Skylights Offer Cost-Saving Benefits Beyond Aesthetic Appeal.
When selected and installed based on aesthetic value alone, skylights provide the numerous benefits of exposure to natural light. From improved mood to increased worker productivity, multiple studies tout the advantages of introducing natural light in an indoor setting.
When carefully planned and purposefully utilized, skylights offer building-owners a far more lucrative and measurable advantage: decreased energy costs and a better bottom-line.
The Case for Daylighting
Daylighting is the use of natural light as the primary source of illumination, which can be achieved through strategic placement of windows and, to achieve true daylighting in most instances, skylights (a practice also referred to as top-lighting). Skylights provide three times the amount of daylight as windows and require no specific orientation in order to provide effective lighting, making them a clear choice over windows alone.
While the benefits of natural light are well-known, an added value of daylighting is significant savings on electricity costs, with artificial lighting no longer necessary during daylight hours. Daylighting is an extremely energy-efficient practice, not only reducing electricity expenses but also minimizing the negative environmental impact of generating the electricity to provide an artificial lighting source.
One argument made against the energy saving benefits of daylighting is that the costs of cooling and heating a day-lit area out-measure the savings. However, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) study found the exact opposite. Even in extreme cold and extreme heat climate conditions, savings from daylighting far outweighed any heating or cooling costs incurred by the building and still provided a minimum of $0.20 overall energy savings costs per square foot, per year.*
The evidence is clear, daylighting saves businesses money.
Maximizing Advantages of Daylighting
When it comes to daylighting, not all skylights are created equal. The DOE study also found that “the key performance attributes of a skylight for daylighting are good diffusing properties to aid in light distribution and avoid glare and high transmittance (VT).” Low solar heat-gain coefficient (SHGC) and low conductance (U-value), or heat loss, were also found to be significant factors.* As such, to disregard the type and shape of the glazing on standard size skylights can lead to some disappointing results.
When selecting the right skylight for daylighting, it’s important to enlist the help of a knowledgeable professional.
Choose Plasteco’s White Translucent Acrylic Dome Skylights for The Best in Cost-Saving Daylighting.
Our white translucent acrylic domes diffuse transmitted daylight while reducing the transmitted solar energy. In addition, the light diffusion characteristic of the white translucent dome gathers and projects the available daylight into the building interior even when the sun is low and the area would not receive light via a flat surface. This has been proven for more than 50 years.
* Source: Architectural Roofing & Waterproofing, 2011, Vol. 3