The Art of Daylighting: Principles, Designs, and Strategies

Daylighting allows one to take advantage of natural light in order to illuminate buildings. While it serves as a convenient way to provide visibility, it also allows one to express themselves creatively, and depending on the method, generates other benefits as well.

Daylighting Principles

One obvious advantage to 'daylighting is that of efficiency. A reliance on natural light leads to an efficiency in terms of cost by cutting down on power bills. As the sun provides heat as well as light, it is possible to save on heating costs as well as lighting costs. The process relies upon both direct and indirect, or diffused sunlight. The latter of the two, diffused sunlight, is particularly useful because direct sunlight can be harsh, and being focused, will not always illuminate an entire space.


Daylighting Strategies

As mentioned earlier, diffusing, or scattering, sunlight makes it easier to light a space. There are many options for this; sheer curtains are an example. The process of daylighting starts simply with windows and skylights( or other openings) and then relies upon curtains, mirrors, and other modified surfaces in order to spread light in whatever manner is desired.

Proper positioning of windows is an essential component of an effective strategy. Depending on where you live (cold winters, warm climate year-round, hot summers) and based on your house orientation, openings should be placed where the sun can penetrate without compromising comfort.

Daylighting Designs

In addition to proving visibility, daylighting can be used as a means of artistic expression, or serve as a source of power. For the latter, solar panels come quickly to mind. In the case of the former, playing with spaces of light and shadow can add personality to a space or drastically improve the quality of photographs.


Furthermore, diffused lighting can also benefit certain species of plants, which in turn may tie a room together.

For both practical and creative reasons, daylighting is an effective practice. It is a simple, but often effective means to improve interior design, as well as mitigate costs of living and upkeep.

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