Don’t Force Users to Close the Blinds on Daylight

This is the first in a series of posts on Spatial Daylight Autonomy (sDA), an often misrepresented and misunderstood daylighting metric.

The way building occupants actually use a space is an important consideration when it comes to daylight design. Building users have the power to negate even the most expensive fenestration systems with the flip of a switch. Because it’s unrealistic to think people are always satisfied with the sun and never want to adjust the blinds, it’s essential for daylight simulations to account for this behavior.

Manual operation of blinds in the Microsoft Building. Boulder, CO.

Manual operation of blinds in the Microsoft Building. Boulder, CO.

LightStanza offers renderings and grid analysis using operable blinds to give you a more complete picture of lighting levels in a space. We help you test the effectiveness of your daylighting systems by predicting how users might interact with them. In addition, we allow you to be specific—define material properties for the glazing and covering, as well as the behavior of the blinds, shades, or other daylight devices.

The operation of blinds or shades is a critical component of the Spatial Daylight Autonomy metric, which is required for LEED v4. Without it, your score will be inaccurate. LightStanza is the only cloud-based simulation software that offers honest and complete sDA results, as well as makes it easy to understand and interpret. More on this topic to come!


LightStanza Updates

We will kick off our blog by announcing some new and improved features that we hope you are as excited about as we are!

  1. Glare and False Color View Options


We improved our view options so you can once again view renderings with false color and glare overlays. Since we ‘white balance’ the renderings we produce in an effort to make sure the images are usable, we recommend using these options to identify where a space is under- or overlit, along with sources of the excessive light.

  1. Custom Bounds on Annual Metrics


Until now, annual metrics have been limited by the illuminance thresholds set by daylight committees and other certification standards, but we know that everyone has different lighting needs. See how your space performs based on thresholds you set. And we’ll go above and beyond by telling you when your new thresholds don’t match those set forth by the USGBC for LEED.

  1. Downloadable Images and Animations

LS_Large Blinds office_clear_draft

Download images, groups of images and animations (.gif files) with just a few clicks to quickly include in reports and presentations.  Easily organize and make sense of your results by choosing options to include details on your downloads, such as date/time, sky type, latitude/longitude, north arrow, etc.

  1. Daylight Factor


Daylight Factor is the ratio of light at a point inside to the level of light outside on an overcast day. This metric is common in international certification systems like BREEAM. LightStanza streamlines the workflow for running this type of simulation for reliable results that include Illuminance Grid values and a histogram to help you visualize how the space is performing.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need help using these new features or are interested in working with us.

The Sun is Up on Daylight


LightStanza is happy to announce the launch of our new blog!  We released our public beta at Rocky Mountain Green in April and have kept the ball rolling, bringing you a faster, sleeker, more effective daylighting tool. And we’re still moving, so check in regularly for relevant news and discussions, and more feature updates that will help you explore and implement daylight into all of your projects.