Add natural light to your homeWednesday, January 15, 2014 by: Greener Ideal
Methods to Add Natural Light to your Home
Everyone wants their home to be light and airy, but some homes, especially those which have been extended or which are north facing, can be very dark and dingy inside. Of course there is always the option of adding more lamps and ceiling lights, but nothing beats natural light for giving a room a boost and making a room welcoming. There are many different options for getting light into your home, and not all of them are going to cost a fortune.
Interior Design Tricks
If you haven’t the budget for replacing or adding more windows, then being clever with interior design can drastically change the feel of your home without the expense. Mirrors are a tried and tested design trick as they reflect the light around the room, and using pale colours rather than deep shades will make the room feel lighter too. Keep window coverings to a minimum to allow as much light to stream in as possible, and pull your curtains and blinds open fully every morning.
If you have tried all of the interior design tricks and are still struggling to get enough natural light into a room, daylight bulbs can be the answer. These bulbs are blue in colour and unlike regular light bulbs they give off a much more natural glow. Daylight bulbs are also available as energy efficient bulbs, and although they are more expensive to buy initially, they last a lot longer. They are recommended for people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder, and for people who do crafts such as needlework or knitting. There are also therapeutic daylight lamps which are designed for people who suffer badly with the lack of daylight in the winter, but these are designed for using over short periods of time rather than to light a room on a permanent basis.
Changing the Windows
Bigger windows are the obvious way of getting more light into your home, and small windows can often be a problem in country cottages or very old properties, build at a time when the cost of glass for large windows was prohibitively expensive. It is always a balancing act between getting larger windows while maintaining the character and appearance of your home, and in the case of people living in listed buildings or a conservation area there are often restrictions about what you are and are not allowed to do to improve your windows. Getting new windows is often not a cheap option either, with a double glazed unit costing upwards of £500. If light floods into your house from one direction only, leaving the other side of the house dark, think about investing in glass doors which will help move the light around.
Installing Sky Lights
Having a skylight on the roof provides far more light than a window on the side of the house, and if you are building an extension or using an attic room having a sky light or something like a Velux window can flood the room with natural light. This is a particularly good solution for rooms which are north facing or for extensions where the inclusion of sky light can be built in at the planning stage. Sliding doors or French windows can also add to the natural light in a home, as long as they are large enough and not covered with blinds or curtains.
One of the most innovative methods of getting light into a room is by using a product such as a sun pipe. The sun pipe kits comprise a small sky roof light and then a long mirrored tube which directs the light from the roof down into the house. The way they are constructed means that sun tubes can be used in most single storey areas of the house, or upstairs to filter light down from the roof level. Sun pipes are still quite an innovative product in the UK and although many are being used in offices or schools, they are still quite unusual in a domestic setting. Keen DIY enthusiasts should be able to fit a sun pipe themselves, or a professional should be able to complete the job in a day.