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Sources of Natural Light; Daylight

To use natural light effectively, first we need to understand its abilities. Available daylight patterns are modified by factors such as close by landforms, vegetation, and structures. the variety light conditions create dramatically different perceptual environments and architectural responses.

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The three basic sources of natural light are;
Daylight, Sunlight, Reflected light.

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Let’s start from Daylight with a basic definition.
We can define Daylight as diffuse light through clouds or partially cloudy skies.

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We can describe daylight such as the combination of all direct and indirect light originating from the sun during daytime. In a cloudy climate, the diffuse sky is often the main source of useful daylight.

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When the cloud cover completely obscured sun, the sky is considered totally overcast. An overcast sky produces diffuse light. The sky is brightest at the zenith and decreases at the horizon to approximately one third of its maximum brightness.

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In totally overcast condition, the sky is generally the brightest element in an outdoor scene; light reflected off other surfaces has a much lower luminescence.

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The totally diffuse diffuse area of the sky indistinctly  renders shadows. Filtering of the light by the clouds also significantly raises the color temperature of the transmitted light.

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The totally overcast sky is actually quite uncommon. It is much more common to have less dense cloud cover with uneven luminous distributions revealing the sun.Thin, hazy clouds can be very bright, usually brighter than the fully overcast sky or a clear sky.

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Partially cloudy skies are even more common, constantly changing between direct sunlight  and hazy daylight and fluctuating in intensity, distribution and color temperature, as all of us experience the most in our daily routine.

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To find out more about Natural light, follow us on our next article “Sources of Natural Light; Sunlight

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Sinem Erman

Sinem graduated in 2011 from Istanbul Technical University in Turkey with a BA in Interior Architecture and completed her MDes in Living and Interior Design at Domus Academy in 2013, she joined Planlux in 2018.