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Daylighting systems (also known as skylighting) use natural light to illuminate building spaces rather than solely relying on electrical lighting during the day. The process is simple – by capturing the natural light through a dome and filtering it down through a reflective system, the natural light is then dispersed evenly throughout the room by using a diffuser. This innovative technology provides consistent lighting and energy efficiency at a fraction of the cost of even the most efficient electrical lighting systems without producing glare, hot spots, or UV rays that may damage merchandise or equipment.
The financial savings are easily achieved. For most buildings in Colorado that incorporate commercial daylighting systems, the overall energy savings range from 15-40%. According to Environmental Design & Construction, “Energy-efficient building design can significantly increase the value of a property. Because these buildings cost less to operate and maintain, energy savings can go directly to the bottom line- the income of the property. Capitalizing this increased income can add $5 to $6 per square foot to the value of the building.”
In August 2005, Print Magazine further supports the energy savings from daylights by saying, “Natural lighting for outdoor gear and clothing retailer REI helped the store realize a 26% reduction in energy usage.”
Daylighting minimizes the amount of artificial light and reduces electricity costs. Beyond energy savings and sustainability, daylighting studies also show a direct correlation with increased productivity among employees, students, and even clients and retail customers. Since people are drawn to natural sunlight, commercial daylighting systems have a direct impact on productivity, well-being, and an overall sense of happiness or satisfaction.