Skylights in schools have been found to be positively and significantly correlated to better student performance. A study conducted by the Pacific Gas & Electric Company tested 21,000 students in three states and found that those in classrooms with the most daylight progressed 20 percent faster on math tests and 26 percent faster on reading tests in one year than those with the least amount daylight.
According to the Commission Public Interest Energy Research Program, daylight illumination levels were significant and positive in predicting better performance on a test of mental function and attention. The Backwards Numbers test is widely accepted in psychological research as a valid test of mental function and attention spans. An increase in daylight illumination levels from one to 20 foot candles resulted in a 13 percent improvement in the ability to instantly recall strings of numbers.
According to a report by the National Center for Education Statistics, 72 percent of the cost of energy in education buildings goes towards electricity, with the majority (56 percent) going toward lighting. America’s K-12 schools will spend $6 billion on annual energy costs, a cost that is second only to salaries and exceeds that of computers, supplies and books. Properly applying skylights into educational buildings can provide energy savings over time while
improving student performance.