Daylighting is the practice of illuminating a building’s interior with natural light, distributing daylight, reducing glare and reflections, and controlling artificial light use. When daylighting is integrated with responsive dynamic lighting controls, there can be significant energy savings by reducing electric lighting loads.
Apart from energy savings, daylighting has been shown to improve performance and health of the occupants. Studies show that daylighting synchronizes our circadian rhythms—our body’s “master clock”*–contributing to positive effects to our health and well-being. This internal body clock responds primarily to light and darkness in our environment, which is why humans are more alert while the sun is shining and are ready to sleep when it gets dark outside.
According to a recent survey of 1000 UK workers by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, ‘Lots of Natural Light’ was at the top of the list of desirable traits in the workplace, at 63%–interestingly far more important than ‘Good Security’ at 38%! People feel better with natural light; they can see more clearly, colors are more vibrant, detailed tasks are easier and safer to perform, and there is a general feeling of exuberance working in a naturally lit and more comfortable environment.
Productivity of the staff or anything that influences one’s ability to be productive should be a major concern for any employer. Natural lighting benefits may be fully realized if the daylighting design in the workplace is well balanced in quantity and quality.
Daylighting technologies through windows has immense promise for both improved energy efficiency and the workplace environment. Our flagship product, SerraGlaze Daylight Redirecting Window Film converts incoming glare into beneficial daylighting by redirecting sunlight upwards (out of eyes) and deeper within a space. The ceiling and walls diffuse this incoming light downward illuminating the work surfaces with full-spectrum daylight. And, with the see-thru nature of SerraGlaze (see photo–>), the views are maintained out of the window and the building’s architectural aesthetics are preserved—another proven mental health benefit.
The use of naturally lighted spaces is a valuable strategy of earning LEED and BREEAM credits. Daylighting, properly done, saves energy, results in better occupant productivity/performance, and increases the building’s real estate value—truly a win-win-win!
~ Dicken Christian
* Our bodies “master clock”, or circadian rhythm is a 24 hour cycle which regulates many of our physiological processes