Basics of Daylighting in a Green Environment
The use of natural sunlight, known as daylighting, to illuminate a building can save energy, reduce operating costs, create visual appeal, and enhance occupant health and productivity. The U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) rating system encourages the use of daylighting to achieve high performance buildings. This course provides an introduction to the use of daylighting in commercial spaces. The course objective is to show why daylighting should be considered, the basic guidelines of using daylighting and some words of caution when using certain daylighting techniques.

2.1 What Is Daylighting?

Daylighting is using fenestration (windows and doors) as the primary source of illumination in a space. The electric lighting supplements the daylighting only as needed. The electric lighting should be turned off when it is not needed and yet able to provide adequate light when no daylight is available.

Daylight design also includes architectural elements such as light shelves and devices such as shades to properly control the quantity and the quality of the daylighting.


Which of the following is typically NOT part of good daylighting?

  • Control of the daylight with architectural features
  • Maximizing the amount of direct sunlight into a space
  • Minimizing the use of electric lights when daylight is available
  • Using daylight as the primary source of illumination

Automatic controls adjust the electric lighting levels. Source: Benya Lighting Design

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