Maximizing natural light in a home is a smart and sometimes low-cost renovation. Homes that are dark and drab can drain energy levels and reduce productivity, and poorly lit rooms may not be the most inviting places to gather.
Certain factors contribute to a dark home. Houses that face north or east may not get the same level of sunlight as those that primarily face south and west.
The style of a home and its attributes may also create dark conditions. Small windows or too few windows can contribute to a deficit of light indoors. A major remodel can certainly remedy the situation, however, there are other less-extensive strategies to improve natural light.
Take a look around.
Walk around the house and determine which rooms get the most light and which conditions may be contributing to the lack of light in other areas. Dark floors and walls may be absorbing natural light and compounding the situation. You may find that only one or two rooms need attention.
Cut back branches and keep trees pruned to maximize sunlight. Avoid planting tall shrubbery in front of windows. Dirt and other grime can prevent light from getting through, so be sure to regularly clean windows and glass doors.
Let there be light.
Replace heavy drapes or blinds with translucent alternatives. Semi-opaque shades will allow light into the room without compromising privacy.
Rethink your windows.
Consider adding windows to a section of the house that doesn’t have any. Increase the size of the windows on the side of the house that gets the most light.
Maximize sunlight from above.
Skylights will bring light into a home as the sun passes overhead. According to Houzz, a design and architectural resource, tubular daylighting devices, or TDDs, can make a big difference. TDDs are reflective pipes installed between the roof and ceiling with a clear plastic dome.
A mirror placed opposite a window will reflect light all around the room. Mirrors can also make a small space seem larger and illuminate dark areas. Shiny surfaces, such as glass and metal, can brighten up a room and diffuse light evenly. Glossy back splashes, pendant lighting and metal objects will also help shed light into dim corners.
Natural light is an important commodity in a home. Sunlight can improve moods and go a long way toward keeping home occupants healthy and happy.