Shading systems can increase illumination

Shading systems are usually thought of as light obstructions. They reflect direct sunlight to avoid problems such as glare. However, many light systems are designed to increase the illumination in rooms.

When trying to utilize natural daylight in buildings a common problem is to distribute the light deep enough into the room. Some shading devices are designed to solve this problem. By redirecting the light beams the light can penetrate further into the room and create a more even light distribution.

The most common shading systems are the traditional blinds. If used correctly blinds can help utilizing the natural light and reduce the need for artificial electrical light. By reflecting light beams to the ceiling the light beams can travel further into the room.

The illustration bellow is from and illustrates how traditional blinds can reflect sunlight.


Figure 1. Light redirected by blinds. Illustration from

However, one of the problems with using traditional blinds is that they tend to obstruct and reduce the view to the outside. In my next blog post I will describe some more modern shading systems that try to reduce this problem.


Ruck, N. (2000) Daylight in Buildings – a source book on daylighting systems and components. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Berkeley.


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