building solutions into your building design download our eBook A Buyer's Guide to Evaluating Industrial Lighting Products today.

(Photo: Bioregional, CC.)

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