What is daylight hour?
Daylight Hour is an annual social media campaign organized by the Building Energy Exchange to raise awareness about using natural daylight in lieu of electric lighting in offices. Launched in 2014, this simple and engaging campaign asks participating offices to turn off their lights in day-lit spaces for one hour on the Friday before the summer solstice.
This is a critical issue because the times when daylight is most available (workday afternoons) coincides with peak demand — the time when our business districts are demanding the most energy from the grid. This peak energy is the most expensive energy, and typically the dirtiest and most harmful to our global climate because the oldest, least efficient plants are brought online to meet this need. Our study, Let There Be Daylight, found that owners and tenants in New York City alone could save $70 million every year by introducing daylight responsive lighting systems.
At the same time, balanced day-lit spaces are often the most pleasant to spend time in, and studies suggest these spaces promote our health and well-being, improve productivity and reduce absenteeism. Modern lighting systems can sense daylight in an office and dim the lights, providing the perfect amount of light to work by while significantly saving energy and money.
Leading up to and during this hour, offices around the world share their involvement on social media, engaging their communities and showcasing their environmental commitment.