Humans weren’t made to live without natural light. It’s no wonder that buildings around the world are choosing to find more ways of bringing natural light into interiors. The benefits of natural light have been studied for more than a decade, but the findings are now being utilized across the board in architecture and design.
In terms of aesthetics, natural light does a better job of bringing out color than artificial light can. To create a natural look in the home, use natural colors wherever you can. Wooden floors and bookcases, tan-colored sofas and marble tabletops or tiles are all good options. Just as in nature, the natural light of the sun will draw these colors out so that they look subtly wild and naturalistic, which in turn creates an environment that people tend to be comfortable and relaxed in.
In order to increase the impact of natural light in a room is to make good use of mirrors as well as reflective objects. They reflect light around the space, helping the whole environment to look bright, and have the added benefit (when placed well around the room) of making it look bigger and more spacious.
Skylight and TDDs:
Another simple project is to have skylights, or Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDDs), installed in the home. While a large skylight might let in a little too much sun, and be quite glary at various points in the day (and no one wants a room they can’t use for six hours of the day), TDDs are small, cylinder-shaped skylights that have diffused or glazed bottoms to prevent the full force of a sunbeam entering the room. Instead, you simply have a natural glow, not unlike having a conventional light on during the day.
Make Spaces Bigger:
One of the great inhibitors of natural light in a room is if the space is too small and narrow. The more open a space can be, the lighter it will feel when natural light is flowing into space from all directions.
While natural light should be the focus, it’s important to use soft lighting to complement the natural light. Making good use of LED or fluorescent lighting (preferably with dimmers to control how bright they are) can help enormously in brightening up rooms when used strategically. For example, there are likely to be areas in the room that natural light either can’t reach or can only reach at certain points of the day. At other times, those spaces would have been sitting in the shadow, which doesn’t help build the ambiance of the room. And, of course, once night rolls around, there’s very little natural lighting available at all. Soft lighting can ‘fill’ the shadows and keep the room lit at night. It’s preferable to have a large number of small lights spaced strategically around the room as well as the single, overbearing light in the center of the room.