Those who are modifying their home to become more energy efficient in regards to lighting need to take into consideration the different methods available to ensure that they receive the highest quality of lighting, in addition to the anticipated savings towards their electric bill. There are a number of different design methods and principles that incorporate artificial lighting to create efficient and effective lighting. However, the inclusion of natural daylight should also be considered.
Natural lighting employs the use of skylights and windows to increase the amount of natural light that is let into your home, which reduces your dependence upon artificial light. In the past, natural sources of lighting often contributed to problems with energy loss and heat gain, but new technologies have largely eliminated these concerns.
Homeowners often hear that turning to natural lighting sources will be cost efficient by lowering the amount of money that is spend monthly on electric bills. Now, this fact can be proved. The Energy Center of Wisconsin recently conducted an experiment on the effects of natural lighting and costs at the Energy Resource Station of Iowa. In the experiment, commercial HVAC use was measured in two different buildings. The test building utilized natural lighting principles, while the control building did not. The experiment was conducted for nine months, through summer, winter, and fall. The results showed that there were significant annual savings in electricity costs in the control building. Here are 3 of their most significant findings:
1) Lighting costs were reduced by 32% (when compared to the control building). In the test building, the lighting costs annually were 15 cents per square foot, compared to 22 cents per foot in the control building.
2) Cooling costs were reduced by 25%. The cooling costs annually were 14 cents per square foot in the test building. For the control building, they were 19 cents.
3) Demand charges savings were reduced 24% overall. In the test building, the ADC was 41 cents per square foot, compared to 53 cents per square foot in the control building.
The total savings for the test building were 22% annually when compared to the control building. The findings of these studies are quite significant, and the information should be enough to convince a number of homeowners to investigate how they can make their home more energy efficient through the use of natural daylight.