The health benefits of natural and "simulated" daylight have been much discussed and debated. However, it is generally agreed upon by both laymen and experts alike that daylight can improve a person's mood and outlook which, in health care facilities, can contribute to better patient outcomes. Numerous studies also indicate that the presence of daylight can lead to lower rates of employee turnover and absences.
It is much easier to plan a day-lighting strategy for a new building when decisions which optimize daylight such as building orientation and the type and location of façade fenestration and shading elements can be made up front.
There is always a push-pull between the positive benefits of more daylight and the negative impacts of increased glare and heat gain. Passive façade elements such as light shelves/eyebrows allow light to bounce-off them and be reflected towards the ceiling of space where the light, now diffused, is indirectly and evenly diffused across a room without glare.
Engineered glazing with high reflectivity and low-e characteristics reduce ultraviolet radiation penetration into a space, thereby reducing heat gain. Active devices such as semi-opaque interior shades allow diffused daylight to enter while also reducing heat gain. Such shading systems can also be automated to "track the sun" as part of a computerized building management system.