VISTA, CALIF. — Everyone deserves the extra daylight that June 21 brings. In celebration of the longest day of the year, Solatube International created National Daylight Appreciation Day (June 21 each year) as a way to increase awareness about the benefits of incorporating daylight into all aspects of our lives.

Since daylight is free and energy efficient (no electric lights needed), there’s a movement afoot to incorporate it everywhere from homes and offices to schools, warehouses and convention centers.

In honor of National Daylight Appreciation Day, here are some of the reasons to appreciate daylight, especially in work environments:

• According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology News, more than a third of the energy used in the United States is consumed in buildings, and 25-40 percent of that’s used to run electric lights. In many cases, daylight could be used instead. “Depending on the building and how it’s used, a good daylighting strategy can reduce the need for energy-consuming electric lighting by 20-80 percent,” said Professor Marilyne Andersen of the Department of Architecture.

• In a study from the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, three school systems in Washington, Colorado and California found that students in rooms with the most diffuse and glare-free daylight improved their performance on standardized tests by up to 26 percent.

• The Non-Profit Center for Energy & Climate Solutions’ Cool Companies reports that VeriFone, a subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard in Costa Mesa, Calif., upgraded its 76,000-square-foot building to include a series of roof skylights and other energy-efficient features. On sunny days, workers used only natural daylight and small task lights. Workers no longer complained about end-of-the-day headaches or end-of-the-week sluggishness. As a result, absenteeism dropped 40-45 percent, employee productivity increased 5 percent and energy bills were slashed 50 percent, for a payback time of less than one year.

• For the health and happiness of nurses — and for the best care of hospital patients — new Cornell research suggests exposure to natural light may be the best medicine. In a forthcoming Cornell study published in the journal of Health Environments Research and Design, Rana Zadeh, assistant professor of design and environmental analysis, discovered nurses who had access to natural light enjoyed significantly lower blood pressure, communicated more often with their colleagues, laughed more and served their patients in better moods than nurses who settled for large doses of artificial light.

Daylighting is the most cost-effective and beneficial way to light up any interior space while keeping the lights turned off during the day. Solatube Daylighting Systems are not only eco-friendly, but they also provide exceptional and beautiful lighting.

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