Advanced optical daylighting systems: Light shelves and light pipes Academic Article uri icon


  • We present two perimeter daylighting systems that passively redirect beam sunlight further from the window wall using special optical films, an optimized geometry, and a small glazing aperture. The objectives of these systems are to increase daylight illuminance levels at 4.6-9.1 m (15-30 ft) from the window aperture with minimum solar heat gains and to improve the uniformity of the daylighting luminance gradient across the room under variable solar conditions throughout the year. The designs were developed through a series of computer-assisted ray-tracing studies, laser visualization and photometric measurements and observations using physical scale models. Bi-directional illuminance measurements in combination with analytical routines were then used to simulate daylight performance for any solar position, and were incorporated into the DOE-2.1E building energy analysis computer program to evaluate energy savings. Results show increased daylight levels and an improved luminance gradient throughout the year compared to conventional daylighting systems.

author list (cited authors)

  • Beltran, L. O., Lee, E. S., & Selkowitz, S. E.

publication date

  • June 1997