Add More Natural Light in Your House

lots of windows bring natural light indoorsWhen buying a house, you first notice the exterior curb appeal and windows are certainly part of your home’s exterior appeal. These same windows play a far more important role inside your home, bringing natural light indoors and enabling the exchange of indoor air with fresh air from outside. Homeowners often don’t recognize the importance of natural light because it’s not an object you see when you walk indoors – you don’t see sunlight the way you notice walls, windows or furniture.

General lighting sets a mood and creates an impression of the space you’re in. Maybe that’s why we prefer different seasons of the year. While we might talk about changes in temperature, the amount of daylight also changes significantly and affects our mood (learn more about light’s effect on people). Winter with it’s shorter days, can be especially hard on some people who cherish natural light so if you get more tired, sluggish or depressed in the winter, one of the first things to look at is lack of adequate lighting.

Giving Your Home More Natural Light

Take a good look at the natural light coming into your home, morning – midday – evening, and you’ll see how the mood of the rooms changes with different lighting. Find the brightest room in the house, and ideally you can enjoy that sunlight during breakfast. You may also discover that trees are blocking this precious natural light, or your windows aren’t tall enough and that’s how you might discover that changing some of your windows will give you more natural light, lighting you’ve been missing but didn’t realize what was wrong.

Keep reading. You can’t change all your windows unless you’re designing a new home, but you can change some of your windows. If this could turn a room you rarely spend time into a favorite space, it’s worth some time to explore your options. There are home professionals who can also help you find ways to maximize natural light during the winter and minimize sunlight that enters your home the summer. You can’t change the position of your house but you can change your windows and/or doors, so let’s explore your options.natural lighting indoors keeps us healthy

  • Replace existing windows with larger windows or adding transoms above the existing windows.
  • Add patio doors where you have a deck (or plan to add one), where there are windows that aren’t giving you the sunlight you want.
  • Replace exterior doors with doors that include glass, possibly by adding sidelights and/or a  transom.
  • Add storm doors to exterior doors to let in more natural light during fall and spring.
  • Add skylights or sun tunnels to rooms where the ceiling is directly under the roof or an unfinished attic.
  • If you have interior rooms that have few windows, explore using doors with glass to share sunlight from one room to darker rooms.

Those designing homes have always had to balance more natural light versus reasonable heating and cooling costs. Today’s homes have larger windows and lots more sliding, patio doors because they’re more energy efficient. According to the Center for Disease Control, this natural light is a key element of healthy housing, along with artificial lighting.

Natural Light for Bedrooms & Bathrooms

We don’t spend as much time in our bedrooms (we’re not going to count sleeping hours) or bathrooms but natural light is also important there. It’s really hard for some people to wake up in a room that’s dark in the morning and another bonus of larger windows,  better ventilation. Other activities that will benefit from more natural light – picking out your clothes in a windowless closet or putting on makeup in a bathroom that has a window that’s too small.

Want to enjoy your home more? More natural light might be the answer!

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About tinagleisner

Tina Gleisner is the founder of the Assn of Women Home Owners and the Assn of Home Professionals. With more than 30 years experience owning homes across the US and 8 years running a handyman business, Tina is building an online community to connect homeowners with home professionals that deliver quality products and services. She is passionate about giving women a comfortable way to learn and plan projects to protect, enhance and enjoy their homes.

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