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Daylighting takes a simple concept to a new money-saving level in this edition of Energy 101. Through strategic placement of windows and skylights, daylighting maximizes the benefits of natural lighting and temperature regulation -- reducing lighting, heating and cooling costs for homeowners and businesses.
This home energy efficiency strategy takes into account everything from the type of window to placement and interior design to help control how the sunlight comes in. For example, south-facing windows work best in the U.S. to let in the most sun during winter months, but less direct sunlight during the summer. Likewise, windows that face north are good for daylighting as they let in natural light, minimal glare and less summer heat. However, east- and west-facing windows aren't ideal, since they allow excess heat and glare.
Some cutting edge daylighting techniques include the use of electrochromic windows -- “giant polarized sunglasses” -- that change with the brightness of the sunlight to let in light but keep out heat.
Watch and learn more ways to improve your daylighting strategy -- including hoods outside windows, louvers and tinting -- that will not only keep you more comfortable at home or work, but save you money as well.
For more information on daylighting and other home energy-saving tips that can benefit the environment and save you money, visit the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy's Energy Savers web site.