Daylight Design - Introduction

Daylight design offers an opportunity to control the use of natural light in and around buildings. Defined as a daylight design strategy, we can design glazing and its ability to provide light into a building. This is often for a combined justification of occupant comfort, energy efficiency and aesthetics. As glazing is a naturally reflective material, we also design light for external needs, often to decrease light reflections for public safety.

We use optics to technically describe the study of daylight, which in the discussion of building envelopes, is ‘visible light’ to the human eye. The visible light spectrum is a relatively narrow part of the electromagnetic spectrum, covering wavelengths between 380 – 780 nm.

When light strikes the external surface of the glazing, light components are reflected, absorbed, and transmitted depending on the properties of the glazing, its surface, the respective wavelength, and the angle of incidence. We perceive light visually, while it can also be perceived in the form of heat, as it comprises approximately half of the heat we receive from the sun.

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