7 Reasons to Use Commercial Skylights for More Natural Light
Commercial skylights are an excellent option for providing a natural light solution to the office or other commercial buildings. It’s not just an aesthetic choice – though don’t discount that, either – because there are also real benefits to installing skylights in the workplace. Here are the top seven reasons to bring more natural light into your building using skylights.
Adding skylights to your office can lead to a happier, more productive workforce. Part of this comes from the simple science of light: The more sunlight we receive, the more energy we have. Increasing natural light means we jumpstart our circadian rhythm – the natural pace of our day-to-day energy levels. This can be a big help to offices affected by the 2 p.m. crash. Natural light is also easier on the eyes, and less eye strain means easier and faster work.
There’s no getting around it: lighting makes up 10 percent of American electricity usage. Skylights reduce the cost of lighting the workplace. Natural light doesn’t raise your electric bill, and is a greener and more pleasant alternative to artificial office lights.
The warmth from natural lighting can improve your workers’ moods. Happier workers almost always translate to more productive workers. Natural light provides material benefits, but it also creates a more pleasant workplace because of increased employee happiness. Installing natural lighting can significantly improve the spirits of those who work in the office, which helps improve the company’s environment.
Seasonal affective disorder, or the unfortunately named SAD, is a common mood disorder that comes during the winter months when sunlight hours are decreased. One of the best ways to combat SAD is by increasing exposure to sunlight. Skylights are especially effective during these long winter days, where the sun can set before work ends.
Studies suggest that harsh, artificial lighting – particularly the bright lights common in the workspace – can raise cortisol levels. Cortisol is the most potent and common of the many hormones involved in stress, and is a major component of the physical and mental strain caused by heightened stress. Reducing the amount of artificial light in an office and replacing it with natural skylights can have a very real impact on your employees’ collective health.
Artificial light can also impact our sleep cycles. Sleeping is more difficult when our circadian rhythms get disrupted, because our bodies are not sure when to distribute our energy. Natural light can keep our bodies in sync with daylight hours. A well-rested worker is also a healthier worker.
Skylights come up often in the context of a homeowner’s property value, but they can add real value to commercial properties, as well. For all the reasons above and more, adding skylights can improve the property value of an office or commercial building. Keep skylights in mind when dealing with commercial real estate.
Don’t forget the simple aesthetic value of adding skylights. A pleasant workplace makes employees happier, even if these improvements do not translate to tangible material benefits. You, your employees, and visitors deserve to have a nice workspace, and adding skylights provides an element of appeal that is lacking in artificially lit environments.
When Pennsylvania Power & Light first installed skylights into its building, the company saw absentee rates drop by 25 percent. This huge bonus comes from all the reasons we’ve already discussed. Happy workers are more loyal to their employers, and less likely to stay home. Healthy workers who see their workspace as a low-stress, pleasant environment are less likely to get sick. Heightened morale in the office is for reducing turnover.