Literature Review of the Effects of Natural Light on Building Occupants

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


This paper presents summary findings from a literature search of the term 'daylighting'-using natural light in a building to offset or replace electric lighting. According to the Department of Energy's Office of Building Technology, State and Community Programs 2000 BTS Core Databook, in 1998, commercial buildings consumed 32% of the total electricity in the United States, of which more thanone-third went to lighting. Using daylighting systems and turning off the lights will help reduce this energy load. Electrical lighting adds to both the electrical and cooling loads in a commercial building. Utility costs can be decreased when daylighting is properly designed to replace electrical lighting. Along with the importance of energy savings, studies have demonstrated thenon-energy-related benefits of daylighting. We compiled the data from books, periodicals, Internet articles, and interviews. The books, periodicals, and Internet articles provided the background information used to identify the main subjects of the paper. The interviews provided us with details related to specific buildings and companies that have integrated daylighting into their buildings.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages58
StatePublished - 2002

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-550-30769


  • BTS databook
  • buildings
  • daylighting
  • energy savings


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