The Mind Matters

In a recent study on the effects of daylight on the thermal perception of humans, some interesting new information has come to light (excuse the pun!).

Compiled by Giorgia Chinazzo, Jan Wienold & Marilyne Andersen the study “results indicate that the quantity of daylight influences the thermal perception of people specifically resulting in a cross-modal effect, with a low daylight illuminance leading to a less comfortable and less acceptable thermal environment in cold conditions and to a more comfortable one in warm conditions. No effect on their physiological responses was observed.

Moreover, it is hypothesised that a warm thermal environment could be tolerated more whenever daylight is present in the room, as compared to the same thermal condition in a room lit with electric lights.”

This means the study is suggesting that the occupants of a room can perceive a warmer room as cooler if the amount of daylight in the room is increased. The theory put forward is that mentally we can adjust to increased temperatures better if we simultaneously observe an increase in natural daylight, in contrast to electrical light. The study also tested the response of the occupants in a cooler room with increased daylight and found again that the occupants experienced the conditions as more favourable, as opposed to the same room with less daylight.

Building standards currently base the interior thermal conditions of a room on studies done in the 70’s using electrical light sources. With this new research being done, these standards may soon be altered, to include the psychological effects of daylight in practice.

New projects and renovations could include increased transparent areas, to improve the light as well as the energy efficiency of a building. This is great news for us at Glass Rite!


Daylight affects human thermal perception

Giorgia Chinazzo, Jan Wienold & Marilyne Andersen

Scientific Reports volume 9, Article number: 13690 (2019) Published: 23 September 2019


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