View from America: –

View from America:

I’d like to start off
with a definition of the term ‘daylighting’ within the context of
building design and construction. Daylighting is the use of building
infrastructure (e.g., windows, skylights etc.) to capture direct
sunlight whilst gaining the indirect sunlight from well-designed
reflective materials. In building design, the challenge is to minimise
energy usage whilst maximising occupant comfort, both visual and
climatic. In practical terms, the goal is to minimise the use of
electricity from lighting luminaires where windows, automated shading
and dimming controls can be applied in harmony to maximise the
daylight; this is otherwise known as ‘daylight harvesting.’

When harvesting natural daylight, we need to take into account the
outdoor weather, the existing room or space climate, and occupancy, to
appropriately adjust the window shading or blinds in unison with
dimming the artificial lighting. This is daylight management.

will cover the key challenges and opportunities of daylight management
in this article, and reveal how KNX can be used for optimal control.

KNX Hospital

blinds application for the Kirchheim hospital in NĂĽrtingen, Germany
(image source: NiceGroup).

Daylighting challenges

The challenge with daylight optimisation is to control the intensity
and penetration of daylight for the ultimate comfort and productivity
of the building occupant. The two main challenges with daylighting from
a shade and blind controls perspective are:

  • to maximise ambient light whilst limiting direct sunlight.
  • interoperation with room lighting and HVAC.

order to better understand shading, let’s look at the positive and
negative aspects of open and closed shades.

Open shades

+ reduce some artificial lighting (and
so offer electrical savings)

+ increase comfort and productivity with natural light

+ provide unobstructed outdoor viewing

– allow for solar heat gain in summertime (increasing the need for

– introduce glare to the leisure or workplace area (e.g. non-visible

Closed shades

+ reduce solar heat gain in summertime
(decreasing the need for cooling)

+ reduce glare on leisure or workplace area (e.g. visible computer

+ increase security and privacy

+ improve insulation (reducing heating and cooling loads)

– increase artificial lighting usage in absence of natural sunlight

– do not capture the solar heat gain to reduce the wintertime heating

– decrease comfort and productivity with the absence of natural sunlight


photosensors and lighting control, the lighting level in an interior
daylit space can be kept at the right level for the time of day whilst
saving energy.

pros and cons can all be addressed through automation in order to
reduce electrical lighting and HVAC consumption and improve
productivity. For maximum efficiency; however, it is also crucial to
closely monitor weather conditions, anticipate seasonal solar
availability and model that to the actual building site location,
orientation and various building functional areas throughout the

Ideally, depending on how much natural light a space is exposed to,
shades/blinds should open sufficiently to let in the required daylight,
but not too much glare (and heat in summer). On winter days, we would
want to extract as much light and heat from the sun as possible, whilst
topping up with lighting and heating when required.

KNX meets all daylighting challenges

guessed it; for daylight challenges, KNX is the ideal solution! With
its device intelligence and interoperability with other building
systems, KNX can be used to integrate shade and blind control with
lighting and HVAC, to improve comfort and reduce energy consumption.

To continue reading, click here

About the

Philip R. Juneau is the Chief Commercial Officer
for Automated
Technology Company (ATC), and Vice President of the KNX USA National
Group. ATC’s mission is to transform today’s buildings into tomorrow’s
net-zero infrastructure by ensuring the highest levels of safety,
comfort and efficiency for the overall well-being of the occupants and
the overall environment.


Haystack Connect 2019

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