by Sam Garber
Even on cloudy days there’s a good bitof light. That’s why the science of lighting buildings naturally is called‘day-lighting’ rather than ‘sun-lighting.’ Daylight is one of my favorite things. I’m really intrigued by the practice of purposefully designing windows and skylights into buildings to optimize the light of day. Especially because of the positive psychological effect of natural light, but there’s more; natural light doesn’t require electricity and the coal to make it (which, by the way, is another psychological plus).
This spring we thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to install two 4’ by 4’ Daystar Skylights in my father-in-law’s farm shop in Greenville. When Michael and I finished installing the first one, the exclamation: “seize the daystar!” seemed worth a thousand pictures! So we had tee shirts made to honor the phrase.
Actually, if a picture is worth a thousand words, natural light is probably worth ten thousand. Compared to artificial light, natural light has been responsible for students doing better in school, merchandise selling better in stores, and increased happiness at work.
Wednesday morning I stopped by my father-in-law’s on 36 southwest of Greenville to take pictures of the lights. I chose that morning because it had rained the night before and was still cloudy. I wanted to see how the skylights we’d installed performed on cloudy mornings.
Upon entering the building from outside, it seemed a bit dim at first, but after only a few moments it seemed comfortably light. Dad rarely turns the lights on in that shop during the day, maybe during a heavy rain. In fact, only one electric light is installed to date; they just haven’t needed them.