Delight in Daylight

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Special advertising supplement to the Reno News & Review.

Daylight is an abundant natural resource that affects humans positively in many ways. There have been countless studies conducted to better understand this notion, with surprising results. Consider these areas where the presence of Daylight has a significant impact on human behavior: Student Performance, Worker Productivity, and Retail Sales. Building codes are requiring more natural daylighting today than ever before, thanks in part to energy efficiency being at the forefront of public opinion. While numerous daylighting techniques exist, Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDD’s) are one of the most cost effective and easily applicable ways of bringing natural daylight into interior spaces, residential or commercial.

Student Performance

In 1999, a study conducted by the Heschong Mahone Group for Pacific Gas & Electric Company tested 21,000 students in three states and found that those in classrooms with the most daylighting progressed 20% faster on math tests and 26% faster on reading tests than those with the least daylighting. In October 2003, a study was conducted to validate and replicate the results of the 1999 Heschong Mahone Group study. It found that of the many variables studied (including classroom type, HVAC type, operable windows, etc.), only daylighting showed a strong and consistent correlation to improved learning. (“Integrated Energy Systems: Productivity and Building Science” Report prepared for the California Energy Commission Public Interest Energy Research Program by the New Building Institute Inc., October 2003)

Worker Productivity

Pennsylvania Power & Light reported that after completing building upgrades to include more daylight, absenteeism rates dropped 25%, productivity increased 13%, and energy costs declined 69%. The original energy payback was calculated to be a 24% return on investment. Once the employee productivity and reduced absenteeism were factored in, however, the actual return on investment was approximately 1000% per year. In other terms, it was estimated that the lighting retrofit paid for itself not in the 4.1 years estimated, but in a mere 69 days. (Sustainable Development International Corp. website:, 2002)

Retail Sales

A 1995 Wall Street Journal article reported Wal-Mart’s experience with daylighting its store in Lawrence, Kansas. Sales were significantly higher in the side of the store that utilized skylights than the same products displayed at other Wal-Mart stores. To test the correlation, products were swapped from the artificially lit to the daylit sections. Those products located under the skylights again had significantly higher sales, while those shifted to the artificial lights returned to their national sales average. (Portland Business Journal, 1999)

Tubular Daylighting Devices

TDD’s are high-tech, energy efficient, leak-proof skylight alternatives. They capture daylight at the rooftop, direct that sunlight down a highly reflective tube, then diffuses the daylight inside the interior space. Most systems take about two hours to install, with no major construction required since the systems are designed to fit between rafters, and no drywall chase is needed. They can be reconfigured to accommodate interior design changes, and they take up only a fraction of the roof aperture when compared to traditional daylighting methods. Sun-E-Concepts is Northern Nevada’s Premier Dealer for Solatube International, a leading manufacturer of TDD’s. With over 11 years of experience in daylighting, Sun-E-Concepts can definitely brighten your day. Visit their downtown Reno showroom, fully daylit with no electric lights on during the day. Or, visit their website at

Have a bright day!

Special advertising supplement to the Reno News & Review.