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Utilizing daylight as a primary light source can be quite challenging, since it is naturally dynamic. While seasonal patterns, sunrise and sunset are generally predictable, daylight changes from hour-to-hour. Clouds, adjacent buildings and mature landscaping require buildings to take an equally dynamic method of lighting control. Over the years, office spaces have been designed to use daylight more efficiently, relying less on artificial lighting. Automated shades are an integral component for reducing the need for electric lighting. The use of automated shading can more than double the daylighting zone along the building perimeter which maximizes daylight autonomy (when a room or space maximizes useful daylight). In order to diminish glare to acceptable levels, it’s vital to select automated shade fabrics with a transmittance level based upon the building’s location, orientation and glass type. 

There are two types of glare that need to be considered by lighting designers:

Discomfort Glare:

Discomfort caused by looking at a light sources of massive luminance but you’re still able to see.

Disability Glare:

The viewer can only see in limited capacity due to a reflection of such intense luminance. If properly designed and implemented, automated shade control will maximize the potential for daylight harvesting and control glare – all while optimizing visibility to the outside. The benefits of manual shading systems are minimized because they’re not actively controlled and often remain stationary throughout the day. Some of the major benefits of automated shading include: 

  • Enables the lighting system to more fully adapt to environmental factors.
  • Maximizes the benefits of daylight – increasing productivity, energy savings, and occupant comfort.
  • Improved aesthetics – the shades can be automatically controlled to align the fabrics and display a uniform building exterior.
  • Provides the occupants with automated and convenient control of their workplace shade and light environment.

To see daylight harvesting in action click here. For more information about daylight harvesting solutions, contact Contexture at 781-821-0858.