How Natural Light Can Dramatically Improve Energy Savings

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Everyone who wants sustainability strives to achieve energy efficiency. With lighting, one of the main recommendations always revolves around eco-friendly upgrades.

While individuals should continue to make those improvements, natural lighting is an underrated factor despite its impact on power usage. 

Can Natural Light Improve Energy Savings?

Yes, daylight can increase energy savings. Whether you have regular or eco-friendly bulbs or strips, artificial lights still use a considerable amount of electricity. Annual costs are estimated at $3,967 per person. Lighting alone is responsible for 17% of energy usage in commercial buildings.

Think about how often you have lights on in your home, school or office during the daytime. Instead of exhausting those resources and shelling out cash, utilize the natural light available. Sunlight is abundant and renewable, and comes at no cost.

How Natural Light Continues to Tie Into Sustainability

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Natural light’s impact on power savings is important for a sustainable future. Aside from conserving money, it lessens consumption. Electric generation resulted in 1.65 billion metric tons of carbon emissions in 2022.

Daylight is a great alternative to decrease your footprint. It also helps with other green goals like temperature control and renewable electricity.

1. Reduce Cooling Costs

Natural lighting can provide illumination without the heat gain other artificial lighting sources produce. For context, regular incandescent bulbs emit light by generating and concentrating heat.

If you live in a warmer climate, heat gain is the last thing you want in your home. Your AC would have to work more to combat it. Thus, utilizing daylight when it’s available is beneficial for minimizing cooling costs.

2. Offers Renewable Energy

Natural light is more than a source of illumination and heat. It’s also a significant renewable energy source that lessens dependence on more conventional sources.

By harvesting sunlight, residential and commercial spaces can even accumulate enough electricity to run their artificial lighting sources during nighttime. Just use a storage system to hold and distribute the power.

3. Care for Indoor Plants

Many people start gardens to grow plants for personal consumption. If you have limited space, you have to bring them indoors, which affects their growth rate and overall quality.

Fluorescent lighting can provide good illumination, but a study shows plants showcase a higher photosynthetic rate under natural light. Draw back the curtains and allow your greenery to bask in the sunlight.

4. Allows a Longer Life Span for Artificial Lighting

Most light bulbs have a limited number of hours of use. Once they go out, recycling them can keep them in circulation and safeguard the environment. But ideally, you should try to lengthen their life span first.

Utilizing daylight means allowing your light bulbs to rest. By proxy, you get to preserve hours of use and lengthen their life expectancy.

Tips to Optimize Natural Lighting

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Some people find natural light inaccessible when they’re indoors. However, there are numerous ways to optimize your home.

1. Position Windows Intentionally

If you’re just starting to construct your house, position the windows carefully. Passive house design principles ensure you can get as much sunlight as possible during the daytime. Assess your home and see what would work best for your strategy.

Generally, south-facing windows offer minimal sunlight, while north-facing windows provide optimal natural lighting with little to no glare or heat from the sun. Share your vision with your construction team and ask for their input.

2. Add More Windows

If you have an existing structure, look into window additions. See which rooms are dark and dreary, and consider what spaces you frequent most.

In residential households, brighten up living rooms and kitchens for visibility. For commercial establishments, lobbies are a great place to add extra windows. Skylights on the roof can also make a considerable difference in a building’s brightness and add visual appeal.

3. Get Window Treatments

More openings allow heat or air conditioning to escape a building. However, window attachments and treatments can let more sunlight into your home without sacrificing energy. Also, add weatherstripping to seal up any cracks.

Utilize curtains to minimize visibility. Sheer or semi-opaque fabrics will allow the daylight to peek through while enabling privacy. They also take care of glare and heat.

4. Automate Your Lighting

Some people like to sleep with the lights on. However, if you’re waking up later in the morning or afternoon, that means using your artificial lights for several hours more than necessary. Look into smart home automation to control your lighting hours.

Program your fixtures to shut off at a certain time. Turning them off can lower lighting expenses by up to 40% in the long run. Utilize natural light to gain better electricity savings.

Allow Natural Light in

If you allow it, natural light can impact your energy consumption and savings. Make the most of this renewable and free source. Aside from minimizing expenses, it’s crucial to achieving sustainability and helping the environment.

  • Emily Newton

    Emily Newton is a freelance writer with over six years of experience writing environmental articles. She’s also the Editor-In-Chief of Revolutionized, an online magazine sharing the latest science and technology innovations. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading a new book or building a Lego set.

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