Retail stores have some of the most stringent lighting requirements of any building type. Store operators have determined over many years of operation that high-quality lighting is directly correlated with sales. Some of the most convincing studies to the benefits of daylighting were directed at retail store outlets were increasing store sales of over 10% was readily demonstrated compared to neighboring buildings that were artificially lit. Several of the largest US retail chains have made a strong commitment to daylighting and are reaping the benefits in both energy savings and improved store environments.
SkyLouver has the potential to make substantial improvements over the state-of-the-art skylighting systems currently being installed in these nationwide chains.
- The controllability of the artificial lighting levels with SkyLouver allows for different lighting levels in different shopping areas. For example, electronics and audiovisual sales areas typically have lower lighting levels than clothing or housewares.
- The controllability of the lighting levels can reduce the air-conditioning loads in summer by maintaining the desired lighting level instead of allowing the level to float substantially above the setpoint as is common with fixed aperture skylight systems. Third, the precise control of the SkyLouver lighting levels can eliminate the expense of installing dimming ballasts on the many hundreds of lighting fixtures, at substantial cost savings.
- The ability to increase general lighting levels in winter to accomplish both reduced heating loads and generally brighter store atmosphere has the potential to generate an additional competitive advantage. The addition of food sales and restaurant area in the larger format retail stores provides additional opportunities for the use of the process heat and cooling generated by SkyLouver.