In fact, many of the world’s most energy efficient cities with the biggest commitment to daylighting aren’t all that sunny. Portland and Seattle, two of the rainiest cities in North America, are also two of its most energy efficient metropolises.
In Europe, the statistics are similar. London, a city better known for its overcast and cloudy weather than for year-round sun, is one of the most energy efficient cities in Europe, with a large percentage of its buildings using daylighting.
The reality is that it’s possible to benefit from daylighting even if your region doesn’t receive a high level of sunlight. Read on to learn five ways to maximize the effects of daylighting if your city isn’t covered in sun throughout the year.
Make the most of what’s available
There’s no need to have massive amounts of sunlight to benefit from natural lighting – all that’s required is enough sunlight. If your city receives some sunlight, even if it’s covered by clouds throughout the day, it’s likely enough to light your office.
Make the most of what’s available by installing energy efficient daylighting in your workplace. Even on overcast days, your workplace will receive enough sunlight to remain well lit and ideal for working in.
Complement, not replace, using artificial lighting
One of the best ways to use daylighting in areas that receive little natural light is to use it in parallel with artificial lighting. When your office’s artificial lighting is used as a complement to daylight, it’s easy to keep your office well lit and productive.
By mixing daylight and artificial light, your workplace can achieve the benefits of natural light without dealing with inconsistent light levels. View artificial light as a complement to natural light instead of as its own source of independent lighting.
Use diffuse lighting for optimal productivity
Diffuse lighting provides all of the light with none of the glare, which can be a major problem in cities that receive a lot of sunlight but are covered by clouds that result in sporadic bursts of light in between overcast periods.
By using diffuse natural lighting, your workplace receives consistent light that isn’t concentrated in any one place. This creates a steady level of light without glare and localized lighting that can reduce productivity and create discomfort.
Open the blinds for maximum light levels
The key to achieving great lighting in areas without much natural light is to use all of the light your workplace receives. Open the blinds and allow as much light to enter into your workplace as possible to achieve the greatest positive effect.
Many workplaces make the mistake of installing natural lighting, only to let it work at a fraction of its potential by pulling the blinds. Keep the blinds open and allow as much natural light to enter as possible to keep your office well lit and productive.
Don’t avoid daylighting if your city isn’t sunny
It’s easy to let your city’s overcast weather and lack of sunshine be a reason not to install daylighting. The reality, however, is that overcast cities can often benefit as much from daylighting as cities that are drenched in sunlight.
What matters isn’t direct sunlight, but the level of ambient natural light. As long as your city is light during the daytime – even if the sunlight is partially obscured by a cover of clouds – you’ll receive all of the benefits of natural daylight.