How Does Daylighting Harvesting Work in LED Lighting Systems?

How Does Daylighting Harvesting Work in LED Lighting Systems?
Aug 23 2023

Daylight Harvesting: A Guide to Energy-Efficient Lighting

Daylight harvesting is a lighting strategy that uses natural light to reduce the amount of electric LED lighting required in a space. This can lead to significant energy savings, as well as a number of other benefits, such as improved occupant comfort and productivity.

How Does Daylight Harvesting Work?

Daylight harvesting systems use a combination of sensors, controls, and lighting fixtures to automatically adjust the amount of electric lighting in a space based on the availability of daylight. The sensors measure the amount of daylight entering the space, and the controls then dim or switch off the electric lights as needed.

daylight LED output reduction

There are two main types of daylight harvesting systems: open-loop and closed-loop. Open-loop systems only measure the amount of daylight entering the space, while closed-loop systems also measure the amount of electric light in the space. Closed-loop systems are more accurate, but they are also more expensive.

Benefits of Daylight Harvesting

Daylight harvesting offers a number of benefits, including:

  • Energy savings: Daylight harvesting can reduce energy consumption by up to 50% in well-lit spaces. This can lead to significant cost savings, as well as a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Improved occupant comfort: Natural light has been shown to improve occupant comfort and productivity. Daylight harvesting can help to create a more comfortable and productive work environment.
  • Enhanced circadian rhythm: Natural light helps to regulate our circadian rhythm, which is our natural sleep-wake cycle. Daylight harvesting can help to improve our sleep quality and overall health.
  • Reduced glare: Daylight harvesting can help to reduce glare, which can improve visibility and reduce eye strain.
  • Increased safety: Daylight harvesting can help to improve safety by reducing shadows and glare.

How to Implement Daylight Harvesting

There are a few things to consider when implementing daylight harvesting in a building:

  • The amount of daylight: The amount of daylight available in a space will determine how much energy can be saved with daylight harvesting.
  • The type of building: Daylight harvesting is more effective in buildings with large windows and skylights.
  • The type of lighting: Daylight harvesting systems can be used with a variety of lighting fixtures, including fluorescent, LED, and incandescent lights.
  • The cost: The cost of daylight harvesting systems can vary depending on the size and complexity of the system.


Daylight harvesting is a proven way to reduce energy consumption and improve occupant comfort in buildings. If you are looking for a way to make your building more sustainable and efficient, daylight harvesting is a great option to consider.

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, daylight harvesting can also help to improve the aesthetic appeal of a building. Natural light can create a more inviting and comfortable space, which can be beneficial for both employees and customers.

If you are interested in implementing daylight harvesting in your building, there are a number of resources available to help you get started. The Lighting Controls Association (LCA) has a website with a wealth of information on daylight harvesting, including case studies, technical resources, and a directory of daylight harvesting experts.

The U.S. Department of Energy also offers a number of resources on daylight harvesting, including a guide to designing and installing daylight harvesting systems.

With careful planning and implementation, daylight harvesting can be a win-win for both your building and the environment.


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