The Design and Evaluation of Three Advanced Daylighting Systems: Light Shelves, Light Pipes and Skylights

Publication Type

Conference Paper

Date Published




We present results from the design and evaluation of three advanced daylighting systems: a light shelf, a light pipe, and a skylight. These systems use optical films and an optimizedsgeometry to passively intercept and redirect sunlight further into the building. The objectives of these designs are to increase daylighting illuminance levels at distances of 4.6-9.1 m (15-30 ft) from the window, and to improve the uniformity of the daylight distribution and the luminance gradient across the room under variable sun and sky conditions throughout the year. The designs were developed through a series of computer-assisted ray-tracing studies, photometric measurements, and observations using physical scale models. Comprehensive sets of laboratory measurements in combination with analytical routines were then used to simulate daylight performance for any solar position. Results show increased daylight levels and an improved luminance gradient throughout the year - indicating that lighting energy consumption and cooling energy due to lighting can be substantially reduced with improvements to visual comfort. Future development of the designs may further improve the daylighting performance of these systems.


Solar 94, Golden Opportunities for Solar Prosperity

Year of Publication



Research Areas

Related Files