Why Should You Include Natural Lighting in Your Budget
By Jeff Brain | October 17, 2017
Humans have used the natural light of the sun for decades, however, as more artificial lighting technologies have, our reliance on the sun has decreased. While many traditional skylight designs faced issues with insulation or glare, these issues are now uncommon.
Below are five reasons you should consider including natural lighting systems in your construction budget.
Decreases Energy Costs
Incorporating well designed daylighting into a facility can reduce both lighting and HVAC costs. By providing free, abundant light throughout the day, skylights minimize the need for artificial lighting and are capable of reducing lighting costs by up to 80%. Because most artificial lights produce waste heat, raising interior temperatures, not using them throughout the day also helps to keep HVAC costs low.
Boosts Retail Sales
One of the lesser known benefits of natural light is that it actually increases sales in retail stores. The comfortable, diffused light creates an enticing environment shown to generate more repeat business. Products displayed under natural light are also shown to sell 40% better than those displayed under artificial lighting.
Choosing to incorporate natural lighting in the early stages of building design can save facilities a large sum of money. It is easy to decide not to incorporate it at first, saying it will be added at a later date. In reality though, it can take years or even decades to happen. Between the cost of modifying your building for a retrofit and the savings lost, this is more than equal to the cost of installing the skylights in the first place.
Protects Employee Health
Exposure to natural lighting has been shown to improve human health. Moderate daily exposure to sunlight has been shown to aid in the prevention of conditions including rickets, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, seasonal affective disorder. Natural light has also been shown to prevent repetitive eye strain and stress headaches caused by the glare and flicker of electric lighting.
Reduces Carbon Footprint
Nearly 67% of electricity in the US is produced by burning fossil fuels. This contributes a huge amount of greenhouse gases every year, increasing the progress of climate change. By reducing your electrical lighting use through natural lighting, you can reduce your facility’s overall impact on the environment.
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