The Benefits of Natural Daylight
Science Backs Natural Daylight
Daylight is an integral component of human existence. The parts of the world where sunlight is scarce every drop of sunshine is valued. No matter where in the world you are, if there is sunshine, people are happier. Universities, academic journals and health institutes have found the same results. Sunshine equates to improved health, mental health and lower suicide rates.
Workplace studies show that daylight boosts productivity and focus. We are better outside or working in environments with abundant daylight. Energy costs are also reduced via solar heat and natural lighting.
Daylight must be a consideration for developments and city planning for the sake of our health, our energy costs and the environment.
Light and Health
Daylight plays many roles in how well (or poorly) our bodies function. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a clinically diagnosed condition in which the lack of sunlight in winter makes people feel ill.
The benefits of daylight on health are extensive, here are a few points of many:
• The body processes daylight through the retina. Circuits are triggered (notably in the brain) which activate various neural pathways.
• Daylight governs circadian rhythms in all organisms. A chemical reaction happens at the crack of dawn and dusk. Animals instinctively know when to mate based on the length of the days.
• Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and many mental health disorders are linked to daylight exposure. This is why there is a spike in SAD every winter.
• Daylight heals. Hospitals and health clinics are replacing walls with façades and windows. Recovery rates increase when people have access to natural light and nature.
Light, Education and Childcare
Abundant natural light is linked to improved student performance, attendance and concentration. The health benefits mentioned above also impact children. Children need to learn and play in as much natural light as possible.
Technology allows for increased daylight through solutions that diffuse light, eliminate glare and protect from UV.
Light and Recreation
Walking into a basketball stadium filled with light, excellent visibility without glare, protection from the elements, management of temperature and proper ventilation makes for a brilliant game.
Daylight is a natural mood booster. Not only is it a practical choice to illuminate with daylight, but it is also a mental health choice. Exercise is also good for mental health. Double up on feel-good chemicals by integrating light into recreation designs!
Light, Business and the Workplace
Daylight in the workplace has also been extensively studied. Integrating daylight into the business or workplace benefits staff and customers:
• Mental health, greater wellbeing and improved sleeping patterns.
• Productivity and concentration.
• This point is particularly relevant to the bottom line. Business owners see more productivity and greater quality of work in their staff.
Customers experience a mood boost from natural light. Daylight contributes to sale increases. Shoppers spend more time in areas that are naturally lit. Skylights are a common addition to shopping centres due to this increase in time spent in-store.
The Danpal Approach
Danpal understands that good design comes from well-thought-out daylighting plans. A whole building approach that integrates natural light while controlling internal temperature (preferably through passive means) is ideal. Given the changes to construction codes and legislation to make buildings ‘greener’, it is a logical choice to utilise daylight as a resource.
Danpal offers a brilliant range of daylight harnessing architectural solutions designed for the building envelope. Danpal provides the right tools for planning the most effective light openings – by integrating appropriate products which exploit the optimal level of energy resources.