Using the Natural Lighting Provided By Windows
At our corporate headquarters, 80% of the office space has windows allowing for natural light, instead of electricity, to be used during work hours. Offices are supplied with smaller lamps to supplement when necessary. In areas where electric light is necessary, we only use compact fluorescent bulbs.
Over-illumination occurs when you have too much light for the required tasks. Clinical studies show that excessive levels of artificial light produce annoyance and health effects in a large fraction of the population. In a recent study by Emory University on the use of natural light in health care facilities, they concluded that natural light:
- Increases energy efficiency and reduces climate impact
- Improves indoor environment for staff, patients, and visitors
- Improves facility's overall operational efficiency
- Strongly suggests quantifiable benefits for staff retention, and patient healing
Albany University instituted a "Natural Light" program after realizing that the administrative offices alone would save at least $14,000 per year if private offices used natural light instead of overhead lights for just 3 hours every day.