Do you love brightening your home with sunlight on a beautiful day?
Select shades are designed to reduce your need for artificial light by efficiently diffusing and directing sunlight so that it fills the room more completely, maximizing the benefits of available sunlight.
This energy efficiency effort is called DAYLIGHTING, and it’s a clear win-win! By using less artificial light you can lower your energy bill and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.
It’s not just a small savings, either. According to GreenBiz, “a good daylighting design can save up to 75% of the energy used for electric lighting in a building.”
Hunter Douglas Silhouette® Window Shadings in Quartette®. Fabric/Material: BonJour™. Color: Honey. Opacity: Translucent.
Not all shades are equally efficient at filling a room with light.
Hunter Douglas has been an industry leader in producing window treatments that maximize energy efficiency for over 40 years. Each Hunter Douglas product is evaluated in-depth and compared against each other in four areas of energy efficiency.
The window treatment that ranked highest for Daylighting is the Duette® 3/4″ and 1 1/4″ Sheer Honeycomb Shade (Top-Down, Top-Down/Bottom-Up or Duolite® operation).
The Best Window Treatments for Daylighting
Hunter Douglas Duette® Honeycomb Shades in Architella® Duolite™. Fabric/Material: Whisper™; Classic. Color: White Organdy; London Sky.
But adding sunlight can introduce its own challenges.
Sunlight will raise the temperature of a home. The light becomes heat as it warms the air, couches, carpet, walls and other furnishings. The warmed items then radiate additional heat into the room. The additional heat can be seen as a drawback of daylighting because the energy required to keep the home cool eliminated the energy benefits of reduced artificial light use.
Sunlight also introduces UV rays which can permanently damage furniture, artwork, photographs, wood floors, furniture, draperies, upholstery, carpeting and other furnishings by changing or fading color and weakening fibers.
Direct sunlight also produces glare, which leads to eye strain and discomfort in the home.
Fortunately, Hunter Douglas takes all of these potential drawbacks into account with the investments they make in window treatment designs and materials. A fully closed Hunter Douglas window treatment can provide daylighting while reducing glare, blocking up to 95% of harmful ultraviolet light and helping maintain comfortable temperatures. They are a great way to enjoy natural light while protecting your family’s privacy.
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Hunter Douglas Nantucket™ Window Shadings. Fabric/Material: Front Street™. Color: Picket Fence.
Window direction also plays an important role in daylighting.
As the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, the direction of ambient light will change.
According to Energy.gov:
North-facing windows produce very little glare and practically no solar heat gain during summer months.
South-facing windows also provide little to no direct sunlight during summer, but allow the most sunlight into the home during winter.
East-facing windows provide the best light in the morning and west-facing windows provide the best light in the evening. However, both are likely to produce glare and add unwanted heat during summer months and very little additional warmth during winter.
With this information, you can further maximize energy efficiency in your home.
If you are designing a home, south-facing walls are ideal for large windows because they let in the most light during winter months and no direct sunlight during summer, naturally keeping the inside of the home cooler during summer and bright during winter.
North-facing windows are also excellent for daylighting because they let in light without the drawbacks of glare and the unwanted additional heat that comes with exposure to direct sunlight.
If you are passed the building stage, automated window treatments can make up the difference.
Hunter Douglas Silhouette® Window Shadings. Fabric/Material: India Silk. Color: Sparkling Water. Opacity: Translucent.
Automated window treatments maximize energy saving potential.
Take advantage of what you know about the direction light enters your home by assigning automated open/close schedules to each window in your home.
Hunter Douglas’ PowerView® Motorized operating systems make automation possible, and they are compatible with many different Hunter Douglas window treatment styles. For a complete list of compatible styles, click here.
Automated shades can be scheduled to adjust according to the sun’s movements throughout the day. Some window treatments, such as Hunter Douglas Solera® Soft Shades, can leave a light gap at the top or bottom of the window, allowing window treatments to let light in from each direction while blocking the most direct rays and protecting privacy.
For example, as the sun lowers west-facing window treatments can close, blocking out direct sun beams. The top of the west-facing shades could remain open, letting in the indirect sunlight, and windows facing the other directions could also remain open.
Automated window treatments offer many benefits beyond energy efficiency. To learn about 9 others ways motorized shades can make life better, click here.
Hunter Douglas Solera® Soft Shades. Fabric/Material: Riley. Color: Silken.
If you want to learn more about incorporating daylighting into your window treatment purchasing decision, the best way to do that is by signing up for a FREE at-home window treatment consultation with a JC Licht expert.
Daylighting is just one of three ways window treatments can save energy in your home, and energy savings is just one of 11 considerations we recommend all homeowners make before buying window treatments.