LBNL Report Number
When combined with appropriate electric lighting dimming controls, the use of daylight for ambient and task illumination can significantly reduce energy requirements in commercial buildings. While skylights can effectively illuminate any part of one-story buildings, conventional side windows can illuminate only a 15 ft - 20 ft (4.6 m - 6.1 m) depth of the building perimeter. Even so, the overall efficacy of daylight is limited, because side windows produce uneven distributions of daylight. Achieving adequate illumination at distances further away from the window results in excessive illumination near the window, which increases cooling loads from the associated solar heat gain. As a result, the use of larger apertures and/or higher transmittance glazings, to introduce daylight deeper than 15 ft - 20 ft (4.6 m - 6.1 m), may prove ineffective with respect to saving energy, because cooling load penalties may exceed the electric lighting savings.
The need for more uniform distribution of daylight admitted through side windows has stimulated significant research and development efforts in new fenestration designs and glazing technologies. Many of these approaches, including holographic glazings, rely on the common strategy of redirecting sunlight and reflecting it off the ceiling towards the back of the room. Prior studies on the daylight and energy performance of holographic glazings have been disappointing, however inconclusive because of poor hologram quality, low diffraction efficiency and inadequate hologram design and building application considerations [Papamichael et al 1994].