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A creative guide to maximising the flow of natural light into your home

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natural light in the bay window area

Nothing can beat and replicate natural light when it comes to lighting a home. It merges your home with its surroundings, sets the tone and mood, and energises a space. 

In this article, we’ll discuss why it’s vital for your home to have natural lighting. We’ll also discover the benefits and clever tips if you’re renovating your home to invite a steady flow of light into it.

Learn through this guide. Let’s begin!

Natural light vs. artificial light

Natural light comes from the radiation emitted by the sun. The sun produces energy, heat, and colour, which plants absorb. If not, it reflects through a surface. Depending on the season, it only lasts for a few hours within the day. Since the moon reflects the sun’s light, it’s also considered a natural light source.

Australia has harsh sunshine compared to other countries because of its location in the Southern Hemisphere. Although it can help increase Vitamin D levels necessary for bone health and the immune system, its ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause skin cancer

Meanwhile, artificial light is a convenient alternative, especially when the sun isn’t available. It’s easy to manipulate since you can easily focus, dim, increase, decrease, or direct it to your desired area. 

You can avoid and mitigate the sun’s adverse effects with the right amount of incidental exposure and sunscreen. Better yet, you can take advantage of its sunrays. Architects use natural lighting to achieve their vision of a specific space.

Why is it essential for a home to have a steady flow of natural light?

There are good reasons why having a steady flow of natural lighting is necessary for a home. Here are some:

It’s good for our health and minds.

Sunlight has several health benefits. Studies suggest that both natural and artificial light positively impact mental health problems such as seasonal depression, panic attacks, and anxiety-related disorders. It also improves melatonin production, which addresses other issues such as sleep disorders.

Moreover, it allows us to focus and be productive.

It’s safe.

Both natural and artificial light is bright, but the latter’s too harsh on the eyes and may cause visual problems and headaches. Fluorescent is a type of artificial lighting known to cause an elevated stress response. 

It increases sustainability.

Natural lighting is the most sustainable light source. It doesn’t consume energy which is enough to save you from high electric bills. It’s also renewable, making it an inexhaustible source of energy. 

It keeps your house clean.

Apart from all the mentioned importance of natural lighting, it can also help your residential or commercial space to be clean and aesthetic. Sunlight helps kill bacteria, moulds, etc. It can also help your clothes become fresh and odour-free.

Superdraft tip: Natural lighting may help stop moulds, but using mould-resistant paint for your home renovation can help prevent their growth.

Benefits of natural light

Bigger room and fresher air

Architects use it to incorporate aesthetics into a space. It can help your area look more extensive as it can visually impact your home.

Energy-efficient

Since you don’t have to use electricity if you need light, you can increase your home’s energy efficiency.

Comfortable

Sunlight helps increase the release of serotonin hormone, which can help you feel calm and comfortable.

Fewer energy expenses

With daylight, you won’t be using artificial light most of the day, which will help you save energy.

Stimulates productivity

Serotonin aids you in being productive most of the day and helps you produce happy hormones.

Psychologically healthy

If you have insomnia, sunlight helps release melatonin. It’s a hormone that helps you sleep at night and reduces the risks of anxiety disorder and stress. People with mental health problems need a good amount of sunlight daily, along with other treatments.

Increased home value

Buyers tend to purchase homes that maximise the use of natural lighting.

Tips for renovating your home to maximise the flow of natural light

You can seamlessly renovate to optimise natural lighting in your home. You can choose from numerous additions, from the roof down to the flooring. Here are some tips:

For your roof/ceiling:

You may want to add skylights to your bathroom, attic, or kitchen. It can either be ventilating, fixed, or tubular. Decide where to position your skylights to determine what is appropriate for your home layout. 

If you prefer, you can install glass roof lights. Pick a flat spot on your roof so it can project a balanced light at all angles. They don’t usually open, but they provide ventilation. Above all, they also give your roof a solid and sleek finish.

Sun tunnels are also an option. They’re a mirror from a weatherproof plastic globe that gathers light from the sun; and a sheet-metal tube that channels and diffuses light. 

If you can’t put skylights into a specific space, you can place these tunnels, especially in concealed areas of a home like deep corridors, hallways, or stairwells.

Roof windows are often confused with skylights. Learn more about their benefits, designs, and ideas in our article.

For your door:

One of the best additions to your home is the glass element. Building design experts use glass to give an illusion of a vast space. Aside from that, it reflects and refracts light allowing more of it to enter.

You have glass door options such as hinged single doors, bifold doors, pivot doors, sliding doors, or stacking doors. It’s best to place them in a direction that doesn’t get too hot during summer. Knowing where to position your glass doors (or windows) efficiently helps increase energy efficiency in a home.

A bifold door is an exciting yet low-maintenance choice for your home renovation. It’s more compact than traditional doors, can save door space, and increase ventilation.

Structural and internal double-glazing or triple-glazing is an energy-efficient option for your door. It keeps heat or ventilation by trapping argon gas between two panes of glass and helps light the space.

If your bedroom is on the ground floor, you may want to consider replacing your window with a patio door. It can provide a good view of your greenery,  sunlight in the morning, and moonlight at night.

For privacy, you can always pick a more appropriate window treatment.

A fanlight or transom window is a lunette window often placed above a window or a doorway. It’s semi-circular in shape. It’s a little outdated, but more homeowners and modern building design experts have rediscovered its use in spreading light throughout the area.

It can be segmental, an arc, or an oval. It provides additional light and releases the hot air cluttered at the ceiling or top of the room.

Broaden your options. Pick which best door design is perfect for your home.

For your windows:

Clerestory windows are standard in Queenslander homes. You can install them in any portion of your home, especially in areas with low ceilings. They are glass windows placed below the roofline and function for the same purpose as fanlights.

Choose light-coloured curtains, especially on your windows with direct sun exposure. Curtains of this colour allow light to pass through and are less prone to fading. They also keep the room cool and cosy.

Opt for frosted windows if you want a glass room but are afraid of compromising privacy. They keep an ideal temperature and enhance security in your home. Moreover, they protect your furnishings from detrimental UV rays.

For your flooring:

They may not necessarily allow natural lighting into a home, but rugs can help optimise the light in a space and give an element of warmth. Pick a durable material for your carpet that reconciles well with the furniture and the amount of light it gets.

Although it may show up dirt and scratches easily, a light-coloured flooring material can be a good decision as it can also help illuminate natural lighting in your space.

If you want to know what the perfect flooring option is best for you, read here.

For your walls:

Choose a paint that will enhance its impact on a room. 

While sunlight affects colours, know that white is the most reflective among them. When exposed to natural lighting, your white or light-coloured wallpaper can provide a sense of space. It maximises and brightens up a room.

The effect of natural lighting depends on certain factors. The weather, season, time, and position of the sun and building affect the colours.

Aside from that, you can add simple wall art to add interest and creativity to your home. 

You may also want to replace your internal walls with glazed glass panels to spread light as broader as possible. Below is a house exhibiting natural lighting and space. 

For your stairs:

You can increase light in your space by upscaling your staircase. Choose a customised staircase that won’t occupy that much space and block the light from passing through your home.

Opt for a glass baluster. Glass reflects light and can make your stairs look brighter. However, if the glass isn’t your thing, you may go for open-tread stairs. If you want, you can combine them like the one below. It’s visually light and uncrowded.

For your outdoor space:

In locating your glass doors and windows, ensure they aren’t blocked by big trees or climbing plants inside. 

For your house plans:

Opt for an open-plan style of home for you to allow the light to reach the darker space. Said style makes your room look open and spacious.

FAQs

1. How can you improve natural light in your interior?

Always include mirror elements in your home renovation. If angled correctly, they reflect light and give an illusion of depth. You can redirect it to lighten dark or dim spaces.

If you’re renovating, you can declutter your home. Start with big, bulky pieces of furniture that may block the light from the outside. Opt for lighter and smaller pieces that aren’t dragging the space.

Transparent furniture is an option as it creates distance. You can also use minimalist or low-to-ground furniture since they don’t block light in a room.

2.Which part of the house should have natural light?

Ideally, every aspect of the house should receive natural lighting. However, too much might drain the warmth of a home. Such is crucial, especially during most parts of the day when there’s heavy sunlight. Ensure that you balance with homey elements when you decide on these upgrades.

If you want, you can decide which room needs the most daylight.

3.Which direction should you face your glass windows and doors?

If you place your glass doors or windows in the North, they get most of the winter sunlight.

Windows facing either East or West get excess sunlight in the summer and little of it in the rest of the seasons.

Meanwhile, if you decide to meet it South, know there’s little sunlight during the winter.

4.How much do these improvements cost?

There is no fixed build cost for the improvements mentioned above. If you want to know how much this costs, register to Superdraft and book a free consultation with our Project Coordinators.

Natural light is better

Natural lighting has an undeniable contribution to a home. To put it more effectively in a home renovation, you must balance the elements and consider all the factors. Superdraft can help you get in touch with drafting and building design professionals.

We’ll assist you in getting council approval and choosing the right builder for your home renovation project. Plus, you can even get free access to our project planning dashboard!

Sign up now and get a free quote!

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