SunOptics

Daylighting Benefits

There is no greater efficiency than off!®

  • Sunoptics Prismatic Skylights can replace electric lighting 70 to 80% of the daylight hours while producing much less heat than electric lighting.
  • Sunoptics Prismatic Skylights can replace electric lighting for a fraction of the cost of enough solar photovoltaic panels to generate an equivalent amount of electricity (both use the same sun at the same high energy demand time of the day!)
  • Sunoptics Prismatic Skylights provide 35% or more light transmission than competitive skylights, while providing 100% diffusion for glare-free, high-performance results. 
  • According to Jon McHugh, PE, LC, and Technical Director with the energy consulting and research firm, Heschong Mahone Group, Inc., America could reduce its peak load electrical demand by 24,000 megawatts just by daylighting existing buildings that make sense to daylight using toplighting or skylights. The savings is equal to twenty four 1,000 megawatt nuclear power plants or forty eight 500 megawatt coal fired power plants, all at 1/20th the cost of solar photovoltaic panel arrays.
  • By cutting demand for energy production, daylighting reduces greenhouse gases and the pollution of water and air—the by-products of generating electricity. 
  • A study initiated by the Pacific Gas & Electric Company showed that students with the most daylighting in their classrooms progressed 20% faster on math tests and 26% faster on reading tests in one year than those with the least. 
    In the retail setting, daylighting dramatically increased sales—one study showed a 40% increase in sales in daylighted stores when compared to identical non-daylighted stores.
  • In study after study, daylighting is correlated to dramatic improvements in human performance in retail, workplace and educational facilities. 

Daylighting can:

  • Improve employee morale
  • Reduce absenteeism
  • Reduce errors
  • Improve product quality
  • Increase productivity

General Daylighting Benefits

Ergonomically, Economically, and Ecologically Daylighting Makes Sense

Ergonomic Benefits:

Daylighting provides superior quality, full-spectrum, flicker-free light that positively impacts behavior. In study after study, daylighting is correlated to dramatic improvements in human performance in retail, workplace and educational facilities.


Daylighting Can:

  • Increase retail sales
  • Increase productivity
  • Increase grades
  • Reduce absenteeism
  • Improve product quality

A study initiated by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company showed that students with the most daylighting in their classrooms progressed 20% faster on math tests and 26% faster on reading tests in one year than those with the least.

In the retail setting, daylighting dramatically increased sales—one study showed a 40% increase in sales in daylighted stores when compared to identical non-daylighted stores.


Economic Benefits:

Daylighting can replace electric light 70% to 80% of daylight hours—in many cases, for less than $.015 per kWh over the life of the building. It is considerably cooler than electric lighting at the same foot candle levels, so it also reduces the cost to air condition buildings as well. This can mean tremendous energy savings in buildings that operate during the day, such as schools, offices, warehouses, factories and retail stores.

Properly Daylighting Buildings Can: 

  • Repay installation costs quickly—often in less than two years.
  • Be installed in buildings to replace electric lighting for 1/20 of the cost of enough solar photovoltaic panels to generate an equivalent amount of electricity using the same sun at the same high energy demand times of the day.
  • Replace electric lighting during the daylight hours for less than $.015 per kWh over the life of the building while reducing lamp and ballast replacement costs.

Ecological Benefits:

According to Jon McHugh, PE, LC and Technical Director with the energy consulting and research firm, Heschong Mahone Group, Inc., America could reduce its peak load electrical demand by 24,000 Megawatts just by daylighting existing buildings that make sense to daylight using top lighting or skylights. This is equal to the energy output of 24, 1000 Megawatt nuclear power plants or 48, 500 Megawatt coal fired power plants for 1/20th the cost of solar photovoltaic panels to create equal energy savings.

Daylighting a building properly is like adding an alternative energy power plant that produces zero carbon emission, something wind and solar cannot provide. Using more daylighting worldwide can help minimize the number of new coal fire electric-generating plants which make up 70% of all the energy produced in the United States.

Daylighting cuts energy use and pollution. Power plants fueled by oil, coal and gas dump thousands of tons of pollutants into the environment every day. By cutting demand for energy production, we cut pollution, too. Over the long term, daylighting reduces greenhouse gases and the pollution of water and air—the by-products of generating electricity.

Together we can make a difference in building a sustainable energy future and an energy-independent America and a sustainable planet.

our daylighting tests

In multiple third party tests, no other industrial / commercial skylight product has been able to beat Sunoptics on lighting performance and structural design.


The Sunoptics in-house Photometric Lab is available to our customers to verify the difference for themselves.
Sunoptics has always been committed to providing architects, building owners and lighting designers with the information they need to specify proper daylighting solutions. Accurate information is an essential tool for lighting design—and for end users—to know the results they can expect from our products.

Our customers rely on Sunoptics to help them quantify proper daylighting levels throughout their buildings. Because we eliminate any guesswork about product performance, it is easy to quantify the payback on your daylighting investment.

Our on-site Photometric Lab
All Sunoptics photometric R&D is performed in our state-of-the-art, 21-station photometric lab. Using Konica-Minolta foot candle meters, we take an instant reading of how well the light is being spread under various types of glazing materials and dome shapes. As a company, we test extensively to make sure Sunoptics products not only meet our quality standards, but continue to set the industry standard. If we find that there are new materials or processes that would improve daylighting output and performance, we implement them. Sunoptics products have been widely tested in studies conducted by independent research organizations and energy organizations.