Select Your Strategies

The controlled emission of natural light for effective internal lighting in a building or space

Prior to the 1940s, daylight was the primary source of lighting in buildings.1 Rapidly thereafter, electric lighting took over and has become the second highest consumer of energy in a building behind space heating, using about 20% of a building’s total energy consumption.2 On top of economic and environmental reasons for daylighting, research is showing that this strategy has social benefits as well. Natural light gives our body nutrients which improve functions in our brain and are vital to our health.3 This can translate to increased sales in retail buildings, increased productivity in offices, reduced patient stay time in hospitals, among other benefits.

Proper daylighting involves more than just punctured openings; it requires an art of directing light and heat. In the northern hemisphere, the solar side (facing the equator) is the south façade, and in the southern hemisphere, it is the north façade. The information below walks you through the three most important things for effective daylighting: well-designed apertures, redirection and distribution techniques, and responsive lighting controls.