BASF brings daylight into dark spaces
The daylight system is based on the principle of light guidance and comprises three components: a film, a light shaft and light fixtures. The film is embedded in insulated glass and optimally guides the light into a light shaft containing reflective film. The shaft brings sunlight deep into the interior of a building, where light fixtures shine the daylight into the rooms. These light fixtures are also equipped with LED lamps that provide light in the rooms when natural daylight is unavailable or insufficient.
“In the winter months in particular, many people see almost exclusively artificial light if they leave their houses before sunrise and return only after dark. Yet the wide spectrum of colors in natural light has an important influence on our well-being and our performance,” said Cristobal Garrido Segura, head of the Smart Daylight Management project at BASF. “The perception of light varies greatly from person to person. My vision is to have rooms where the natural light mood adapts to the personal preferences of the user.”
Human centric lighting (HCL) refers to holistic lighting concepts that put the emphasis on humans and their well-being. HCL encompasses the visual, emotional and biological effects of light. BASF’s daylight system can contribute to improving spatial quality in places such as schools, hospitals, shopping malls and office buildings. Because people feel better in natural light, they concentrate better, are more motivated to work and less likely to get sick. Furthermore, using natural light over the course of the day enables artificial light usage to be reduced by significantly more than half. The consulting firm A.T. Kearney has calculated that the benefits of HCL to the general public could be as high as €870 million in Europe in 2020.
This system enables daylight to be transported far into the interior of buildings without requiring any additional structures on the facade. Inside the building, the system can be used flexibly – either concealed within a suspended ceiling or as a visible element as part of the interior design of the building. Through the light fixtures, daylight can penetrate into areas far from windows as well as hallways and rooms without natural light. The system can be integrated into existing facades and new facade concepts without limiting design options. In addition, it creates possibilities for new design concepts, such as office environments with working and lounge areas that include natural green zones to improve quality of life.
The idea for the daylight management project emerged during the Creator SpaceTM program conducted by BASF in 2015 to mark its 150th anniversary. Based on this idea, teams from Switzerland explored the topic of light and energy inside buildings. Together with BASF experts from various specialist units, they created a concept that became an incubation project and was developed into a market-ready system solution. An initial prototype is already being used in the headquarters of Bartenbach GmbH, a natural and artificial lightning design company in Austria.