Learn how and why you should incorporate more natural light into your building design.
Natural light is any light that occurs naturally on Earth. An example of a natural light source would be the Sun, other natural light sources also include fires and stars. The other type of light used in homes is artificial light. This comes from lamps, torches and any other lights produced by electrical equipment.
The advantages of letting natural light in building design includes lower energy usage, improved sleep schedule, improved houseplant growth and a calm mind!
As we all know, the Sun gives off a lot of heat and light, so it would be a waste to not take advantage of it!
Using large windows and suntraps can be a great way to increase the amount of sunlight that enters your home, as well as increase the amount of heat that travels through your windows.
Roof windows and skylights can help you obtain more natural light and lower your heating bills. They’re especially great in rooms where vertical windows might not be possible to install, such as attic rooms or hallways that don’t meet an external wall.
Improving your sleep can be beneficial to nearly every part of your life, so how can we look at improving it?
According to the CDC, dimming the lights 2 hours before bed can assist you in feeling sleepy, which can help you fall asleep at a reasonable time. This is because having a large amount of natural light during the day, and low light at night, can help to stimulate the production of melatonin at the right time of day, so you can sleep better at night and feel awake throughout the day.
By improving the natural light design of your home, you can increase the amount of light you’re exposed to during the evening, improving your chance of getting a good night’s sleep. One other benefit relating to sleep can include being woken naturally by sunlight. This perk has been said to relate to our historic need of using the Sun to track time and sleep patterns.
Another benefit of natural light in building design is the additional sunlight your houseplants will receive. As houseplants need sunlight to grow, the addition of large windows (or multiple smaller windows) and natural light throughout the day can be a great way to help prolong your plant’s life, whilst also helping them grow.
According to Healthline, prolonged exposure to sunlight can help your body release the hormone serotonin, which is responsible for lifting your mood and helping you relax.
Individuals who have low levels of serotonin can be at risk of experiencing lower moods. With very little exposure to sunlight in the winter, there is a higher chance of suffering from seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD.
Getting lots of natural light into your home or building can promote good mental wellbeing all year round.
Learn more about the benefits of natural light in the home.
There are many ways you can integrate natural light into your building design, including selecting the best windows for your requirements, as well as simple tricks like using mirrors.
Having the right windows in your building design is the easiest way to make the most out of natural light.
Using large windows throughout your home will allow you to take advantage of sunlight. However, the size of the windows is not as important as the placement. If one large window illuminated 46% of the room, then two small windows (with the same total area as the larger single one) could illuminate 48%. Four small windows (with the same total surface area as the single) could illuminate 65%! The key is positioning them so light is distributed more evenly.
One way to incorporate natural light into your home is by using roof windows and skylights. By using skylights in unoccupied rooms such as lofts and garages, you can easily add natural light throughout your home, whilst also improving ventilation.
Roof windows can be used throughout your home, including bedrooms, kitchens and any other occupied room that has roofs. Using roof windows means you can let natural light into your home from above, whilst not compromising on insulation – as all DAKEA roof windows offer quality insulation and ventilation.
When looking at incorporating natural light into a workplace, you have to consider the improvements to employee mental health. According to a study from Sage Journals, the size of the window did not affect the performance of an occupant, but the duration of sunlight penetration improved work performance.
Using roof windows in workspaces can give you prolonged exposure to natural light when they’re positioning tactically around the environment.
If you’re already a homeowner, you might not be in a position to add additional windows to your home. As a builder, there also might be other limitations on adding additional windows to the building design such as budget, the position of external walls and more. So how else can you allow light to reach other parts of the building?
One of the best ways is by using mirrors throughout the home. Adding mirrors adjacent to or near your windows means that light can then bounce off them, and travel further around the room, brightening the space.
Curtains can be a great way to minimise heat loss throughout the home, but in winter when days are short, you should try and get as much light into your home as possible.
Swapping your heavy curtains with blinds can be a great way to increase natural light, whilst keeping your privacy at night. Dakea’s roof window blinds can be a great choice. Our blackout blind can improve U-value.