Let There Be Daylight is Green Light New York’s first research report. It evolved into the Living Lab proof of concept project.

This report advocates for advanced daylighting systems to become a standard feature of New York City office spaces. It follows a careful analysis of the technical, practical, and energy savings potential that advanced daylighting systems can provide to NYC buildings.


New York City has the largest market for office space in the country. These offices are condensed into a proportionately small number of buildings and are managed and owned by a smaller number of people than in other urban office markets, making a transition to advanced daylighting systems more easily attainable. Furthermore, many of the City’s older non-residential buildings are already designed to capitalize on the benefits of daylight, as they were built when electric lights were just beginning to be implemented. The onset of more stringent energy codes requires an increased number of lighting retrofits in existing buildings. Let There Be Daylight explores these unique conditions in NYC that present opportunity to drive substantial demand for advanced daylighting systems.


Our analysis finds that 114 million square feet of New York City office space can easily accommodate comprehensive daylighting control retrofits to achieve electric peak demand reduction equivalent to 160 megawatts, as well as 340 gigawatt hours of electricity savings. Deployment of daylighting systems is an opportunity for New York City building owners and tenants to benefit from $70 million in energy cost savings each year.

“Peak demand” is the time during the day when the most energy is being used. It is also when energy costs the most to produce. Coincidentally, peak demand hours coincide with the times of day when sunlight is most readily available. Therefore, daylighting systems not only have the potential to save energy, but to also cut back on the dirtiest, least efficient energy being produced.

Let There Be Daylight explores the potential of advanced daylighting systems for New York City and the barriers and strategies for implementation. The report is a collaborative work of Yetsuh Frank and Richard Yancey of Green Light New York and Adam Hinge of Sustainable Energy Partnerships published in 2012.

As of 2014, Green Light New York is now known as the Building Energy Exchange.

The use of daylighting systems represents an opportunity for New York City building owners and tenants to benefit from $70 million in energy cost savings each year.Green Light New York, Let There Be Daylight

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