As the weather gets colder and we all spend more time indoors, some of us find it harder to “find our happy place” without that oh-so-vital sunlight. But you can make the colder darker months a little more bearable by maximizing the benefits of natural lighting in your home. Increasing it can have a positive impact on mood, productivity, and vision.
The team at Roeser Home Remodeling believes in the importance of natural lighting and includes it in conversations with clients when laying out remodeling plans. Let’s talk about why natural lighting is important and how you can increase it in your home.
Health Benefits of Natural Lighting
Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. These natural processes respond primarily to light and dark and affect most living things, including animals, plants, and microbes. Your circadian rhythms tell you when to wake up and when to wind down and prepare for sleep.
Research has shown that inconsistent access to light leads to a decline in mental and physical health. In contrast, regular exposure to natural light increases serotonin levels in the brain, which is associated with improved mood and reduced anxiety. It also enhances energy levels, reduces fatigue, and contributes to an overall sense of well-being.
One study conducted at Northwestern University found that employees who were exposed to natural light in their workplace experienced better sleep quality and increased physical activity compared to those who were not. Another study conducted at the University of Illinois discovered that exposure to natural light helped reduce the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that occurs during the winter months when natural light is limited.
In brief, your body is designed to follow the sun. By increasing the natural light in your home, you can take advantage of the benefits, protect the mental health of your family, and create a space that promotes a positive and uplifting atmosphere.
Benefits of Natural Light and Energy Efficiency
Maximizing the benefits of natural lighting in your home also reduces your reliance on artificial lighting, which in turn improves energy efficiency. This can lead to lower energy costs and a reduced environmental impact.
When you ask Roeser to remodel your home—whether it’s a whole house remodel or just a room or two—consider investing in full-frame window replacements that will increase your exposure to the natural light of the sun and improve energy efficiency. Windows that are properly insulated and sealed can prevent drafts and reduce heat loss during the winter months. It also allows sunlight to warm your living spaces. Properly installed windows can also minimize heat gain during the summer, reducing the need for air conditioning.
In order to maximize the benefits of your home as is, walk around the outside of your home and take note of the objects that block natural light, such as overgrown trees and bushes. Consider removing or trimming trees and bushes around your windows to allow for more natural light to enter your home. Additionally, keeping the windows clean and free from obstructions, such as heavy curtains or blinds, will maximize the amount of natural light that filters into the room.
Installing skylights in the ceiling is another effective way to bring in consistent natural light. Skylights can be installed in various sizes and shapes. They are a great option for rooms that lack windows or receive limited natural light.
If skylights aren’t an option, sun tubes are a great alternative. Sun tubes, also known as solar tubes or light tubes, are cylindrical tubes that capture natural light from the roof and distribute it into the room using reflective material. This feature brings in natural light with no light shaft. They are a cost-effective and energy-efficient option for bringing in natural light to areas where traditional windows or skylights are not feasible.
Another option is to replace sections of an exterior wall with glass blocks. These are particularly useful in areas where windows are undesirable, such as a bathroom.
Light-Friendly furnishings and fixtures
There are several strategies you can employ to maximize the amount of natural light in your home. Positioning mirrors strategically in key corners can help draw light into darker areas of a room. Placing large mirrors directly across from windows creates a second window effect. This not only increases the amount of natural light in the room, but also creates a sense of openness and spaciousness. By reflecting and bouncing the natural light, mirrors can create the illusion of a larger and brighter space.
In addition to mirrors, multiple indirect sources of light, like lamps, can amplify the effect of natural light and create a warm and comfortable atmosphere. Placed strategically throughout the room, lamps can help distribute the light evenly and eliminate any dark corners. They are especially handy in the evening when indirect lighting is vital to helping the body wind down.
Do you have a south-facing window that provides light that is a little too intense at times? Consider light-filtering solar shades that maximize daylight while offsetting the glare. These shades allow natural light to enter the room without the uncomfortable intensity of the midday sun.
Color & Light
Don’t underestimate the power of the right shade of paint as a part of your mission to increase the natural light in your home! You’d be amazed at how effective it can be.
For instance, painting the home’s eaves white can help boost the effects of natural light. It reflects the light and distributes it more evenly.
When choosing what color to paint walls, consider lighter and brighter colors. Colors such as whites, creams, and pastels are great options for creating a bright and airy atmosphere as they reflect light. High gloss paint creates a mirror-like effect and reflects more light. And when you balance high gloss with matte finishes, you create contrast and depth. This can make the room appear brighter and more spacious.
Painting ceilings in white or another light color is another effective way to reflect light and increase natural light in a room, making it appear brighter and more open.
Don’t overlook the small touches either. Incorporating glass or highly reflective tiles, such as subway tiles, in the kitchen or bathroom can increase light reflection. These reflective surfaces will bounce the natural light around the room, making it appear brighter and more vibrant.
Ambient lighting and your home
It goes without saying that when the sun goes down that you will need something to take its place, something that won’t disrupt your circadian rhythms, a softer light that tells your body that it’s evening and it’s time to wind down. That something is ambient lighting.
Unlike bright, overhead lighting, ambient lighting is soft, indirect and provides light without interfering with your circadian rhythm. It gives you just enough light to live by and creates a warm, comforting atmosphere.
This can be achieved through the use of ceiling fixtures, lamps, and task lighting. By combining natural and artificial lighting, you can create a space that is well lit and functional throughout the day and night.
Ready to talk about maximizing the benefits of natural lighting in your home?
In brief, there is no downside to adding more natural light when remodeling and every reason in the world to make it a priority. Maximizing the benefits of natural lighting in your home is not only beneficial for your health and well-being, but also contributes to a comfortable and inviting living space.
So if you’re considering renovating your home anyway, be sure and talk to Roeser about how you can improve the lighting in your home. Incorporating strategies to enhance natural lighting, such as positioning mirrors strategically, using multiple light sources, and upgrading your home’s lighting, can make a significant difference. By considering natural light in your home design and lighting upgrades, you can create a space that is both aesthetically pleasing and conducive to a healthy lifestyle. So why not make the most of the natural light available and transform your home into a bright and welcoming sanctuary?
Roeser Home Remodel has been in the business of helping homeowners reshape and expand their homes for over twenty years. Our standards are high and we don’t accept every project because we will only do the job if we can do it right. The Staff at Roeser Home Remodeling brings the same expectations to every job—quality, customer satisfaction, and integrity. You will always get our best. Without fail. Our goal is to make the entire process as easy as possible while still giving the client the high-quality results they deserve.
Roeser Home Remodeling has been the recipient of many awards, including Best Houzz of 2020. Our Director of Design, Brandi Ward, has won several awards for her kitchen designs, and recently accepted one from ShowPlace Cabinets for her beautiful kitchen design. Brandi is an expert in creating functional kitchen layouts for families!
We are members of the Home Builders Association of St Louis, which shows our willingness to be held accountable for the quality of our work. Roeser Home Remodeling uses only the best materials, including products like Wellborn Cabinets and Showplace Cabinets. And we have an A+ rating with BBB.
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