If you live in a colder climate with less days of sunshine a year, or you have an older style home with small windows, high ceilings and overhanging eaves, bringing natural daylight into your living spaces can be something of a problem.
Luckily, there are several ways to overcome this, without spending a fortune or carrying out extensive renovations. Simple techniques to create more light in your home include:
These are a great way to brighten up any dark room. Skylights can be custom made and installed relatively cheaply, and are perfect for rooms with high ceilings where light is a problem. They are fully waterproofed, made from toughened perspex to prevent breakage, and can even include a mirror, if installed in an angled ceiling to allow maximum light penetration. The addition of skylight blinds will also stop interior heat from escaping through the skylight at night.
These are an invention from Victorian times for drawing sunlight into cold, dark rooms. Modern light tubes consist of a skylight on the roof, with a tube below it, inserted through the attic or ceiling space, so that natural sunlight is funnelled down into the room via prismatic lenses at the top and bottom. The interior lining of the tube is also reflective, so the light is amplified even more; so much so, in fact, that a dimmer control is included in case too much light is being produced. A light tube can produce the equivalent of around 180 watts of incandescence on cloudy days and as much as 700 watts on sunny days.
Another way to invite more light into your home is to remove any heavy drapes or curtains, which tend to block light even when opened, and replace them with slimline blinds or verticals, which allow much more light to enter. Modern blinds are also very efficient at retaining heat when fully closed at night.
These are a great way to make the most of natural daylight and you can easily convert your existing doors to suit. All that is required is to cut a hole and insert a glazed glass panel (or two). If you do the same to your interior doors, you can draw light even further into your home. A decorative glass panel installed above the main entrance door, as seen in many Victorian homes, will allow even more light to enter.
If you don’t want to go to the expense of installing skylights or light tubes, then a simple way to create a feeling of space and light in a dark room is to paint the walls a light colour. This is an old decorating trick that really works, and you can even add a large mirror or two to reflect outside light even more.
The beauty of all these natural lighting techniques is that, once you have paid for the installation, the light they produce is entirely free, so by introducing more natural light, you will be reducing your carbon footprint and saving on your energy bills as well.