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Solar Lighting - Using solar energy to create light.


    Solar Panels are a clean, renewable source of electrical power that can save you money and help the environment

    The history of lighting is dominated by the use of natural light. The Romans recognized the Right to Light as early as the 6th century and English law echoed these judgements with the Prescription Act of 1832. It wasn't until the 1900s that artificial lighting took over as the main source of interior illumination. The 1973 oil and 1979 energy crises brought attention to conservation measures such as natural lighting but interest waned on both occasions with the restoration of energy supplies. Approximately 20% of the electricity used in the United States is for lighting. When daylighting techniques are appropriately applied natural light can supply interior lighting for many hours of the day.

    Daylighting is a passive solar method of using sunlight to provide illumination. Daylighting directly offsets energy use in electric lighting systems and indirectly offsets energy use through a reduction in cooling load. Although difficult to quantify, the use of natural lighting also offers physiological and psychological benefits compared to artificial lighting. Daylighting features include building orientation, window orientation, exterior shading, sawtooth roofs, clerestory windows, light shelves, skylights and light tubes. These features may be incorporated in existing structures but are most effective when integrated in a solar design package which accounts for factors such as glare, heat gain, heat loss and time-of-use. Architectural trends increasingly recognize daylighting as a cornerstone of sustainable design.

    Hybrid solar lighting (HSL) is an active solar method of using sunlight to provide illumination. Hybrid solar lighting systems collect sunlight using focusing mirrors that track the sun. The collected light is transmitted via optical fibers into a building's interior to supplement conventional lighting. In single story applications, these systems are able to transmit 50% of received direct sunlight.

    Daylight saving time (DST) utilizes solar energy by matching available sunlight to the time of the day in which it is most useful.

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