In these dark months… thoughts about light.

Posted on: November 7th, 2014

On a bright and sunny day, do you feel noticeably happy, is there a lightness in your step and all is well with the world? Does your energy level tend to plummet on dark days? If you said yes, you are not alone. Researchers have long suggested that lighting plays a key factor in determining our mood. Some studies suggest women are more sensitive to light than men. Natural light is needed for everyone to thrive and our skin, eyes, hair, mind and well-being need natural light to be healthy, and without it a vitamin D deficiency is probable. At the same time, your home reaps the benefit as well. Natural light can help kill bacteria that grow in dark and wet spaces in your home and it creates an ambiance that can’t be rivalled by artificial lighting sources.

Therefore ensuring you make best use of the light available around your home is vital. When designing a property there were some minimal design standards based on the floor area of a particular room. However, in my opinion that allowable minimum is a small proportion. In newer homes it’s more common to see the glass area be equal to about 15% or more of the square footage of the room. Windows today are much more energy efficient than those of the 1950s, allowing larger glass areas without the adverse effects of temperature extremes.

Careful consideration needs to be taken of the orientation of your home. North facing windows will have a constant light, whereas east, west and south facing windows will benefit from different light during the day. The choice of different shaped windows in different facing walls will change the affects greatly within a room.

Veluxes in ceiling planes can add dramatic amounts of light to the back of a room, whilst also creating a great view of the sky and birds flying overhead!

Interior of ensuite

Interior of ensuite

Where a velux cannot be installed, why not consider a sun tunnel which will allow natural light through a loft space directly into the ceiling of a landing or bathroom? They can be installed with minimum disruption and at a low cost to allow natural light into an otherwise dark space.