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Daylight levels affect our thermal perception

Scientists at EPFL’s Laboratory of integrated performance in design (LIPID) have taken a pioneering look at how variations in daylight influence our thermal response. Previous studies on thermal response investigated only the effects of electrical lighting. But the EPFL scientists discovered a significant psychological factor that is associated with daylight and alters how we perceive the thermal environment in a room. The scientists hypothesize that people could better tolerate a warm room if the room is lit with natural rather than artificial light. The scientists believe this may be because in a room filled with sunlight people already expect to feel warm. “If our hypothesis turns out to be correct, buildings could be made more energy efficient by creating additional space for natural light during either the construction or renovation phase. That would also make buildings more comfortable for their occupants”, explains Giorgia Chinazzo, first author of the publication. This pioneer study was published in Scientific Reports, from Nature Research.