Everything feels better when your home is filled with natural light. It feels cheery, fresh, vibrant and spacious and gives you a sense of positivity. Here are five specific reasons why natural light is necessary for your health.
1. Sleep improves
If you work indoors throughout the day it is likely your circadian rhythms (sleep-wake cycles) will be altered. Artificial lighting affects your bodies’ production of melatonin, the chemical that influences your sleep. Living in a home with lots of natural light will regulate your sleep schedule and keep it on track so that you feel alert during the day and tired at night. Exposure to sunlight, especially early in the morning for at least half an hour, increases your chances of a good night’s sleep too.
2. Mental health and wellbeing improves
Research suggests that if you have exposure to natural light while indoors it will have a massive impact when it comes to your efficiency and disposition. Sunlight helps you produce the “happy” hormone serotonin which resists a type of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This occurs when your body recognises sunlight through the optic nerve, then it starts to produce serotonin, which can make you feel happier.
3. Immunity improves
Vitamin D is an essential mineral for your health. Its most vital functions are regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus (for bone strength), and enabling a strong immune system. The best way for you to get Vitamin D is with a little bit of exposure to the sun. This can be through regular activities like walking or gardening or ensuring that your home has adequate windows with an abundance of natural light.
4. Energy improves
Having a light filled home not only saves your electrical energy, but it also gives you more personal energy too. Research shows that natural light is very beneficial because it energises your body by stimulating your cells, regulating your biological clock and increasing your metabolism.
5. Mould and mildew improves
Mould and mildew love dark spaces to grow in. By having lots of natural light in your home it will inhibit this growth and keep your home healthier for your family.
How to get more natural light into your home:
Now you know why you need more natural light in your home, we can show you several options how you can get more natural light in your home.
1. Add more windows
Assess your homes natural light and where it is lacking. Look at the available wall space and see where you could place new windows or where you could expand existing windows. Aside from obvious spaces like living rooms, dining rooms and kitchen also think about stairways and landings as these can frequently be forgotten about. Don’t forget it’s a great idea to invest in energy efficient glass and windows if you choose this option. This way you’ll get the natural light you want plus it will help you moderate the temperature and comfort within your home all year round.
2. Add glass doors
If you have an older style home it is highly likely that you have a solid front door. If this is the case you could have it replaced with a glass door or glass panelled door. This will allow you to get more natural light through the entrance. If privacy is an issue you can use a translucent option to maintain the privacy whilst letting the light in. You can also use this method to replace any existing solid doors within the home too. This allows you to segregate the rooms as desired but allow the light to flow continuously.
3. Hang a well-placed mirror or two
You can use mirrors to optimise natural light and project it into darker corners. You can do this by placing a mirror adjacent to a window to catch the angle of light and bounce it around the room. Or you can place a mirror behind a light source, such as a table lamp, pendant light or even a candle. This will help maximise the light’s reach, creating a beautiful ambience within your home.
What room would you make brighter if you could and why?
Tell us in the comments below.
Divisional General Manager – Jim’s Glass (Australia)
Board Member – Australian Glass & Windows Association