Ciralight UK `Active Daylight Distribution` using our Smart Skylights. Ciralight is the only global provider of active daylight products capable of Naturally Lighting Building Interiors up to 10 hours a day, our skylights utilise Solar-Powered GPS technology to rotate mirrors to face the sun and direct diffused sunlight indoors throughout the day. Our Smart Skylights cut utility costs, enhance human performance, and promote sustainable building practices with one product; Ciralight`s Smart Skylights.
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Every time our Ciralights Active Daylight Smart Skylights are installed on a building it represents a significant move toward a Greener Planet!
- According to U.S Department of Energy, in 2006 over 30% of the total energy consumption for commercial and industrial buildings within the United States is attributable to Lighting. (24.8% is directly for the lighting systems and 5.5% is for cooling based upon the lighting systems heat generation).
- A single ‘big-box’ retailer can reduce over 600,00 lbs. of toxic green-house gasses in a single year by incorporating daylighting.
What is Daylighting? Daylighting is the art and science of bringing sunlight indoors.
The increased visibility of the term 'daylighting' in our lexicon could allow one to claim daylighting as the newest and hottest topic in the green building movement. Though it may be true that daylighting is becoming an increasingly hot topic, it’s certainly nothing new, having been around since the first man carved a hole out of a solid wall to welcome in the sun.
What is Daylighting?
While technology has changed over time, all buildings receive varying amounts of sunlight from windows or skylights, but the designation 'daylit,' however, specifically refers to buildings designed or retrofitted to exercise daylight as an effective lighting source.
Until recently, daylighting has been a very passive technique, with most skylights and windows acting only as a lens between the outdoors and indoors. Today, Ciralight has the innovative technology to actively bring vibrant sunlight into a building in the most cost effective manner possible.
Active Daylighting: Don’t be fooled: Not all 'Daylighting' solutions are the same.
95% of available systems are passive in nature - meaning they use static, non-moving/tracking systems unable to adjust for the sun’s angle throughout the day; creating uneven lighting, roaming hot spots, and obtrusive glare.
Active Daylighting System
Active Daylighting is a system that mechanically tracks the sun throughout the day and redirects sunlight inside buildings at an intensity that allows artificial lighting to be turned off. Ciralight's active daylighting system significantly out performs passive systems when comparing the amount of daylight directed into a building; upwards of 300% more.
What does this mean?
- Active Daylighting brings in bright, natural sunlight indoors enhances human health and experience
- Active Daylighting's sustainable design increases ‘green’ economic incentives and savings
- Active Daylighting reduces electrical dependence and boosts environmental accountability
The cost of people in buildings is often 75 - 100 times greater than the cost of utility bills.
Prior to Edison's development of a practical, commercially viable electric lighting system, people spent most of their waking hours outdoors underneath Vitamin D-rich sunlight. Now, with artificial light available everywhere 24 hours a day, this has changed dramatically in the last 100 years with people spending most of their lives indoors beneath poor, unhealthy lighting conditions.
Steve Ternoey, a respected author and principal of LightForms, LLC, a California architectural firm specializing in daylight design, estimates that 'the cost of people in buildings is often 75 - 100 times greater than the cost of utility bills'.
According to Carnegie Melon University's Intelligent Workplace design studio, cutting energy use by 50% in a typical building usually saves about $1 per square foot. Boosting productivity in that same building by 5%, on the other hand, saves more than $10 per square foot.2
Both of these figures above suggest that the savings gained from even a small increase in human productivity can far exceed the savings gained through a large reduction in a building's energy consumption.
Enhanced Experience - Why Daylighting?
Research also shows that:
- Retail sales increase an average of 10% to 40% with the implementation of daylighting
- School grades increase from 6% to 20% when compared to non day lit classrooms
- Industrial savings include less absenteeism, higher productivity, better safety records
With energy rates at an all time high and approximately two-thirds of electricity attributed to Lighting, Fans, and Cooling in traditional buildings, Active Daylighting makes dollars and sense.
A growing number of tax incentives and subsidies are becoming available from local utilities and governments for the implementation of daylighting systems in association with new laws being passed requiring buildings to meet higher standards of energy efficiency. For example, in California, Title 24 requires buildings of 25,000+ sq ft. and a minimum 15 ft. height to illuminate at least 50% of their floor space with natural daylighting.
Search the virtual library at www.dsireusa.org (Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency) to find out which Federal, State, and Local tax credits, rebates, and incentives you are eligible for.
The 'Green' Incentive - Why Daylighting?
Utility companies are now designing new rates to reflect the increasing changes in energy efficient technologies. One California utility recently threatened its customers to triple peak usage rates!1 Interestingly though, these inflated rates are imposed during the middle of the day when it is easiest to take advantage of daylighting. Actions like this by utility companies are helping to catapult the social acceptance of daylighting systems, while at the same time greatly improving the time-frame for the return on investment of the initial purchase
How much of a difference can daylighting make?
High-end clothing manufacturer Patagonia recently furnished their distribution center in Reno, Nevada with Ciralight's Smart Skylights to reduce electricity consumption. Upon installation, the facility's need for artificial lighting dropped by two-thirds and operating costs, including HVAC, fell by a third. One reason for this reduction in operating costs is that the spectral content of natural light produces about 2.5 times as many lumens per kWh of cooling load than electric lighting does.2
Wall Street is taking notice of the Green trend as well. According to a recent Fortune magazine article on CNNmoney.com, 'In addition to chasing investment opportunities in areas like renewable energy, alternative fuels and carbon trading, investment banks are slowly ‘greening-up’ their own facilities with energy-saving systems.'
The article also notes that, 'Going green has PR value, and helps a firm's recruitment efforts, but it's more than a marketing tool: Based on a recent analysis by the U.S. Green Business Council, the aggregate total return of publicly held companies affiliated with the USGBC (United States Green Building Council) outperformed the Dow by over 18 percent from 2000 to 2004.'3
Return On Investment (ROI)
Ciralight has developed a form to calculate the return on the initial purchase of Smart Skylights based on business/building variables affected by daylighting. Typically, the return on investment through energy savings alone is generally 15% to 35% or more, depending on a number of factors (% of sunny days, latitude, cost per kWh, days of operation, tax rate, government and/or utility rebates, peak kWh rates, etc). However, once additional components such as increased productivity and reduced absenteeism are factored in, the actual return can quickly and easily eclipse this.
'Mal-illumination is to light as malnutrition is to food.'
Natural daylight is an inseparable element in our lives; linking vital biochemical, physiological, and behavioral processes to the chronology of the Earth through our Circadian clock. The human circadian rhythm regulates, or plays an influential role in, biological functions such as sleep, appetite, alertness, cell regeneration, hormone secretion, and more.1
'Mal-illumination' is a condition coined by light researcher, Dr. John Ott, resulting from a deficiency in natural sunlight and the subsequent effects of this on human health, performance, and longevity. In depth research has cited 'sunlight and vitamin D deficiency' as a major factor in the pathology of at least 17 varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, periodontal disease, and more.2 Put simply, 'Mal-illumination is to light as malnutrition is to food.'
Health Contributions - Why Daylighting?
According to a recent study, Americans spend 85%-95% of time indoors. With fluorescent lighting currently being used as a primary light source in 92% of commercial buildings 3, and the vast majority of people spending an average of 7.5 hours per day at work4, it is very likely that we all suffer from mal-illumination to varying degrees because we do not get enough exposure to sunlight daily.
Finally, hospitals have noted faster healing times, by as much as 11%, in patients with access to natural light.5 Not only that, but the U.S. Dept. of Energy found that employees who sit near direct daylight in their workplace show 20% fewer symptoms common to people within “sick buildings.'