Infographic about Daylighting


Human lifestyle has changed considerably over the last millennium, shifting from mostly an outdoor lifestyle to a 90% indoor lifestyle. Our organisms seem to be adapting really well to the change, and many people don’t realize how this transition affects them. However, the researchers alarm about many negative consequences to our health that they associate with too little exposure to natural light. One of the major negative factors affecting our organisms is our growing disconnect from the natural lighting patterns, and related disruptions that it causes to our organisms. We are so concerned about eliminating the exposure to elements, that we shield ourselves entirely from outdoor environment and loose also the benefits that we used to get from the exposure to the natural light.

Project Relevancy

This issue affects most people in living developed countries and should always be taken into consideration in architecture and interior design. The problem could be minimized by applying some relatively simple design features that both built and natural environment would benefit from.

Project Aspirations

Increasing awareness on how lack of contact with natural light affects us, and how the architecture and interior design professions could address this issue and convince their clients of its importance.

Creating a check list of elements that every successful project should take into consideration to develop a habit of sustainable lighting design.


Daylighting checklist
  • Space planning based on building orientation
  • Separating view glass from daylight glass
  • Locating activities by light requirements
  • Daylight and views in heavily occupied areas
  • Using west zones for service spaces
  • Service spaces in areas with the least daylight
  • Light-transmitting partitions
  • Placement of mirrors
  • Shielding from views of highly reflective surfaces
  • Interior glare control devices (blinds, louvers)
  • User-operated interior shading devices
  • Light-colored interior window shading
  • Low contrast around windows
  • Light-colored wall facing the window
  • Limiting dark colors to accents
  • Ceiling reflectances >80%; walls >50%; floors >20%
  • Choosing matte over specular surface finishes
    • Furniture layout allowing light penetration
    • Fixture layout to match daylighting distribution
    • Filtering daylight into buildings (vegetation, curtains)
    • Maximizing ceiling height for light distribution
    • Light fixtures circuited in groups, or zones
    • High-performance glazing
    • Exterior shades and louvers
    • Bouncing daylight to create indirect lighting
    • Light shelves and fins
    • Overhangs
    • Deciduous trees on the East and West
    • Daylight-optimized building footprint
    • Climate-responsive window-to-wall area ratio
    • Daylighting-optimized fenestration design
    • Clerestories and horizontal strip windows
    • Skylights and tubular daylight devices
    • Roof monitors and sawtooth roof glazing
    • Atria, lightwells and courtyards
    • Daylight-responsive electric lighting controls
    • Low panels in open office spaces
    • High furnishings perpendicular to perimeter glazing
    • Task/ambient lighting strategy
    • User-controlled task lights for supplemental lighting
    • Avoiding direct beam light on critical visual tasks
    • Increasing the luminance of interior surfaces
    • Shielding computers from glare and backlighting
    • Interior windows and transoms
    • Splaying openings inward
    • Sloping the ceiling away from the fenestration area
    • Multilateral lighting
    • Balancing the light in a deep room