High-Efficiency Daylight Harvesting System

Daylighting in Winter

Natural light prevents seasonal affective disorder from developing during winter.

The Sophisticated Designs Behind a Simple Concept

A daylight harvesting lighting system, on its surface, is a pretty straightforward concept. Doors and windows are used to become the primary source of illumination for a space, whether it be a home, an office building or even a warehouse. Electrical lighting, then, becomes merely a supplement.

Its purpose is twofold: First, to reduce the dependency on electricity. And second, to reduce our exposure to artificial light. We behave better the more sunlight we feel during the course of our days. Our productivity increases, our mood is lifted and our sleep is deeper. All of that may seem rather obvious by now. Yet, our lives continue to trend in the opposite direction. We’re spending more time indoors than we ever have before. So, if we’re not venturing out, we need to bring the sunlight in.

As simplistic as the premise may seem, a daylight harvesting system design can be impressively intricate, tailored not just to collecting as much sunlight as it can but transmitting it, too, to the preferred levels of the space’s occupants. In other words, converting to daylighting doesn’t mean, necessarily, committing to blinding light during the daytime hours. Blinds and louvers can used in the same fashion as dimmer switches.

Likewise, the qualities that factor foremost into an artificial lighting scheme—mood, visibility, glare—weigh most heavily in a daylighting design too. But unlike the former, it’s not entirely about the lighting. A high-efficiency daylight harvesting system, a term that, really, can be used to describe the full scope of options, also considers its influence on the interior temperature. After all, enticing as an office full of bright sunlight sounds right about now, it’s going to be a lot less so in a few months. But the modern skylight is an innovation in insulation, maximizing light transmission without its heat. Or, at this time of year, allowing any of that precious warmth to escape.

We suggest beginning with a free energy and daylight analysis. The consultation will allow us to establish a set of energy objectives. From there, we’ll craft an energy-management and daylighting plan that’ll take into account both the look you have in mind and its desired effects.

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