How to Use Natural Light in Your Home Design
Exposure to natural light has a range of benefits, from psychological (improving your mood) to energy saving (helping to reduce electrical costs). Tiffany Brooks, HGTV designer, made natural light and daylighting a top priority when designing the HGTV Smart Home 2017. “The windows and doors in the HGTV Smart Home 2017 allow the sunlight to cast a natural energy and radiance over the otherwise beautiful design,” said Brooks.
What is daylighting?
Daylighting is the strategic placement of windows to allow as much natural light into the home as possible. Daylighting can also be achieved by installing skylights or other openings in your house. Introducing natural light into an interior space is becoming a priority for most homeowners when looking for or building a new home due to the numerous benefits it offers.
Four benefits of using natural light in the design of your home.
- Natural light allows you to light your home during the day without requiring man-made light. When asked about how daylighting was used in this year’s HGTV Smart Home, Brooks said, “We wanted it to be bright from natural daylight in the middle of the day without turning on artificial light.”
- Natural lighting helps bring the outdoors in.
- Daylight is better for your overall health. According to a study from Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, people who get regular exposure to sunlight tend to be more optimistic, sleep better at night and have a higher sense of well-being.
- Using daylighting can help to save on energy bills. You can utilize the sun’s position to naturally heat your home during the winter and keep your home cool and comfortable during the summer.
How to incorporate daylighting into your home.
Rather than spending a significant effort changing the location of your windows, we recommend maximizing your current window configuration to allow as much natural light and energy into your home during the appropriate seasons and time of the day. Using daylighting can help you heat and cool naturally, ultimately helping to save on your energy bills. Keep in mind the tips below as you start planning:
- If you have east and west facing windows they can provide good daylight penetration in the morning and evening.
- South-facing windows allow most winter sunlight into the home but little direct sun during the summer, especially when properly shaded.
- North-facing windows admit relatively even, natural light, producing little glare and almost no unwanted summer heat gain.
Keeping these tips in mind when you begin to incorporate daylighting into your home can help you avoid a daylighting disaster.
Though daylighting offers many benefits, there can be potential drawbacks if you don’t introduce natural light into your home strategically. Without properly insulated windows, natural light can cause an increase in heat and glare during summer months and loss of heat in the winter. Choosing windows that are properly sealed and insulated can be the difference between a dreamy, well-lit home and a daylighting disaster.
Want to learn more about the HGTV Smart Home 2017?
View exclusive photos and see how the HGTV Smart Home 2017 came together HERE.