From light pollution to excess energy usage, depending on artificial lighting to keep your work environment illuminated has a wide range of negative effects. This isn’t to mention the massive cost of artificial lighting – a cost measured both in monthly utility bills and the decline in productivity caused by artificial lighting.
While using artificial lighting to keep your office, factory, of retail store lit may not seem like a huge threat to the environment, it can actually do serious damage. The light produced from offices and retail stores creates light clutter and energy waste that has a real impact on the environment.
Why switch to natural light?
Natural light has a wide variety of benefits for businesses of all types. It increases productivity, making your business more optimized, effective, and profitable. It’s also significantly more affordable than artificial lighting, particularly in the long term.
It’s also far less likely to damage fragile local ecosystems. Artificial light can enter local organisms and ecosystems, causing significant damage to certain species of plant and animal life. This form of light pollution is known as ecological light pollution, and it’s becoming a serious issue in many parts of the United States.
Many environmental experts now believe that artificial light has had as strong of an effect on the world’s ecosystems as some forms of toxic pollution. Even during the daytime, an outdoor light – or the light from office or factory windows – can cause damage to ecosystems and natural life.
How can you reduce your environmental impact?
The most obvious – and affordable – way to reduce your business’s impact on the environment, both local and on a worldwide scale, is to change from depending on artificial light to harnessing the power of natural light.
Daylighting systems allow you to completely light your workplace – whether it’s a crowded urban office or a large, spacious factory floor – using natural sunlight that doesn’t disrupt local ecosystems, cause excess light pollution, or waste energy just to operate.
Some businesses can’t afford to completely depend on natural light. They may stay open late into the evening or have locations in areas that don’t get enough natural light in order to illuminate a large workspace. In these cases, a combination of two types of light – artificial and natural – can be beneficial.
Some types of interior lighting reduce wasted energy and light pollution. There are now modern LED droplights that use significantly less electricity and illuminate only the area they target. These lights solve two problems at once: reduced energy usage and a more focused, less polluting source of light.
Can your business improve its environmental record?
Yes, of course it can. Many businesses currently operate using lighting plans that are not as efficient as they could be. Simple and inexpensive accessories like timers can have a huge effect on your business’s light pollution record, as well as changing many of your workplace behaviors related to artificial lighting.
Reducing your usage of artificial lighting has major secondary benefits. In addition to making your business more environmentally friendly, switching from artificial to natural light reduces the amount that you’ll need to spend on energy and gives your workforce more energy and alertness throughout the workday.
“Image courtesy of Jamie Grill/Jupiterimages.com”