We all love to bask in natural light. It lifts the mood and makes the whole home feel cheery and inviting. Homes that let natural light flood in are good for the people who live there are even good for the environment. Naturally lit homes cost less to light and heat and so use up fewer natural resources such as coal and gas.
If you are planning a new build or a major refurbishment of your existing home, this is the ideal time to discuss your natural requirements with UlfBuilt and get the design elements that you want. Take a look these ideas and decide if they would work for you.
- Devise your natural light strategy
This is not as simple as squeezing as many windows in as possible. Clever design balances the benefits of windows (natural light and warmth) with the drawbacks (heat loss/gain and glare).
- Think placement and orientation
Where you place your windows matters just as much as how many you have. Track the sun’s movements around your plot and identify the times of day when the maximum sunlight will hit each room.
- Balance each room
For every room in the house, you need to balance light entry. If light only enters from one direction it can cause glare and casts shadows in the furthest recesses of the room.
- Go for height
You can even out the natural light in any room by placing the windows high up. This allows lights to reach all of the interior spaces. When windows are extended upwards to reach the ceiling, the light bounces around the room.
- Consider installing light shelves
Light shelves are soffits that project into the interior from underneath high windows. They project around 12 inches into the room so they don’t take up much space but they cause natural light to bounce off the ceiling.
- Make some bold design decisions
If your budget allows you can add some spectacular design features. Raised roof sections with windows on both sides are called ‘light monitors’ and are highly effective. Beautiful clerestories (bands of windows) can also look stunning.
- Glass doors make all the difference
You can influence the way in which light moves through your home by fitting glass doors. This allows the windows in one room to provide light in several others.
- Mirrors will bounce the light around
Cleverly placed mirrors are an inexpensive way to open up space and maximize light from a single window.
- Keep it under control
There is such a thing as too much light! If you have a lot of windows you may need to limit the amount of powerful sunlight entering your home at certain times of the day or you could suffer from over-heating. Light colored, open-weave shades or curtains work very well in any room.
- Decorate for light
Choose light and neutral colors for walls and ceilings. Some paints contain reflective elements which will bounce the light back into the room.