Adding Daylight in a Commercial Space for Productivity & Cost Savings
The lack of natural lighting in a commercial space can negatively impact employee performance and productivity. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, it was discovered that workers spending most of their day in windowless environments had difficulty completing certain tasks and had poor sleep quality compared to workers who had significantly more exposure to daylight. In fact, workers who were exposed to more light were able to get an additional 46 minutes of quality sleep. Renovating to add natural lighting is a must.
Traditionally, most commercial indoor workspaces are using a 500-lux lighting standard. While this level of lighting is sufficient to light the surroundings, it doesn’t have enough illuminance to be beneficial to workers. The key is balancing out the color temperature – neither too much nor too little light. It has been found that adding 2000-lux daylight into a commercial space not only improves employee overall health, they will be more alert, will make less mistakes and will be able to get more things done in a shorter amount of time.
Commercial contractors can help building owners add daylight into the workspace through strategically placed windows and skylights. They are specially coated for the desired lux and color temperature ratio to deliver the optimum level of direct and indirect light into the space throughout the day. The use of daylighting will also have a significant savings on lighting and cooling costs. Some studies suggest the cost savings can be anywhere from 20% to 60%.
Also, the direction of the windows contributes to overall daylight performance. East-west facing windows, for example, are the least effective due to the amount of heat from the sun during the warmer months of the year. On the other hand, south-facing windows are the most effective for maintaining a constant temperature throughout the year while providing an ample amount of quality light. And north-facing windows provide an even distribution of daylight with very little glare.
Additionally, commercial building owners can install LED lighting with daylighting sensor controls to simulate natural light inside the workspace. The daylighting sensor automatically adjusts the indoor lighting based on the amount of available natural light. This provides an uninterrupted distribution of daylight throughout the day and night. It’s especially beneficial for employees that are working those early morning or late-night shifts.
Studies have shown that daylighting contributes to employees’ overall health and performance. The additional productivity and cost savings from adding daylight in a commercial space will yield a solid return on investment that will be felt across the bottom-line. Allowing everyone to sleep better at night.