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2013 Edition, June 13, 2013

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Recommended Practice for Daylighting Buildings

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Product Details:

  • Revision: 2013 Edition, June 13, 2013
  • Published Date: June 13, 2013
  • Status: Active, Most Current
  • Document Language: English
  • Published By: Illuminating Engineering Society (IES)
  • Page Count: 85
  • ANSI Approved: No
  • DoD Adopted: No

Description / Abstract:


Daylighting refers to the art and practice of admitting beam sunlight, diffuse sky light, and reflected light from exterior surfaces into a building to contribute to lighting requirements and energy savings through the use of electric lighting controls. The role of electric lighting in daylighted spaces should be to complement daylight during daytime and supply the required illumination levels during nighttime.

Daylighting should be the first step of the lighting design process as it is a determinative element of the electric lighting design solution.

Daylighting is a prime consideration in building and space design, and it requires careful planning and analysis from the earliest phases of design, and if not successful, will eliminate some or all of its benefits, and can lead to unhappy and unproductive occupants.

The goal is to provide sufficient, but not excessive, daylight illumination levels for various space activities while minimizing glare. At the same time, the building envelope should be optimized for the orientation, geographic location and climate to maximize energy savings from both lighting and HVAC systems.

Successful daylighting requires balancing the daylight distribution in the space throughout the entire year.

Properly daylighted buildings offer significant benefits that include visual and thermal comfort, occupant satisfaction, a connection to the outdoor environment, and reduced energy consumption, maintenance costs, and greenhouse gas emissions.

The dynamic nature of daylight makes it a complex light source. The continuous apparent movement of the sun, coupled with changes in atmospheric conditions, causes the solar beam and sky dome luminance distribution to vary in intensity and spectral content.