Ergonomically, economically, and ecologically daylighting makes sense
Daylighting provides superior quality, full-spectrum, flicker-free light that positively impacts behavior.
In study after study, daylighting is correlated to dramatic improvements in human performance in retail, workplace and educational facilities.
- Increase retail sales
- Increase productivity
- Increase grades
- Reduce absenteeism
- Improve product quality
A study initiated by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company showed that students with the most daylighting in their classrooms progressed 20% faster on math tests and 26% faster on reading tests in one year than those with the least.
In the retail setting, daylighting dramatically increased sales—one study showed a 40% increase in sales in daylighted stores when compared to identical non-daylighted stores.
Daylighting can replace electric light 70% to 80% of daylight hours—in many cases, for less than $.015 per kWh over the life of the building.
It is considerably cooler than electric lighting at the same foot candle levels, so it also reduces the cost to air condition buildings as well.
This can mean tremendous energy savings in buildings that operate during the day, such as schools, offices, warehouses, factories and retail stores.
Properly daylighting buildings can:
- Repay installation costs quickly—often in less than two years.
- Be installed in buildings to replace electric lighting for 1/20 of the cost of enough solar photovoltaic panels to generate an equivalent amount of electricity using the same sun at the same high energy demand times of the day.
- Replace electric lighting during the daylight hours for less than $.015 per kWh over the life of the building while reducing lamp and ballast replacement costs.
According to Jon McHugh, PE, LC and Technical Director with the energy consulting and research firm, Heschong Mahone Group, Inc., America could reduce it’s peak load electrical demand by 24,000 Megawatts just by daylighting existing buildings that make sense to daylight using toplighting or skylights. This is equal to the energy output of 24, 1000 Megawatt nuclear power plants or 48, 500 Megawatt coal fired power plants for 1/20th the cost of solar photovoltaic panels to create equal energy savings.
Daylighting a building properly is like adding an alternative energy power plant that produces zero carbon emission, something wind and solar cannot provide.
Using more daylighting world wide can help minimize the number of new coal fire electric-generating plants which make up 70% of all the energy produced in the United States.
Daylighting cuts energy use and pollution.
Power plants fueled by oil, coal and gas dump thousands of tons of pollutants into the environment every day. By cutting demand for energy production, we cut pollution, too. Over the long term, daylighting reduces greenhouse gases and the pollution of water and air—the by-products of generating electricity.
Together we can make a difference in building a sustainable energy future and an energy-independent America and a sustainable planet.