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The Impacts of Daylighting in Buildings

September 8, 2021


For hundreds of years, daylighting has been used in commercial structures to create a pleasant and functional indoor environment. Daylighting can impact our mood, our health and even our perception of our environment.

By integrating daylight into your building or commercial structure, you add value to your property and also improve your quality of existence within that structure. Whether it’s where you live or work, daylighting can make a positive impact on your day-to-day operations.

Skylighting can help with this. By installing skylighting in your commercial structures, you can improve the lives of your staff, customers, clients and more. 

Daylighting Then and Now

In the early part of the 20th century and in the years leading up to that time, daylight was the primary source of light in buildings, especially during the day. By the 1960’s, however, electric lighting had become the primary source of light in most workplaces. 

In recent years, environmental concerns and energy savings has spurred commercial property owners to rediscover their love of daylight. Daylighting is once again becoming the preferred method for lighting indoor spaces.

However, building design has changed significantly in the years since daylighting was last the preferred method for illumination in commercial buildings. Daylighting is now an art. It’s as much an architectural statement as it is a necessity of building design. There are many ways to integrate daylighting into your indoor spaces, including skylights. 

Energy Savings of Daylighting

Daylighting saves money. According to the US Department of Energy Office of Building Technology, commercial buildings consumed over 30% of the United States electricity in 1998. Of that energy usage, about one-third was used for lighting. 

Energy for electrical lights costs money, especially if electrical lights are over-used in a building. In addition, electrical lighting can heat indoor spaces and place a burden on commercial HVAC systems, leading to wear and tear on the HVAC equipment, and increasing maintenance costs for said systems.  

One way to decrease utility costs in a commercial building is to install more opportunities for daylighting, including skylights. With smart placement of windows and skylighting, businesses get the benefit of daylighting and avoid some of the disadvantages of electrical lighting.   

Effects of Daylight On Building Occupants

While energy savings is significant, it’s not the only benefit of daylighting. Studies have shown that there are many non-energy benefits that come from lighting your space with natural light sources. 

An HR survey from an HR advisory firm called Future Workplace reveals that access to outdoor views and natural light is the number one sought-after attribute in a workplace environment. Nearly 80% of employees say that access to natural light can improve their wellbeing, and over 2/3 of employees report that natural light can improve their performance in the workplace. 

In addition, access to natural daylighting is associated with:

  • Fewer headaches
  • Reduced eyestrain
  • More alert workforce

Studies have also found that over 1/3 of employees feel that they don’t have enough access to natural light where they work. Nearly half of employees report drowsiness because of their lack of access to natural daylight, and just under half report feeling poor mood and disposition due to lack of natural light. 

Natural daylighting improves focus, helps employees perform in the workplace and helps students perform on tests. In addition, natural daylight increases levels of serotonin in the body, which in turn helps employees stay alert, calm and overall happy. 

If you’re a business owner with a large workforce generating high revenues, even just a 1% increase in productivity can make a significant impact on you company’s bottom line. If introducing natural daylighting into your workplace could bring about such an improvement, why wouldn’t you do it?   

Increase Natural Daylighting In Your Commercial Structure

VTECH skylights allow more sunlight into your home or office. They’re energy-efficient and solid-state, which means they’re the sturdiest skylights in the industry.

They’re guaranteed not to leak, and they’re highly impact-resistant, which means that they can improve your overall indoor environment without compromising the safety of your commercial structure, or your employees. To get started with VTECH skylights in your commercial structure, contact VTECH today

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