Net Zero Requires Daylighting and Super Efficient Lighting Design
Lighting consumes about 10-12% of the total energy use in industrial nations. Most of it is generated by burning coal or gas. With an immediate and permanent crisis of global climate facing us, lighting improvements can contribute significantly to reducing the CO2 load on the environment and help attenuate ecosystem damage.
Daylighting is by far the best contribution we can make. It is available at the right time of day and in more than needed amounts. The problems with daylighting today, however, are substanial as the architectural and engineeering communities have little training and experience in using it. Low cost electricity from fossil fuels has encouraged four generations of energy-wasteful design, and those lessons remain ingrained in our current workforce and academics.
We can also reduce our use of electric lighting energy through energy conscious design. But to be effective it must be an honest and thorough effort and must begin with less-is-more philosophy