On June 21, wear your flip-flops, put on your sunglasses, and step outdoors to enjoy some Sun, because it is Daylight Appreciation Day. The holiday was created by Solatube International as a way to raise awareness about the advantages of daylighting.
Daylighting is the use of natural light to light up interior spaces. This can be done by simply opening windows and raising shades in a room or by constructing windows and adding reflective surfaces to them to allow the maximum amount of sunlight indoors.
An Ancient Practice...
Daylighting is an ancient practice and is highly recommended by architects, interior decorators and energy experts today, due to its health and energy saving benefits. Using natural light cuts down on energy and electricity costs. Studies have shown that daylighting in the workplace can help increase productivity, work performance, employee satisfaction and retention.
...With Health Benefits
By connecting people with nature and the outdoors even when they are indoors, daylighting helps reduce stress. Studies have shown that people who spend time in a room lit with bright sunlight tend to be happier than those who spend a lot of time under artificial lights.
Longest Day of the Year
Daylight Appreciation Day is fittingly celebrated on the longest day of the year for Northern Hemisphere residents - in most years, the June Solstice occurs on June 21. In the Northern Hemisphere, the day is also called the Summer Solstice and is considered by many to be the first day of summer. In the Southern Hemisphere, it is the shortest day of the year and is thought to mark the first day of winter in the region.
How to Celebrate?
Speak to an architect or a civil engineer to find ways to daylight your indoor spaces. If you don't want to spend the time and money to make major structural changes to your place of work or home, what about taking some simple steps like opening the window, installing light colored drapes or curtains or applying a reflective surface to the window to let more natural sunlight in?
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, spend some time in the outdoors and appreciate the extended period of daylight. Maybe you could celebrate the day by hosting a BBQ and a pool party? Treat everyone with homemade creamsicles, iced tea and corn on the cob.
Since it is also the June Solstice, why not spend the day participating in local solstice related events. Many cultures assign special significance to the solstices. Read about their traditions and participate in any local festivals or events marking the day.
If you are a Southern Hemisphere dweller, make the most of the sunlight before peak winter sets in. Maybe host a soup party, where everyone brings warm soup to share? Serve warm and spiced wine to usher in the winter.
Did You Know…
…that daylighting designers and architects take into account the direction when deciding on where to build windows? South-facing windows let in a lot of winter sunlight but very little direct light in the summer. East- and west-facing windows, on the other hand, let in a lot of light during the morning and evenings but also tend to cause glare.
Daylight Appreciation Day Observances
Fun Holiday: Daylight Appreciation Day Observances