Daylighting and the Environment: How Much Can Daylighting Reduce Your Carbon Output?

How Much Can Daylighting Reduce Your Carbon Output

Did you know that the average American household produces 48 tons of carbon per year? Between transportation and everyday utilities, the average household creates almost one ton of carbon every week.

Break the data down and it becomes clear what’s contributing to the average home’s carbon footprint. Motor vehicles produce almost 10 tons, with air travel and natural gas adding two to three percent each.

Most alarmingly, almost seven tons of carbon is produced by the average household due to electricity consumption. Between artificial lighting and electrical devices, the average home create a lot of carbon just from leaving the lights or TV on.

One of the best ways to reduce your carbon output is by living in an energy efficient home. This doesn’t require costly changes to your home or your lifestyle – merely a few small modifications to your electricity consumption and personal habits.

Skylights and daylighting systems have helped many homes reduce their electricity consumption by as much as 30 percent. Lighting is the second biggest use of energy in the average American home, falling slightly behind HVAC.

Installing skylights has numerous benefits, both for your carbon output and your finances. Homes with daylighting systems have lower energy bills, reduced stress levels, and a more pleasant atmosphere.

There’s also an aesthetic benefit to natural light. Interior decorators and architects alike will be the first to admit that natural light has an unusual ability to expand any living room or bedroom, no matter how small it might be.

One of the easiest ways to reduce your energy consumption is through adopting an energy model of daylight harvesting. Daylight harvesting uses a light sensor to keep your home’s lighting at a constant level throughout the day.

This offers a fantastic blend of natural and artificial light that maintains the perfect balance of brightness and shade. As the level of sunlight in your home increases, the lights dim. As the sun fades in the evening, your artificial lighting intensifies.

How much energy can daylight harvesting save? Studies show that households and offices can reduce their energy consumption related to artificial lighting by between 20 and 60 percent. That’s a significant saving, no matter which end of the scale your home, office, or place of business is on.

This means that by switching to a daylight harvesting model and using natural light to illuminate your home during the day, you could save anywhere from two to five tons of carbon output per year. That’s a serious cut to your household footprint.

Beyond the obvious environmental benefits of using daylight harvesting, there are serious financial benefits. Studies are increasingly showing that using daylighting at home reduces energy bills, in some cases by as much as 24% per year on average.

From shaving two to five percent off your annual carbon output to reducing your energy bills by a quarter, there are serious benefits to daylighting. Whether at the home or the office, turn down your artificial lighting and start using natural light today for a greener, more productive living or working environment.

“Image courtesy of ImageSource.com

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