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The use of daylight in architecture not only meets mental and physical needs of humans, but also enables a reduction in fossil energy consumption, in light of the above electricity has been established as one of the greatest consumers of energy in buildings. Therefore, providing new ways to reduce energy consumption is necessary.  Although Nigeria is among the richest countries in terms of energy resources, mismanagement and waste of these natural resources pose irreparable damages to the country’s annual budget as well as the construction sector.  Natural light plays an effective role in energy efficiency and prevention from electricity dissipation. Contemporary solutions such as the use of electric lighting systems can cause overheating, consequent physical damages, in addition to their high costs.

This paper presents the benefits of using natural light in large buildings such as factories, these include; Energy savings, Minimization of electricity and HVAC (Heat Ventilation and Air Conditioning) cost, reduction in heat generation and reduction in cooling cost. It also presents application techniques of natural light in buildings such as; Use of skylights, Electric shading controls, Tubular day lighting devices, Use of solar cubes, etc.







The science of Natural lighting, also referred to as day lighting, is a technique or method through which natural light is efficiently optimized in spaces. Natural lighting has been proven to be one of the most sustainable practices to controlling the flow of light within the interior of a given building, thereby reducing artificial lighting requirements and saving energy.

Industrial design processes require the excessive use of energy both for the processing of raw materials, production of the finished goods, packaging and general space lighting purposes. However, energy saving ideas has become a modern trend in buildings and sustainable development. The study focuses on the adoption of natural lighting in reducing the overall energy cost in factory buildings.

Efficient day lighting can be seen as that which admits natural light without admitting the direct rays of the sun on surfaces or into the eyes of the occupants. Natural lighting can come from sources such as; Day lighting, external reflection, internal reflection etc. Most day lighting components are being incorporated into the construction plan, therefore, day lighting techniques such as the use of skylights, electric shading controls, tubular day lighting devices and optimized interior design may be considered, Doulos (2008).

The study addresses five major objectives. First it establishes the unique values and different types of day lighting that can be achieved through design in buildings. Secondly, it identifies the factors that impact on the quality of day lighting. Thirdly, it explores the relationship between the characteristics of natural light and the overall perception of the space. Fourthly, it identifies the different techniques of day lighting applications, controls and optimization in buildings. And finally, it ascertains the amount of energy savings achievable by the application of day lighting  in large buildings like factories.

The movement of natural light and architecture toward each other seems both inevitable and fruitful in the larger three-dimensional environment of architecture which certainly emphasizes its overtly sculptural character. The analysis of space and volume implicit in architecture are clearly influenced by natural light and become as buildings within buildings, one oriented to the sun and one oriented to interior living, Christopher (2006). The thick Greek column, for instance, made of a much larger diameter permitted a light-well at its interior, and the space between columns as interior areas; the light-giving element to the spaces in the heart of the plan not columns anymore but walls enclosing a source of light.

Today there are increased possessions to relate in a more complicit way with the environment, to create architecture of quality and vigor, to develop designs based upon increasingly sophisticated information and ideas, to provide flexibility, to develop and conserve construction methods and mechanical systems into spaces that can involve our eyes and mind, Lam (2003). Our postmodern position today is founded on the notion of diversity, the measure of acceptability becoming how appropriate, how coherent, and how consummate a set of ideas becomes based upon the measure of their execution, Robbins (1986). Design response today is not a reiteration of pre-digested theory but a search for pertinent and responsive facts. Notions of function, structure, and technology have become tempered by cultural, environmental, and psychological truths. The value of history has grown in importance, generally as an enriching influence – for some architects a source of forms to copy, for others, a stimulus to explore the many interlocking systems that can direct an evolving design. The pertinence of allusions to cultural patterns grows out of incorporation. Geometry has become an even more persuasive organizing device, as it enriches configurations of space, expresses lines of movement, and fuses elements within a building, and a building within a context, Silveria (2001).

Bill Lam, the form giver of Architecture in his major works asked the question, The Sun: Problem or Opportunity? and then proceeds to show how the answer can really be both, depending very much on the location of the building. Clearly in hot climates where the sun is overhead for much of the day the problem is not so much one of welcome, but of exclusion. In Britain where the sun is all too rare the answer must clearly be one of welcome, and an early decision when an architect is planning the orientation of his building is to encourage the entry of sunlight, Hansen (1995). Sunlight adds to the overall level of light when it is available, and adds to those other environmental factors such as variety and change, modeling and the creation of delight. There is a different level of experience when getting up in the morning to a sunlit world, as experienced from the interior of a building, and it is important that an element of sunlight is available for some part of the day. Architects have used the sunlight effect in buildings to create a specific atmosphere, as for example the shafts of light entering the south side of our great cathedrals; and on a much smaller scale the use in houses of daylight and sunlight entry from above to provide necessary functional light to interior areas, where otherwise little natural light would be available. The impression of sunlight is also important, seen from windows which themselves admit no sunlight, but where the view of a sunlit landscape or buildings may be enjoyed.

Whenever sunlight is available there is a strong desire to perceive it, and disappointment when it is unnecessarily excluded. There is of course the obverse side associated with heat gain and glare, depending upon the orientation of the glazing, and whether people working in a building are confined to a fixed position, Lam (1997). The effects of direct sunlight can be a disadvantage. Some control may be required in certain circumstances at certain times of the year, and as far as heat gain is concerned this is best done beyond the window, and is of a sufficiently 12 Day lighting. To sum up, the need for the admission of sunlight is important, the architect must consider this as a first requirement in planning the location and layout of the building, but in certain circumstances controls will be needed.

Day lighting is one of the key ways of saving energy. Day lighting minimizes the amount of artificial light and reduces electricity and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) costs. Electrical lighting produces a lot of heat, whereas natural lighting generates hardly any heat if it is properly controlled.  Making use of natural light can save up to 75 percent of the energy used for lighting buildings and reduce cooling costs, Reinhart and Christopher (2006). In the past few years, lighting has become a focus for energy saving ideas. However, not enough effort has gone into maximization of the use of natural light either in building design or legislation.

Good day lighting solutions demand an integrated building design approach. Day lighting design should be holistic: developing solutions that are part of the main concept, while meeting visual, thermal and energy needs. We should discover how the sun shapes our experience, and apply this lesson to building design from the start, Galasiu (2003).

Daylight is an interesting strategy for reducing energy consumption in buildings, especially for non- residential, which often operates in the period when there is day lighting. The correct adoption of appropriate strategies for their use can not only reduce energy consumption, but promoting an improvement in luminous and thermal comfort of the user. This may indicate that besides the influence of the type employed, the shape, the construction and construction features can significantly influence the availability of day lighting in the environment and, therefore, power savings through its use.


Many manufacturing industries depend more on artificial lighting which tends to consume a whole lot of energy thereby impacting on the global carbon footprints. Energy saving ideas are hence imperative.

Large spaces like factory buildings require adequate lighting therefore, in order to achieve this, natural lighting can be applied to achieve effectiveness and functionality of such buildings.

There‟s more to the science of day lighting than simply emitting light into a space. Day lighting process can be affected by elements like heat gain and losses, glare, and variations in daily sun path. Effective and proper utilization of day lighting takes care of the problems of heat gains, glare, and thermal comfort.


Natural light is an essential means of energy savings in buildings. It is also a primary element that can create meaningful and evocative architectural experiences. The technical, architectural and energy saving aspects of utilizing and optimizing natural lighting in large buildings such as factories are important to the workers and cost of operations within the building.

The pleasant environment created by natural light reduces stress levels for factory workers and thereby increasing productivity in the industrial environment. Owning, to the above descriptions, natural lighting studies for application in industrial building design is a significant solution and option that can produce valid difference in building energy consumptions.


What are the underlying methods for maximum optimization of natural lighting in large span buildings?

How do these relate to the overall perception of a space?


The review of the existing literature shows that there exists a very close and definite relationship between the quality of natural light and the revealing character of space. Each period in the history of architecture has been associated with new and innovative ways for designing different openings that brought in a unique quality of light inside the building. These examples provide opportunities to get a better understanding of the ways in which natural light has been used to achieve different effects inside a built environment.


The aim of this research is to identify the impacts of day lighting on energy savings in large spaces like factories.

The objectives of this research are;

  • To establish the unique values and different types of day lighting that can be achieved through design in buildings.
  • To identify the factors that impact on the quality of day lighting.
  • To identify the different techniques of day lighting applications, control and optimization in buildings.
  • To ascertain the amount of energy savings achievable by application in large buildings like factories
  • To explore the relation between the characteristics of natural light and the overall perception of the space


The scope of this research focuses on applications and optimization of day lighting as alternative for energy savings in large buildings like factories. For the purposes of this study, review of literature on energy saving techniques as pertain to natural lighting will be utilized.

Evaluation of day lighting values in buildings as primary data for design application of day lighting in factories will be adopted.


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