Which type of business benefits the most from daylighting? Natural light has many benefits for many different businesses, from small ‘Mom and Pop’ retailers to large manufacturers, fulfillment centers and heavy industry.
In general, all businesses can benefit from natural daylighting and energy efficiency in several major ways. Reduced energy spending, an improved environmental focus and lower maintenance needs are serious benefits that any business can notice.
However, the biggest benefits of daylighting are different for each industry. Service businesses and modern offices invest in daylighting for different reasons than, say, retailers, who in turn invest in daylighting for different reasons than manufacturers.
In this blog post, we’ll look at the biggest benefits of natural daylighting and energy efficiency for three different types of business: an independent retailer, web startup and manufacturing company.
The benefits of daylighting for independent retailers
From grocery stores to fashionable boutiques, independent retail stores come in all shapes and sizes. Despite selling different products, all retail store share a variety of common features: physical outlets, daytime opening hours and a focus on sales.
There are three major benefits to daylighting for retailers. The first is a reduction in energy costs, which are one of the largest expenses for retail businesses. Many retail stores save hundreds or thousands of dollars a year by using natural daylighting.
The second key benefit is increased sales. Numerous retail chains, from Wal-Mart to smaller brands, have performed detailed studies indicating an increase in total sales in stores that used natural light instead of artificial fluorescent lighting.
The final benefit for retailers is employee productivity and alertness. Employees in retail work environments lit naturally tend to be more alert, less fatigued and more motivated to interact with customers, resulting in improved sales results.
The benefits of daylighting for startups and offices
Like retailers, businesses located in modern offices can benefit hugely by switching off their wasteful, inefficient fluorescent lights and instead using the best source of light available: the sun.
There are two major benefits to daylighting for office-based businesses. The first is reduced costs. Many companies in older buildings without daylighting could save an incredible amount by moving to a naturally lit, energy efficient office building.
The second benefit is increased productivity. Research from Swiss scientists Mirjam Münch, in addition to studies performed by other researchers, show that daylighting leads to improved employee productivity and reduced afternoon fatigue.
The final benefit for startups and service companies is employee health. Daylight is a source of Vitamin D – a vitamin that strengthens the immune system and fights back against disease. Increased exposure to daylight means fewer employee absences.
The benefits of daylighting for manufacturing businesses
Manufacturers, particularly those based in large, spacious buildings, can experience a number of huge benefits from daylighting. In fact, manufacturers can gain far more from increasing their focus on energy efficiency than most other types of business.
There are three major benefits that manufacturers can enjoy from daylighting. One of the most significant is a massive reduction in energy consumption. In many cases, installing daylighting can result in a 10-20% decrease in total energy consumption.
The second benefit for manufacturers is increased employee alertness. People who work in environments lit naturally are more alert and less likely to make mistakes – mistakes that, in a manufacturing environment, could have led to injuries.
The final benefit is one that’s common to all businesses: increased productivity
. Like retailers and service businesses, manufacturers can benefit from a large increase in employee productivity and output by installing skylights in their workplace.