Daylighting in Educational Institutions

Daylighting in Educational Institutions

Posted on: August 22nd, 2017 by United Skys

How daylighting in schools helps students, reduces costs


As many educational institutions struggle to secure funding while trying to improve student test scores and graduation rates, implementing a daylighting strategy in schools has been proven to enhance student performance and reduce operational costs. Poor lighting in schools and universities not only negatively affects students’ health and productivity, but it also boosts schools’ energy costs.


Benefits of daylighting on student performance


From transom windows to skylights to floor-to-ceiling windows, well-designed daylighting in schools has been shown to enrich students’ learning process and improve performance.


Studies have shown that natural daylighting provides an engaging environment with areas of contrast among different zones in the classroom, and allowing students to look outside the classroom stimulates their productivity.


A study of top-lit classrooms showed that, at the end of the term, students with the most daylight in their classrooms had higher standardized test scores. In fact, these students had reading and math test scores that were 7-18 percent better than students without as much light in their classrooms. Another study of side-lit classrooms confirmed this: students with views out windows of vegetation and human activity had higher outcomes.


Daylight also impacts the body’s circadian system by helping to suppress melatonin, keeping students more awake and alert. Plus, natural sunlight from outdoors creates a healthier indoor environment, which improves attendance as students are kept home for fewer sick days.

How natural light lowers operational costs

Much like the benefits of daylighting to students, the benefits of daylighting to educational institutions’ bottom line have also been proven.

Of course, allowing daylight into the classroom makes it brighter, reducing the amount of electricity required from an electric lighting system. Energy cost savings can be seen from the lower demand for energy at peak times. Properly designed natural lighting has also been shown to help cut schools’ heating and cooling costs.

In addition to the positive impact on energy costs that daylighting can have in schools, natural lighting can reduce maintenance costs. Not only do fewer bulbs need to be purchased and replaced by the maintenance staff, but also fewer major repairs are required from natural lighting systems than from electric lighting systems should something in the system break.