Saving money on energy costs related to lighting your commercial property is always welcomed. Maybe you’ve tried energy-efficient light bulbs or you’ve attempted to lower costs by turning the overhead lights off for periods of the day when the ambient light seems strong enough. Even though these tricks seem to save you some money, they aren’t giving you the benefits you really need.
What other options do you have to save money on lighting costs? Bringing more natural light in is an easy answer. The sun provides plenty of illumination, and it’s absolutely free. But how can you capture the sun’s rays, making them efficiently (and fully) light the workspace?
Windows are the obvious answer. Light that flows freely in through open glass surfaces provides you with a no-cost solution. Before you start knocking down walls or breaking open your roof, take a look at the available options and which one might just be the best choice for you and your commercial space.
Windows are an obvious answer to your lighting issues. They let the daylight in, keep the elements out, and lower your lighting-related energy costs. But are all windows the same? The short answer to this question is no.
While wall-level windows let light in, they can also cause glare. In the commercial environment, glares can distract both employees and customers alike. But this doesn’t mean that you should forego windows as part of your daylighting setup. Clerestory windows are arranged in a row above eye level.
Allowing ambient light in is the major functional benefit of clerestory windows. Their placement and design cut the glare, reducing the negative effects of the sun’s shining rays. Instead, you’ll get plenty of natural lighting that illuminates, and doesn’t distract from, the space.
Along with providing a money-saving lighting option, this type of window also adds privacy (because of its high placement) and comes with an interesting architectural look.
If windows on the walls aren’t an answer for you, what other options do you have? Skylights allow the direct sunlight from overhead in, providing an even (and cost-effective) way to illuminate your space.
Daylighting, a means of lighting your building by harnessing the power of natural light, can significantly reduce the need for artificial light use. Specially designed skylights (known as daylighting skylights) are more than just simple pieces of glass. These skylights are engineered to help reflect the sun’s light down into the interior space below.
Not only can specially designed skylights do more to light your commercial space than traditional glass windows, but some models (such as dual dome acrylic skylights) allow the light to come in without the solar heat gain. Even though heat gain may seem like a welcome addition in the chilly winter months, it can dramatically add to your air conditioning costs in the summertime.
Even though skylights are made from glass, they’re best installed by a roofing professional. A roofing contractor has the expert knowledge to maximize the energy-efficiency potential of daylighting while creating a water-tight seal that won’t result in constant leaks from above.
Like skylights, tubular lights (also known as solar tubes) start at the roof. But instead of allowing the light to gather and shine directly down, these skylights work through reflection. These lights capture the sun’s rays from the roof’s surface. They then use a reflective tube to bring the light indoors.
This type of lighting design provides plenty of cost benefits, is energy efficient, and works in some spaces where a traditional skylight won’t fit.
Do you need to increase your commercial building’s energy efficiency? Are you considering daylighting? Contact SUNVEK for more information on roof-based lighting services.