Hey, lighten up! Better than rearranging with Feng Shui or redecorating for better style, incorporating natural light is the key to a happy home. Natural light does a lot more than brighten shadows and open up a space too.
According to the New York Times, studies reveal, "standardized test scores among comparable students could be as much as 26 percent higher when they attended classes in buildings illuminated primarily by natural lighting, [and] 40 percent higher sales [were recorded] at checkout counters underneath skylights." Imagine what natural light could do to improve productivity in your home.
Want to let in the sun, but don't know where to start? Read on for four ways to incorporate natural light in your home.
Install More Windows
Installing more windows is an obvious option for those who want more natural light, and it good way to increase the value of your home. Skylights add extra interest and light to a room. The California Energy Commission notes the best way to install: "When installed on a north-facing roof, a skylight will provide fairly constant but cool illumination. One on an east-facing roof would provide maximum light and solar heat gain in the morning. A west-facing skylight provides afternoon sunlight, but it can produce large amounts of unwanted heat in the late afternoon."
Tip for Renters: Sure, a west-placed skylight sounds swanky, but adding more windows and skylights isn't typically a direct decision for renters. If you have a long-term lease, it may be worth it to invest in an extra, small window – especially if you're dealing with a windowless room set amidst harsh, dark winters. Consider contacting your landlord about this value-increasing renovation, and try to make a deal. Offer to arrange the installation, as well as take care of the fine details for a short-term break on rent.
Update Window Coverings
A cheaper way to increase natural light lies in updating window coverings. Dingy or dark-colored old curtains can block too much light – and they're an eyesore. Choose Creative Blinds for shades and shutters that easily open up to let in the light.
The best part is that they're as convenient to open as they are to close. While it's important to incorporate natural light, it's just as vital to keep it out when it's time for bed.
Choose Glass Doors Whenever Possible
When considering extra sources for natural light, homeowners often neglect their doors. Changing out your solid doors for a glass option is a great way to open a room to more light. However, you don't want to be blinded by the light every time you great a guest. Consider only updating north-facing windows. According to Energy.gov, "North-facing windows admit relatively even, natural light, producing little glare and almost no unwanted summer heat gain."
And remember, light doesn't stop at the entryway. Exchange solid hallway doors for French doors whenever possible – or remove unnecessary doors altogether.
Reflect With Mirrors
It isn't always possible to make major renovations to your walls and doors, that's why a cheap backup plan is crucial. In a way, the natural light you do have can get stale if it has nowhere to go. A window that faces a hallway wall is useless without a mirror to reflect the bright light and direct it back into a sitting room or bedroom. It's been done to improve light in nature, so there's no reason a few mirrors can't improve the light in your home.
The Atlantic reports, in cities with deep valleys, "To illuminate those darker winter months, the two towns have built gigantic mirrors that track the sun and reflect daylight downwards." Consider adding mirrors higher on your walls then you might normally like. As the sun sets in the evening, light will show from mirrors that face windows offering extra light in the wintertime.
No matter how you choose to integrate light in your home, it's sure to make you happy. With just a few small adjustments, you'll be sitting pretty in natural light.
Have you recently made renovations to your home? How will you incorporate natural light? Share your thoughts in the comments below.