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US Energy for Lighting
Electric Lights Use Energy
Lighting uses 273 billion kilowatt-hours of energy across the US.
That’s 7% of total US energy consumption.
Daylight Uses Zero Energy.
We Can All Take Actions
What We Can Do
People need windows and skylights. Exposure to daylight is healthy, it saves energy, it uses no electricity, and it burns no fossil fuels.
Make an effort to notice skylights and windows at the grocery store, at work, at the doctor’s office, even in your own home. If you don’t see enough windows, tell someone. Building managers, facility operators, architects, construction companies… they need to know that we care about natural daylight.
They need to hear it from all of us: everyone has a #RightToDaylight.
What We Should Know
- NATURAL DAYLIGHT PAYS FOR ITSELF IN ENERGY SAVINGS
Lighting accounts for roughly 20 percent of the electricity used by commercial or educational facilities in the United States. Whereas natural interior daylight requires no energy beyond sunlight. And Natural interior daylight is about 10-times more efficient than rooftop PV cells for lighting a room.
Eneref Institute has identified seven primary reasons we don’t see more natural interior daylight in our buildings. To learn the seven market obstacles to daylighting, download Eneref Institute’s report.
See report: Seven Market Obstacles to Daylighting
- NATURAL DAYLIGHT IS BETTER LIGHTING THAN ELECTRIC LIGHTING
There is also plenty of evidence that daylighting improves occupant productivity in both schools and offices. Especially in learning environments, skylit classrooms provide a natural and stimulating space for teacher and student. While studies show that poor lighting adversely affects learning, daylighting has been proven to increase student performance in math and reading scores, as well as improving attendance.
Studies show that office workers have fewer sick days. The human performance numbers in daylighting systems are important because the ROI for daylighting installations can sometimes be a difficult sell. In fact, human performance gains can outweigh the energy savings, where human performance can be measured in financial terms.
- NATURAL LIGHT IS HEALTHIER THAN ELECTRIC LIGHTING
According to Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler, small steps towards designing more sustainable buildings can make a big dent in the City’s carbon footprint – reducing emissions as well as energy bills. Through expanded benchmarking Mayor de Blasio’s vision of reducing 80 percent of our carbon emissions by 2050 might be realized.