Want to increase the natural light in the home? The importance of natural light and the impact it has on a living environment cannot be underestimated, which is why it’s such an influential factor in home design. In addition to the obvious visual advantages of natural light, it also impacts our home comfort, our sense of space and connection to our outside environment. Research has also shown that increased levels of natural daylight aid Vitamin D and Serotonin both of which aid mental, spiritual and physical health. On the reverse side, reduced levels of natural light also increase the incidence of depression, anxiety, ill health and can even help prolong recovery from illness. Good home design which helps draw more of the right kind of light into the right part of your house for extended periods makes a world of difference to how we live. Outlined below are some ways homeowners can increase the levels of natural light in their property. Thanks to Lachlan Austin, Viridian Glass’s General Manager, Marketing
Trim large trees that block windows in the home – you will need to check with your local council about the rules for your area.
Skylights – Install glazed skylights or canopies.
High performance glass – Enlarge existing windows or reglaze existing windows with high performance glass.
Declutter windows – Allow windows to be free of any heavy curtains, blinds and other obstacles that prevent the light getting in.
Sheer drapes – Consider using sheer drapes if you want some form of dressing on your windows.
Watch where you place furniture – To increase natural light in the home do not block light by placing furniture in front of the window.
Keep the windows clean – Dirty windows will decrease the level of light entering the home.
Light colours on walls – Use white or light colours throughout the walls of a room to reflect the natural light that comes in.
Light colours on furniture -Use light colours for furniture and accessories in the room, as they reflect natural light better than darker colours.
Mirrors – Adding mirrors across from a window will help reflect the natural light into different parts of the room.
Internal glazing – Introduce internal glazing in the home via a glass panel partition or windows in the internal walls allowing light to filter from one room to the next.
Front door – Replace the front door with a suitable glass door that allows adequate light to shine through into the home.
Sliding glass door – Consider introducing a sliding glass door to a room that has access to an outside space or nice view e.g. deck, patio or garden area. In this situation, you can replace a regular window with a sliding glass door, or have a hole cut in the wall to introduce a sliding glass door.
Plan window placement – When planning window placement for daylight penetration in daytime use rooms you should aim to have glazing ratios 20% above the average for the whole house.
Consider the flooring in your living space – This impacts the light levels in the home. Light-toned, polished wooden floorboards can act as light reflectors and be an effective tool in increasing natural light levels.
Reflective materials – To increase natural light in the home consider incorporating reflective materials into your home, for example- materials like steel, metallic paint, glass, chrome, porcelain and crystal. These items can help brighten up a room and give the illusion of a much larger space.
Change room layout – Some rooms may be dark because they do not have a layout favourable to brightness. This is where you should consider changing the room’s layout or making structural changes like some of the items suggested above to facilitate increased natural light distribution.