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Daylighting: Natural Light In Architecture


Architects often use a combination of these strategies to maximize natural light in a space. For example, when HMC Architects designed the CSU Monterey Bay Joel and Dena Gambord Business and Information Technology Building, we used three passive daylighting strategies.

Still, there are ways to maximize daylighting even for buildings like this. An experienced architect knows exactly where to place reflective surfaces to direct more light into the space so you can make the most of what little natural light you have.

The use of natural light is one of the most important aspects of architecture because it affects people's well-being, saves energy, and makes environments more comfortable. Of course, natural light was a major source of illumination for many until modern times.

However, after the invention of electrical lighting, uptake was rapid because of the benefits it offered, and it was installed into most large structures in a matter of years. Buildings today are designed to let in more natural light in part because of a desire to save energy, as well as a greater understanding of the health benefits of light.

Along with openings like skylights and windows, daylighting systems often also incorporate a lighting management system that responds to daylight. For example, automatically raising or lowering the artificial light used in a building in response to the changing levels of natural light. This technology has the capacity to generate more savings and use less electricity.

Systems, technologies, and architecture all combine in the make-up of a daylighting system. Even though not all daylighting systems or designs must have all of these elements, most do have one or more of the following:

Compared to a regular window pane, a high-performance glazing system usually lets in more light and less heat. This makes it possible to use natural light without making the building harder to cool in the summer.

Another issue is that any daylighting system must have controls for electric lighting that respond to changes in daylight. A daylighting design that saves energy won't work unless the electric lights are dimmed or turned off when natural light is high enough.

The main goal of daylighting is to decrease the need for artificial lighting and save on electricity expenses, as it can also cut down on heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) expenses. While natural light may generate almost no heat at all when it is correctly managed, electrical lighting, as we've already touched upon, generates a lot of heat.

Controlling the quantity of heat that enters a structure is also necessary for daylighting. Given how effective it is in lighting up structures, the sun can also generate a ton of heat. Utilizing natural lighting might provide unwanted heat gains if not planned appropriately.

According to a 1998 study titled "Benefits of Natural Daylighting," higher student and instructor attendance, greater achievement rates, decreased weariness, improved student health, and enhancement factors of general student development are among the benefits of natural daylighting.

Allowing natural light inside stores has become increasingly popular recently because it improves the store's ambiance, boosts sales, makes the shopping experience more pleasant, draws consumers in, and enhances color rendering.

It has been demonstrated that natural light not only makes customers feel more welcome but also makes the store appear cleaner, brighter, and more open. In hospitals with enough natural light, the mental and physical stress on patients, doctors, and nurses has been shown to go down.

Retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Recreational Equipment Incorporated (REI) in Seattle, Washington; Lamb's Thriftway Store in Portland, Oregon; and others have noted the advantages of natural lighting inside the store.

In hospitals, the patient's mental health is the most crucial aspect, and allowing for natural light and air has been shown to improve patients'


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