Daylighting vs. Artificial Light: Which is More Expensive in the Long Term?

DaylightingFrom the cost of skylights and other daylighting equipment to the installation fees for a large-scale daylighting system, the cost of lighting your workplace naturally can seem immense.

The cost of daylighting, in fact, is one of the biggest reasons so many businesses are initially hesitant to switch from old-fashioned artificial lighting to a more efficient, effective, and healthy natural daylighting system.

Just like the old business saying goes, avoiding daylighting for its initial cost is a decision that’s penny-wise and pound-foolish. While daylighting systems can cost quite a lot to purchase and install, their long-term costs are remarkably low.

Many large factories and storage facilities spends tens of thousands of dollars – in some cases, even hundreds of thousands of dollars – every month on running their artificial lighting systems. While this expense can’t be completely eliminated using natural light, it can be reduced by a significant margin.

Skylights, large windows, and tubular daylighting devices can cost thousands of dollars to install. It’s an expense that, for most businesses running on low profit margins and limited budgets, is remarkable easy to pass over as unnecessary.

But the long-term savings made possible by daylighting make it a far better option for most businesses than natural light. In fact, every type of business environment, from an office to a manufacturing plant, can save money by using natural light.

Offices can benefit from reduced lighting bills, enhanced workplace productivity, and boosted employee morale. Retail stores can benefit from lower energy bills, enhanced sales figures, and a more appealing shopping environment.

Fulfillment centers and storage facilities can benefit from extensive lighting that doesn’t cost a fortune to operate, as well as a far more appealing environment for employees. Even factories and manufacturing plants can benefit from a source of natural light, reducing energy usage and moderating their interior temperature.

One of the excuses most frequently thrown around amongst business owners that are uncertain of the value of daylighting is its supposedly strenuous maintenance requirements. Like other excuses, it doesn’t measure up – skylights, windows, and other daylighting systems tend to require very little in the way of maintenance.

In fact, the average artificial lighting system not only costs far more to operate for several years than a daylighting system costs to install – it requires a greater level of maintenance and upkeep, too. Natural sunlight is less expensive both financially and in terms of the time required to keep a system operating smoothly.

It’s easy to make daylighting a low priority – after all, every business has urgent and non-urgent issues to attend to. However, the idea that daylighting is unaffordable or financially ineffective simply isn’t the case – the reality, as it happens, is actually the opposite.

So if your business is interested in reducing its long-term expenses as well as giving itself a source of light that requires very little long-term maintenance, consider the most cost-effective, productive, and healthy option out there: good old natural light.

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