Daylighting is recognized as an important and useful strategy in the design of energy efficient buildings. Daylight is still the best source of light for good colour rendering and visual comfort. In this study, a new model of global luminous efficacy over a horizontal surface is proposed. A comparative study of eighteen classic models is presented, to obtain global horizontal illuminance, using both, the original formulation and new formulae with local adaptations, in order to determine the most suitable models for the conditions in Burgos (Spain). With this aim in mind, the selected models consisted of six models developed for all sky conditions, five models for clear sky conditions, three for partly cloudy sky and four for modelling overcast sky conditions. These eighteen models were also compared with the proposed model using experimental global illuminance measurements for different sky conditions. It was shown that the proposed model behaved in a better way than most of the classic models selected from the literature; both for all sky conditions and for particular sky conditions (clear, partly cloudy and overcast). The proposed model was therefore generally applicable, with no need to employ a different model for each particular sky condition.