Cut Daytime Lighting Energy Use by 65 percent
Until the early 19the century, we were in many ways prisoners of the dark. Our daily lives and our work were dictated by the rising and setting of the sun. Sure, there were oil lamps and later gaslights, but they were costly and limited. Then, with the advent of the electric light, everything changed. For the next century or so, electric lighting would reign supreme, but today, thanks to rising energy costs and ecological concerns, architects, engineers and homeowners are finding new ways to harvest one of our greatest resources—sunlight—to cut energy bills and create even more pleasant and beautiful spaces in our homes and offices.
This idea is called daylight autonomy, and while it hasn’t been widely used in most building design for many decades, it’s actually an ancient concept. The ancient Romans, for example, structured their homes around interior courtyards, enabling the surrounding living space to get the maximum possible sunlight. The Egyptians, on the other hand, mitigated the harsh heat of their environment by using lattice and screens to let in only as much sunlight (and therefore heat) as needed at various times of the day.
We modern folk have a great advantage over our daylight-harvesting ancestors: technology. New advances in technology, such as solar adaptive automated blinds, can empower homes and offices to reap major cost savings. Lutron offers an entire window covering system— which combines Lutron Sivoia QS automated shades, Hyperion solar adaptive technology, Radio Window sensors, and Lutron daylight dimming technology—that provides the ideal solar autonomy solution. The system
- Increases energy savings. A simulation performed in office spaces demonstrated that by using automated shades, you can reduce your daytime lighting energy use by an astonishing 65 percent.
- Maximizes light use. Not only do automated shades help you control when and how much light enters a space, but they can also help maintain a consistent light level in any environment, expanding the useful daylight zone. Manual shades create a useful daylight zone of 10 feet, but automated shades can actually double that zone.
- Reduces glare. Lutron offers a wide variety of fabric choices, making it easy to create the ideal design choices, while also selecting fabric capable of controlling daylight glare. Fabrics with low transmittance levels (Tv value), for example, can be well suited for spaces that receive direct sun.
- Enhances comfort and performance. Who wants to relax or work in a space that’s overheated or filled with glaring sun? Lutron’s system eliminates that problem entirely. What’s more, Lutron Radio Window sensors maximize views and available daylight by automatically keeping shades open when shadows or clouds make it possible. And that’s good news, whether at home or at work. Research shows that access to views has been demonstrated to increase memory function and mental recall by up to 15% and improve productivity by up to 12%.
Why not begin enjoying your space more and fearing your electric bill less? For more information about how Lutron’s system can transform both your space and your energy bill, call us at Jackson Hole AV.
 Simulated savings compared to applications where shades are closed, as shades are not often moved. Both the closed and automated shade simulations assumed fabrics with a transmittance of 15% or less for glare control. Savings would be less for fabrics with higher transmittances. Requires a daylight harvesting system. Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. worked with Purdue University to analyze the benefits and savings potential of Lutron’s Hyperion automated shading systems. The results showed the impact of how automated shades significantly reduce annual lighting energy usage. Savings are based on energy simulation of a perimeter private office with a lighting power density of 0.9 W/ft², a standard clear double pane glass, and a shade fabric with 5% transmittance and a 76% reflectance. Values shown are the average of three window-to-wall ratios: 20%, 40%, and 60%. Daylight harvesting system required.
2 Heschong Mahone Group, Inc., 2003. Windows and Offices: A study of office worker performance and the indoor environment. Prepared for
California Energy Commission.