10 reasons why daylight is better than artificial lighting
Common sense just tells us that natural light is better than artificial, but why is that? It is a question that we are often asked by facilities managers whilst on-site visits so thought we should share them on our blog.
1. Cost – The sun produces about 8,000-12,000 fc on a clear day, the great thing about this is that this light is 100% free! There are no direct electricity costs to bring daylight into a building. This means that electric (artificial) lighting can be turned off for 6-10 hours in the day which significantly reduce the energy costs.
2. Productivity – The Heschong Mahone Group (HMG) produced a report showing that workers in a well-daylit building worked 6-12% faster.
3. Increased Retail Sales – Empirical research by Walmart determined that natural daylight significantly increases retail sales. Many engineering firms and associations have also confirmed Walmart’s findings.
4. Longevity – Because you are saving on the use of artificial lighting you can extend the use of the light bulbs/tubes by 30%-50% over their lifetime.
5. Improves performance and cognitive memory – The official blog of the U.S Department of education states: Classrooms with the most daylighting had a 20% better learning rate in maths and 26% better learning rate in reading compared to classrooms with little or no daylight. As Well as a calmer less disruptive learning environment.
6. Well Being – The California Energy Commission noted that exposure to natural daylight was consistently linked to higher levels of concentration and better short-term memory call, up 25% in some cases. In the business world, this leads to increased productivity.
7. Vision – Customers can see products, and most importantly colour better in natural daylight. Items appear in their truest colour form in natural daylight. For example, under artificial lighting tomatoes have a CRI of 65 whereas under natural daylighting tomatoes have a CRI of 100, the maximum, which makes them appear fresher, juicier and more appealing. Along with better vision, customers generally feel better and have noted verified changes in their body’s chemistry which in turn increase alertness.
8. Circadian Rhythm – There are many studies which show the benefits of having a circadian rhythm in sync with natural cycles – awake when there is daylight, asleep when there is darkness. Some of these benefits are better sleep and higher levels of emotional stability.
9. Daylighting is a Requirement – The ICC and many other energy code organizations require daylighting to be designed into the building and the quantity of top lighting required is increasing with almost every change to the code.
10. Better for Planet Earth – Along with improved environments for shoppers and workers alike and higher productivity there is a decrease in your carbon footprint which is so critical in reducing fluorocarbons and their devastating effect on the world ecology.
Let there be (NATURAL) Light!
Natural Light Solutions
There is a huge movement happening right now across the energy consultation and building industries. It is all about ‘natural lighting’. It has a tremendous power to boost employee wellbeing, productivity and drastically reduce a firm’s carbon footprint. Natural lighting enables businesses to have lower energy costs resulting from huge reductions in electricity needed (for artificial light)which is just an added bonus.
In the world of the Paris Accord on climate change, carbon use (energy) in business operations is a business dynamic that is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid discussing or disclosing. National governments are imposing targets for companies and also investors, regulators, and customers are adding more pressure on firms to act sustainably and disclose carbon emissions ratings.
Cutting carbon is becoming the business-savvy thing to do. There is a lot of focus in the media on the cost of green measures, however, when it comes to skylight solutions and energy efficiency, this is often the quickest, easiest and cost-effective way to cut energy bills with many measures paying back their investment within one to two years.
Some of our Natural Light Solutions’ clients feel that energy cost savings are just the icing on the cake, it is mainly about employee performance and well being. Daylight is important to us humans! In a recent study by Cornell Research on nurses, it showed that those that had access to natural light showed lower blood pressure, communicated more with other staff, and showed a better mood when interacting with patients compared to nurses who received large doses of artificial light.
Natural Light Solutions support logistical operations teams will happily come and conduct a no obligation site visit and discuss the potential solutions for your business.