Natural Light Not Only Looks Good, It Feels Good Too!
There’s a reason why builders of new homes and modern office buildings choose to install those stunning floor-to-ceiling windows – and it’s not just to make the building look good or take advantage of a gorgeous view. Installing tons of windows also means letting in tons of natural light, which provides numerous benefits to the building’s future occupants.
So, whether you’re building a new home or office, or you’re updating your home’s existing windows and doors, here are 4 reasons you should plan for maximizing the amount of natural light coming into your residential or commercial space.
1. Boosts Your Mood
Natural light is proven to have a positive effect on your mood and ward off depression. This can be seen with the overwhelming amount of people who experience Seasonal Affective Disorder in the winter. The theory is that sunshine makes people happier, and that without enough natural light coming into your spaces, things can feel dreary and stuffy, which ultimately brings a person down.
2. Boosts Your Productivity
Several studies have shown that natural lighting boosts productivity in the workplace. One such study by Future Workplace reported that out of more than 1,500 survey respondents, 47% of employees admitted that they feel “tired or very tired from the absence of natural light or a window at their office, and 43% report feeling gloomy because of the lack of light.”
This might have to do with the fact that natural light is the best source for vitamin D (the “sunshine vitamin”), which is known to be a natural energy booster, hence, the increased productivity levels. The boost in productivity could also be the result of the better night’s sleep people have the night before – another notable benefit of natural light is sleeping better at the end of the day.
If you’re planning a renovation that can accommodate larger windows in the office or boardroom, your staff and clients will thank you!
3. Easier on the Eyes
Too much artificial lighting can be tough on a person’s eyes, especially when combined with a lot of screen time. Certain types of older artificial lighting can cause a person to strain their eyes more without even noticing, which can lead to headaches, dry eyes, and even weaker vision over time. Such artificial lighting can even cause some people to have elevated stress responses.
We recommend supplementing artificial light with as much natural lighting as you can to reduce this eye strain. This is especially true in spaces where children and young adults frequent, as the natural lighting ends up supporting their healthy eye development.
4. Energy savings
Another great reason to add more natural lighting to your residential or commercial setting is that you’ll be required to spend less on your electricity bills. This is because you’ll be running less lights less often, and because natural light, when it’s entering the building through modern, energy-efficient windows and glass, will help control your indoor temperature.
A significant amount of energy you use at home, at your business, and at your office goes towards lighting, heating, and cooling, so by adding more natural light to your space, you’ll likely notice a drop in your monthly operating expenses. The key here will be making sure windows are installed properly, without drafts, and that windows are at least double pane.
How to Add More Natural Light to Your Space
There are plenty of ways to bring in more natural light into your interior living spaces, such as:
- Mirrors: Adding more mirrors can leverage the light that’s already coming in.
- Paint Colours: Switching your paint colour to white or off white can have a drastic effect, as can switching to lighter coloured flooring, cabinetry, and accent rugs.
- Ditch the Drapes: Try taking down the drapes completely or switching to a sheer fabric window covering. Pull up the blinds every once in awhile and let the light shine in!
- Skylights: If your top floor can accommodate them, consider professional skylight installation. Note that for skylights, positioning matters. South-facing skylights could lead to the overheating of a room, whereas north-facing skylights are your best bet for softer, continuous light throughout the day.
- Patio Doors: If your layout accommodates it, consider knocking out part of a wall to accommodate a slider door or French double doors to your back yard or deck.
- Front Doors: Swap out your plain front door to a door with a full window panel. Or, if you can expand the width of your main entrance, switch to a door frame that has window transoms down each side and along the top of the door.
- Larger Windows: If you’re already thinking about updating your old windows, why not see if you can make one or two of them even larger during the process? Professional glass installers can advise you if an expansion of your existing window frame would be possible.
- Additional Windows: If your existing windows are in great shape, maybe there is an opportunity to install an additional window somewhere, like in a corner bedroom or in the kitchen if you can sacrifice a cabinet or two.
Too Much of a Good Thing?
While natural light comes with all the above mentioned benefits, it’s important to note that too much solar energy radiation beaming into a room can harm the occupant’s skin and eyes. Powerful UV rays can also fade furniture and carpeting after awhile, while untreated windows that are south facing can actually overheat a room, causing it to need more AC.
To protect against these issues, and significantly reduce cooling costs in the summer, consider installing windows with low-e coatings or reflective glass. Either of these options will help make your home more energy efficient while providing the benefits of natural light.
If you are interested in increasing the natural lighting in your home or business, Budget Glass in Nanaimo is here to help. We have several different window and glass styles and solutions for you to choose from and we are happy to advise during every step.
We always guarantee the quality of our products and installation, ensuring your glass work is done on time and on budget. Call Budget Glass at (250) 758-3374 for a free quote on new windows, window renovations, skylights, patio doors, and more! You can also schedule an appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you!