Imagine a house with very little natural light, always giving a dull feeling, no freshness, and an unhealthy ambiance. On the other hand, imagine the other house full of natural light, always looking bright and fresh, with a pleasing ambiance. Which one would you like? Definitely the second one, right?
We all prefer natural light coming into our homes for several reasons. As humans, we depend on the sun for light and energy, in short, for our lives. What if a house is structured in a way that restricts sunlight from coming in? It will be very similar to the first case mentioned above, right? Natural light is significantly important to human beings for better health.
This article explains why we need ample natural light to enter our homes. Also, you will get to know 5 ways to maximize natural light in your home. Let’s begin with understanding natural light and its importance through the benefits it provides.
The sunlight coming through doors and windows in the rooms of your house is the natural light. It is evenly distributed and hence considered superior to artificial light. The UV rays from the sun are essential for our health, and lacking natural light can lead to several health issues. Let’s move on to understanding the benefits of having ample natural light in our homes.
Advantages of Natural Light
The following advantages of having enough natural light in our homes explain why it is so significant –
Natural Light is Free and Also Saves Energy
The sun doesn’t charge you any money in return for the light it provides. So natural light is always available for all during the day time. It’s not just free, but it also saves your energy and expenses. The more natural light you have, the less electricity you will consume. Thus it simply reduces your requirement for energy and hence saves expenses.
Natural Light Reduces Eye Strain and Increases Comfort
Another benefit of having natural sunlight in your home is an increased sense of comfort. In case of extended exposure to artificial light, you may sometimes suffer from eye irritation or minor headache since your eyes are always straining to see. Research showed that natural light may reduce the risk of nearsightedness. Another research showed that natural light can lead to better vision.
Reduces Stress Levels and Anxiety
Natural light can play an important role in improving your mood. It provides actual benefits for your mental health, including reducing stress levels and anxiety. When people affected by seasonal affective disorder spend more time in natural light or sunshine, it helps improve their mood.
Promotes Better Sleep
Natural sunlight has a crucial role in your sleep schedule. Research has shown that natural light is the most significant external factor affecting sleep. Your body’s circadian rhythm or internal clock is directly tied to natural sunlight. It can promote a healthy sleep schedule by reducing eye irritation.
Natural light can stimulate your productivity by improving your mood. Recent studies have found that natural light and air quality have the biggest impact on employee well-being. If you are working from home, having ample natural light can improve your mindset while working and thus boost productivity.
Benefits Indoor Plants
Indoor plants flourish when provided with adequate natural lighting. These plants can provide several health benefits while adding an appealing splash of color to your home. When indoor plants receive enough natural light to soak in, they can flourish with new growth.
Increases Home Value
Homes with ample natural light and beautiful windows usually sell for more. Windows that provide a view can help make your room feel larger than it is. New windows and window treatments are often considered one of the best home improvements that increase value since they are energy-efficient.
Other Health Benefits
Having ample natural light in your home offers numerous other health benefits. Some of them can be – improving seasonal affective disorder and increasing levels of vitamin D. Natural lighting can also be useful for people prone to eye irritation and general discomfort after spending excess time under artificial lighting.
Helps Protect the Environment
Illuminating your home with the help of natural lighting doesn’t just reduce your potential cost but can also be advantageous for the environment. You have to burn fossil fuels in order to produce electricity in your home. Try to reduce dependency on electricity when it comes to providing light for your home since it is a great step toward increased sustainability.
Improves the Aesthetics of Your Home
Apart from health benefits, having ample natural light can also help enhance the aesthetic of spaces in your home. For example, more natural light can make your spaces appear larger while illuminating features like artwork, chandeliers, or architectural elements.
The above list of benefits clearly highlights the significance of having ample natural light in our homes. One should not miss these benefits and hence should try to maximize natural light. If you are thinking about the ways in which you can maximize natural light, just continue reading.
Top 5 Ways to Maximize Natural Light
Considering the structure of your home, your budget, and other parameters such as directions, there are some ways to maximize natural light as follows –
1. Choice of Colors
Dark colors absorb natural light and hence result in darkness in a room. As our aim is to maximize natural light, try to choose light colors for walls and ceiling as well. Remember, your ceiling should be a shade lighter than your walls. White, a soft pastel, yellow, or beige are some of the good choices. Once you prepare your room to properly accommodate natural light, you can choose some accessories with dark colors to make it the center of attraction. If you’re planning colors, make sure you opt for natural colors since they will enhance the impact of natural light. Create a natural look with natural colors wherever possible.
2. Use Reflective Objects
Another simple trick that helps maximize the natural light coming into your home. You can use mirrors and tiles to decorate your walls that directly absorb natural light. This trick will help you amplify the natural light by reflecting it in your rooms. By reflecting light around the space, these objects help the whole environment to look bright. Place those mirrors strategically to reflect the natural light and make your room look bigger. Choosing tile or glass in your kitchen and bathroom is another good option to maximize the natural light coming in. You can also think of adding glossy/reflective room accessories that will contribute to the purpose.
3. Try Glass Windows and Doors while Not Compromising Security
Although this is the simplest trick or advice anyone can suggest, it gives you the most favorable results. The reason is that doors and windows are the primary ways natural light enters your home. If you use wood, metal, or other material that blocks the natural light from coming in, you won’t get good results. Therefore, using glass doors and windows with good safety and security features is the best way to maximize natural light. Another hint for those who haven’t yet finalized their house’s structure (plan) is – Opt for large windows and doors to allow maximum natural light.
4. Add Windows Wherever Possible
Adding more windows simply helps maximize natural light; however, just having windows is not enough. You must maintain and clean your windows frequently to serve the purpose well. Some of you might raise the issue of privacy. Opt for high windows considering the sun beaming down light from overhead. Many people may find this idea not suitable; another option is using frosted windows. Having frosted windows helps maximize natural light in a diffuse, thus preventing glare from getting in. Frosted windows resolve the privacy issue; thus, you can have the number of windows required to maximize natural light. Also, make sure you avoid putting large furniture near your windows since it may obstruct the natural light.
5. Make Spaces Bigger
Too small and narrow spaces often are one of the great inhibitors of natural light in your home. Allow natural light to flow into your rooms from all directions by making them more open. There are three ways in which you can open a space up. The first is enlarging. Widening the doorway (rather than making it a double door in size), or increasing its height to make it larger, is a very effective technique. The second is tearing the walls themselves down.
If there’s no need for a wall splitting in your kitchen and dining room, then tear it down. A single, larger room is always better when it comes to maximizing natural light. Another benefit of this method is that the space will become larger and airier. The third option is effectively using screen doors to create an indoor-outdoor living area.
Some of these options may apply to your home, whereas others may not suit much. See what fits your budget and suits your home, and try to maximize natural light to enjoy its benefits!