Light is one of the most important things you can bring into any house or indoor space. Not only does light in a room inspire feelings of warmth, but lots of natural light in your home can also be beneficial to your health. In fact, research shows that the right amount of natural lighting can reduce depression or anxiety, and be beneficial for a better sleep cycle.
How Do You Get Natural Lighting in Your House?
If you aren’t a professional designer or photographer, light can seem like one of the most difficult things to incorporate. Relax, even professional designers sometimes struggle to find ways to incorporate natural light in the best way.
Do you feel like your living space might be missing something essential, but you can’t figure out what it is? The answer is, almost certainly always, natural light!
The truth is that natural light isn’t as difficult to incorporate as you might imagine. Follow this guide and you’ll know exactly what you need to increase the natural light in your home.
The first thing you should do if you want to let natural light into a dark room in your house is to consider the orientation of your house. Look at the rooms, and consider the windows and their placement in relation to the sun. If it helps, draw a picture to give you a clear idea of where the sun rises and sets.
Any professional lighting expert will know that most of the difficulty is knowing where the light comes from as well as where it will end up throughout the day. Draw the trajectory of the sun over your house. Which rooms get the most light versus the least amount of sunlight?
Now that you have your sunlight map on paper, it’s time to look at what you can do around the house to introduce or accentuate the natural light.
If you would like to see more natural lighting throughout your house, start by scrubbing and polishing your windows. While nobody likes to hear it, most houses could use window cleaning. A surface wipe on the inside of the windows every few weeks can still allow dust to stick to your windows like glue. This results in less light from the outside being let in.
Windows are meant to let in light, but only the cleanest windows will let in the most natural light. Once you have done this, it’s time to find more ways to accentuate the light coming in.
Let the Sunshine In
Sunlight isn’t just about the light or heat it creates. Sunlight is also about the ultra-violet rays it projects. Research shows that ultra-violet light is essential for improving moods and even has an antibacterial effect. Let the sunshine in!
Thick, heavy curtains and liners can absorb sunlight and block it from making its way into your house. Thick window coverings are also more of a nightmare to clean. In fact, most people don’t clean them as often as they should just for the amount of effort that it can take.
Change your window coverings and let some sunlight in. It’s not just good for your house, but it can also be great for your mood.
Don’t Block Natural Light
Natural light should have a clear and uninterrupted path into your house. The use of your sunlight map should tell you exactly where sunlight gets in most (or gets the least access). On your map, draw any obstacles that could be blocking out the light.
Trees are common obstacles that stand in the way of direct sunlight. However, there could also be structures in the way – or sometimes, furniture in the house that has been moved right in the way.
Most people don’t imagine the number of obstacles in the way of natural light until they look and see how much brighter their house could be with these things out of the way.
Use Reflective Surfaces
Reflectiveness is one of the distinguishing qualities of light and is something that you can put to use with great effects anywhere around the house. The introduction of mirrors in the right places to reflect light around your house can make smaller, darker rooms feel bigger and lighter.
Mirrors are not the only answer to reflecting natural light. In fact, any reflective surface in the home can be used for this, including smooth tiles.
If you would like to let more natural light into your house, then replacing your windows might be the best solution. Traditional pane glass lets in light, but also has drawbacks in that it doesn’t let in the ideal amounts for every home. Not to mention, older forms of pane glass can, no matter how clean, can start to appear dull.
If you don’t mind spending a bit of money to add natural lighting to your house, then upgrade your windows.
Additional Reading: Daylighting – Energy.gov
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