Natural light is an integral part of interior design — embracing it in your home has multiple benefits for you and your family, as well as your plants, the value of your home, your utility bills, and more!
Keep reading as we discuss why overlooking natural light is a BIG mistake in residential architecture, and stay tuned till the end to learn how you can ensure there is sufficient light in your interior. So, let’s get started!
Adds to the Bills
It goes without saying that natural light is practically free light. You can use it throughout the day to brighten up your space without electricity. Overlooking natural light means you’ll need more sources of artificial lighting — and will need to keep them powered on even during the day — to brighten up your space, resulting in massive utility bills.
May Create a Gloomy Interior
A lack of natural light in the interior means it lacks a connection with Mother Nature — something essential to ensure general well-being.
“Connecting with the Earth literally brings us to life. It breathes us. It restores and rejuvenates our energy field.”, says Kind Earth.
Lacking this relationship with nature may create a gloomy interior, resulting in lower energy levels and negative effects on the mood. This also means you are deprived of the health benefits of natural light in the interior, as we will discuss below.
Deprives You of the Health Benefits of Natural Light
Beyond creating a well-lit, energising interior, natural light has a multitude of health benefits for you and your family:
Reduces stress and anxiety — The benefits of natural light on mental health begin from reducing stress and anxiety levels. In fact, people suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (depression caused by changes in seasons) experience positive impacts on the mood by spending enough time in the sunlight.
Boosts vitamin D levels — Natural light is a great source of vitamin D. Since we spend a lot of time indoors, it is essential to allow sunlight to enter the home so we can boost our vitamin D levels.
Reduces strain on the eyes — Extensive exposure to low levels of natural light may negatively impact the eyesight and result in nearsightedness. In that regard, having a well-lit interior with enough natural light throughout the day reduces the risk of nearsightedness, provides a sense of comfort, and lifts strain on the eyes.
May Impact Home Value
Windows — and the natural light entering — increase the value of your home. This is because they make your space look well-lit, bigger, and brighter. And if your house offers a good view, big windows will show it off in the best way! As a result, these factors increase people’s willingness to pay more, thus positively impacting the value of your home. These factors may also result in faster sales for your property.
If your space is closed up and lacks natural light, it may appear dark and smaller than it actually is, resulting in negative impacts on the value of your home.
Prevents the Incorporation of Nature in Your Interior
Overlooking natural light in residential architecture means it will be difficult to bring nature indoors, which is essential for health and general well-being. In fact, biophilic design has lately been all the rage, exactly because of these powerful benefits.
How Can You Incorporate Sufficient Natural Light in Your Home?
The good part is, there are multiple ways to incorporate natural light in your home! If you’re beginning from scratch or looking to do a big remodel, you can consult your architect and/or builder, and look into incorporating the following into your plan:
Plenty of large windows in every room of the house, and small casement windows in bathrooms and other areas where limited visibility is needed.
Skylights (windows in the ceiling of the house) to allow sunlight to directly enter into the interior as well as help with ventilation
Bi-fold doors that maximise the amount of glass used, thus allowing the unobstructed passage of natural light between rooms (they also fold back when opened, which means they take up little space)
Beyond that, mount mirrors and other reflective surfaces across your space (especially near windows). This is one of the ways to make a small room appear bigger by reflecting natural light across the space.
Overlooking natural light is a mistake that adversely impacts various aspects of living, and conversely, having plenty of natural light can positively impact health, improve home value, and help with utility bills. So, if you have the chance to make changes to your space or start afresh with the architecture of your future home, you may want to consider how important natural light is before getting started!
It is also helpful to remember that differently-faced rooms receive varying amounts of sunlight. Here’s how to deal with north, east, south, and west-facing rooms based on the amount of light they receive.
If you can’t decide on the architectural elements to incorporate into your project — including how to incorporate enough light into your home, get in touch with one of our vetted Architecture & Planning Gurus for expert advice personalised to your needs and space!