What is Daylighting?
Daylighting is the use of windows and skylights to bring sunlight into your home.
Today’s highly energy-efficient windows, as well as advances in lighting design, allow efficient use of windows to reduce the need for artificial lighting during daylight hours without causing heating or cooling problems.
The best way to incorporate daylighting in your home depends on your climate and home’s design. The sizes and locations of windows should be based on the cardinal directions rather than their effect on the street-side appearance of the house.
South-facing windows are most advantageous for daylighting and for moderating seasonal temperatures. They allow most winter sunlight into the home but little direct sun during the summer, especially when properly shaded.
North-facing windows are also advantageous for daylighting. They admit relatively even, natural light, producing little glare and almost no unwanted summer heat gain.
Although east- and west-facing windows provide good daylight penetration in the morning and evening, respectively, they should be limited. They may cause glare, admit a lot of heat during the summer when it is usually not wanted, and contribute little to solar heating during the winter.
If you’re constructing a new house, you want to consider daylighting as part of your whole-house design—an approach for building an energy-efficient home.