The benefits of daylight or ‘natural’ light are numerous and well documented, both for aesthetics and for promoting health and productivity in the workplace. According to scientific findings from the Lighting Research Centre (LRC) in Troy, New York;
“Daylit environments increase occupant productivity and comfort and provide the mental and visual stimulation necessary to regulate human circadian rhythms”.
To the layman, a circadian rhythm is the natural daily cycle of activity and rest that any living organism goes through during the course of its. In a nutshell, natural light helps restore and maintain natural sleep and wake patterns.
So, however you get it, you need a certain amount of natural to live a happy and healthy life. So important is it, that those living at the north and south poles have to make use of natural light lamps to stave off depression and a whole host of issues that arise from lack of sunlight.
Natural Light in the Workplace
Natural light is the most desirable natural element to be present in the workplace for the best possible outcome. In an ideal world, everybody would get a window seat, as a recent neuroscience study found that people who worked next a window got an extra 46 minutes of sleep per night as a result. In practice, not everyone will get to sit by the window, but artificial daylight lighting is available and achieves the same effect.
Another body concerned with daylight research is the World Green Building Council and they have produced a raft of empirical evidence to support the fact that natural elements, such as daylight promote health, wellbeing and productivity. Mix a well ‘daylit’ office with some plants and good natural airflow and you have the recipe for a good and comfortable place to work.
So, you have a happy, comfortable and more productive workforce thanks to the supportive environment that you have created for them. But, what does it mean to your bottom line?
Well, on top of the fact that your employees should be more productive and creative thanks to their comfort and happiness, a building that uses natural light over artificially created light will use substantially less energy than those that don’t.
The benefits are twofold, more productivity and less energy consumption. Your bottom line can’t help but be improved by it.
Daylight Promoting Technology
There is already technology in existence that will assist a building in making use of natural light. Automatic lighting and blind control systems will activate when there is a lack of natural ambient light and switch off when it returns. Equipped with daylight sensors, these intelligent controls will take quite a chunk, as much as 20%, off standard energy consumption.
Daylight research is moving on every year, but one thing remains a constant – Companies that ignore the usefulness and beneficial effects of natural light in the working environment are quite literally throwing money away.
Makes you think, doesn’t it?