The term Daylighting is fairly new to the contemporary design world, but has been part of architectural design for centuries. The Colosseum consisted of hundreds of arches and rows of clerestory windows were placed in the first basilicas. Ancient Romans employed these architectural elements to allow natural light into an otherwise fortified structure. In today’s construction industry, manufacturers and contractors provide homes with modern options for daylighting, saving homeowners money and reducing their overall energy consumption.
In reality, there are thousands of homes that are simply not designed to utilize daylight, resulting in pitch black bathrooms, closets, and dimly lit bedrooms and hallways. These common designs increase the need for artificial lighting. During the building boom in San Diego, electricity was cheap and architectural designers chose light fixtures over natural lighting options. As power costs continued to rise and access to electricity became a challenge for our growing population, companies began to seek better, environmentally friendly methods of providing power. Unfortunately, these methods came at a higher cost to consumers. Attention shifted to lowering electric bills and we saw the birth of the compact fluorescent light (CFL) and a surge in residential solar panel installations. While some consumers benefitted from these technologies, citizens across the board were still widely dependent on the delivery of energy to our homes.
When looking to remodel or upgrade your home, any Construction Consultant will be doing you a disservice if they do not start the conversation with explaining how you can take advantage of daylighting in your home, as well as discussing your options for controlling the amount of daylight you want at any given time. Skylights, solar tube lights, raising or replacing windows and doors, and creating pass-throughs at existing walls are all simple ways to harvest daylight. Alternatively, too much light can distort your surroundings and diminish the comfort inside your home. Fortunately, there are a variety of daylight controls available to homeowners, such as window coverings and blackout shades or louvers, all of which can be remote-controlled, ultimately putting you in charge of your environment.
The ever growing “green” movement has been instrumental in providing education on the impact of cheap versus dirty electricity and has helped reduce our reliance on electricity worldwide. Hiring the right Contractor or Construction Consultant can lead to a redesigned home that potentially saves you hundreds of dollars annually, but will also create a pleasant living space for you to enjoy for years to come. In the end, there is no real limit to daylighting, except our imaginations.