Natural light is an essential element for a happy and healthy existence. Vitamin D, for example, builds healthy bones and most of us get our daily dose of this essential vitamin from exposure to direct sunlight. In addition, studies have shown that natural light has a profound effect on our overall well-being.
From aiding concentration to boosting mood, the benefits of daylight are significant. Make the most of daylight and bring the outdoors in. Getting natural light into your home will help to create a healthy and happy living space.
Not all rooms in your home will be subject to streaming sunlight and some may seem dark and dreary, whatever the time of day. Don’t despair. From décor tricks to DIY, the following tips will show you how to get more natural light into your home.
Allow daylight in
As obvious as it may seem, the first step is to make sure that daylight can actually access your home. Trim surrounding bushes and trees to ensure sunlight isn’t being blocked out. Similarly, make sure you keep your windows clean; dirty windows will prevent daylight from coming in. Likewise, remove heavy, dark curtains, as their presence will reduce the amount of light that’s able to penetrate a room.
Mirror, mirror on the wall
Strategically placed mirrors can help make the most of the natural light in your home. By positioning a large mirror on a wall opposite a window, the mirror will reflect incoming light and create the illusion of a lighter, larger space.
Interior colours are also a consideration. Dark colours absorb natural light. Avoid deep, dark colours on walls furthest from the windows. Instead, opt for colours like white and light grey. Light, bright colours can bounce natural light around, helping to brighten up the room. Similar to mirrors, interior materials can have light reflecting effects. Shiny tiles, glossy furniture and glass or brass interior accessories can also brighten a room and make the most of natural daylight.
Open you door to daylight
Open your door to daylight
Doors can be altered to exploit available daylight. Frosted or tinted glass can be used in both internal and external doors, offering an ideal way to introduce more daylight without sacrificing privacy. Frosted glass is ideal for front doors. Inside the home however, why not consider clear or mirrored doors to separate rooms while still letting in light?
A window to the world
An obvious solution to the daylight dilemma is to install larger or additional windows in the home. If the room has an external wall, then installing larger windows or French doors would resolve the issue of sunlight-starved living spaces. Although the obvious solution, this is by far the most expensive, involving time, convenience and cost considerations.
If installing new windows or doors is not feasible, you could consider a traditional roof skylight instead although these too involve significant cost and time as they require structural changes and making good. Furthermore, traditional roof windows set into the pitch of the roof are efficient only on south-facing aspects – with the associated disadvantage of the potential for solar gain and potential UV damage to carpets and soft furnishings. Such windows are usually not particularly thermally efficient and require frequent cleaning – both inside and out.
The Solatube solution
If you have a room that seems impossible or simply too expensive to illuminate using traditional methods, why not consider installing a Solatube Daylighting System? Often referred to as sun tubes or solar tubes, these innovative systems can deliver natural light from the rooftop right into your room with dramatic and powerful effect. A strategically positioned dome gathers sunlight from the roof and channels the light along a reflective tube, delivering the light via a ceiling diffuser into the room below.
Cost-effective and easy to install, Solatube Daylighting Systems require no structural modifications and can be fitted within a matter of hours into a range of different rooms. They are efficient on all roof aspects, thermally efficient (to 0.5W/m2K), with virtually no solar gain or UV – and they are maintenance free! Although a straight tube with a short run will deliver the strongest amount of daylight, Solatube can deliver significant amounts of daylight over long distances too and can be used to naturally illuminate the most difficult-to-reach living space – even through several stories, bringing brilliant natural light to the gloomiest room.