How to Get Natural Light Inside your Home
At this time of year having enough natural light inside becomes quite an issue for some homes. We miss the long days and higher concentration of sunshine.
How to get natural light inside is something I’ve been researching for my friends Mel and Nigel. They are about to embark on an exciting extension so I thought I’d make this my post for the week, but there’s no video. There will be one next week I promise!
The one problem with extending a property is that you quite often can only go backwards and upwards. This means that at least one area is inevitably going to suffer where natural light is concerned.
Of course this isn’t a reason not to do it, but it is a consideration worth making before the walls are finished and the electrician has gone down the pub.
See the light
It’s no secret that light is very important to us human beings. We all need our dose of vitamin D. For that reason our mood can be very much affected by the lighting in any given room. We could be happy or unhappy, motivated or sluggish when spending time in that room because of it’s lighting situation.
Our brains can also be tricked though by some clever lighting options.
You may have heard of SAD lights. These are so highly thought of by the medical world that they are actually prescribed on the NHS and are VAT free to those who are diagnosed.
For the most part though they are pretty ugly even though they do the trick. I bought a Lite Pod years ago for when I work from home in winter. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I would walk into a room forgetting it was on and feel an overwhelming sense of joy that usually only a real sunray coming through the window might give you.
They do have some more acceptable looking options now though. This is the Candeo Light Box. I think in the right setting this could look quite stylish. It is wired into the ceiling, and has a toggle so you can bring it closer to you when you need your daily dose!
Remember it’s not so much about the bulb but more about the way the unit enhances that bulb.
There are even options to get the real deal, depending on the position of the room in question. For example you can use a solar tube or Sun Tunnel like this one.
Basically it allows light to come from a flat or pitched roof where a window isn’t possible. This is obviously a great solution as it also saves on energy. It isn’t the answer to Mel and Nigel’s common dilemma though as they will have a room above the problem area.
If you can’t get the real stuff then you want to spread the light throughout as much as possible. Spotlights are the obvious choice for this. They aren’t always the most desirable in terms of style though. You also need to make sure they are placed correctly otherwise you can end up with dark spots anyway, or annoying beams of light. This is one of the best ways of spreading the light throughout the room though.
You could always go for a chandelier or eye-catching pendant in the centre of the ceiling to divert attention from the spots. It’s definitely worth being able to control these separately though and with a dimmer.
If you decide to go for something like an LED light box, unless you want a cool, modern look it’s best to get warm LEDs as the blue will have quite a cold effect on the room.
The genius of the lamp
If all else fails (or your electrician has already gone to the pub!) don’t forget you can spread light around the room using lamps. Place the lamps at different levels around the room to create different zones, but make sure the bulbs are all the same otherwise it will actually break up the flow of light around the room.
Whatever option you go for, it’s worth some decent research and experimentation as light, be it real or fake, really changes the feel of a room.
Don’t forget you can play tricks using mirrors to make natural light inside go further. As luck would have it I have a post and video on that very subject here.