The Impact of Daylight on the Mental Health Counseling Experience


The positive impact of daylight on the human body is undeniable. Each day, new research, case studies, design guides and design standards magnify the importance of daylight as a source of interior lighting that drives human health, productivity and happiness.


It’s physiological…

Scientists at the Lighting Research Center (KRC), in Tory, N.Y have reported that daylit environments increase occupant productivity and comfort and provide the mental and visual stimulation necessary to regulate human circadian rhythms and the production of neural transmitters, such as serotonin.

The human circadian rhythms are the body’s natural clock. When your brain detects daylight and the changing spectral content over the course of the day, it tells your body to wake you up and when darkness hits, it triggers your body to fall asleep. by exposing your body to daylight throughout the day, your healthy human circadian rhythm will have a significant role in regulating your sleep-wake cycle and have a positive influence on your eating habits and digestion, body temperature, hormone release and other important bodily functions.

Serotonin, sometimes known as the happy hormone, leaves us feeling more energized, happy and well-rested while fighting and reducing stress, anxiety, depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

It’s psychological too…

The benefits of natural light on the way we feel don’t just apply to our physical wellbeing, but also to our psychological health and mood. As living beings, we feel the benefits of being exposed to daylight, and when we don’t have it, we crave daylight and views.

Studies have found that patients actually feel better, safer and have less anxiety when they have access to daylight because it creates a sense of physical and mental comfort.


Helping The Indian Health Board Counseling Center Create a Daylight-Filled Space


The Indian Health board counseling center is a small single floor building in a dense urban area of Minneapolis, Minnesota, focusing primarily on the American Indian and Alaska Native American communities. The building consists of a front waiting area, conference rooms and interior and exterior clinical therapy rooms.

For this project, Solatube SolaMaster series tubular daylighting systems and the Solatube daylight dimmer were used to bring natural daylight deep into the interior therapy rooms to positively impact the overall therapy experience for both the patient and therapists who spend 8-10 hours a day in the space.


The reaction from the staff was overwhelmingly positive.

Autumn Bussuvanno, a post-doctoral fellow, and therapist who has a windowless interior office said, “I turn my electric lights off about 90% of the time. Even though my electric lights are fully dimmable, I prefer the quality of natural daylight and silence of no electric lights.” “I believe my body senses the different light and it improves my overall energy level throughout the day.”

Another therapist noted, “I often felt lethargic during the day in my windowless office. Now with the Solatube units, I feel so much better, and my attention span has even improved.”

“For me, the most important element of my Solatube experience is that I am now able to grow plants in my office,” added therapist Adriana Youssef. “It positively impacts my daily experience at work and keeps the room alive.”

With all the counselors in this clinic spending full days listening to the personal challenges of their clients and striving to lend a positive ear to their difficult life circumstances, having a more natural office environment filled with daylight helps to reduce stress, improve morale and increase productivity.


When working on your next health care project, whether it is a facility modernization or a start-from-scratch new design, consider making daylight the primary source of interior illumination for daytime hours!

The benefits go way beyond a simple energy efficiency, with quality illumination influencing virtually every aspect of a health care facility in a positive way. When properly done, the effective use of daylight will result in a health care facility that maximizes patient and staff health and wellbeing.

If you want to learn how to maximize natural light in your commercial project, you can call 888.SOLATUBE to set up a free consultation or visit to find your local distributor.