Making Use of Daylight to Illuminate Your Home

Unless you are a hermit, you welcome cheering sunbeams into your house. Sunlight does all sorts of wonders for our mental and physical health, providing valuable vitamins and improving our psychological state. Many studies have shown that a lack of sunlight can seriously affect a person’s outlook on life.

However, in some instances, daylight needs to be filtered as it comes into the home, unless the homeowner desires faded upholstery, excessive heat in spots and melted plastic. Several recent technological advances have made the harnessing of daylight much easier for homeowners who love the light but want to control its harmful effects.

Options for Windows to Control Daylight

One way to control light without completely blocking it out is the use of one of several types of films that are now on the market. These films filter UV rays and drastically cut the heat and glare that come with daylight; they are easily installed and widely available. Another option for windows that capture a lot of sunlight is Plexiglass, which eliminates more than 80% of UV light without any film.

Of course, if you want to have no daylight at times and some daylight at others, a variety of options is available, including curtains, sheers and shutters. Blackout curtains will not allow any light in; other types of curtains will filter the light nicely to give illumination without glare or heat.

window_shutters

Picture 1: Window shutters

Shutters come in all shapes and sizes and have been used for centuries around the world. If you want to have the window and shutter as one unit, wood-framed glass shutters are an attractive option. Some homeowners are even installing stained glass into these shutters, making them beautiful as well as functional.

Skylights and Light Wells

Other innovations that can be quite stylish include skylights and light wells.  In an age when people are trying to become more and more green, skylights connect us more to the natural world outside and can cut electrical bills as well as natural light brightens up many rooms in the house. The effect of skylights in a home can be stunning, and homeowners are expanding their use far beyond the traditional “sun rooms” that typically featured them, installing them in dining rooms, home gyms and other areas.

Light wells are smaller, sometimes more creative windows that let in light, often into places where light has not typically been welcomed, such as hallways and stairwells. Light wells often have uplights to re-create the daylight effect even at night. As people become more green they are more apt to invite daylight into the far reaches of their homes, knowing that the further the daylight reaches into the interior, the better chance that bacteria and mould are killed. White glass usually works far better for light wells than clear glass. Various colours of uplights can increase the cool effect of light wells in your home after dark.

Glass Bricks or Blocks

A final, trendy way to welcome daylight into your home is glass bricks or blocks, which are making their way into many studio apartments and home offices these days. These retro-looking blocks are great for offices, bathrooms and kitchens where light is always needed. They let light in without the glare and can be arranged to create a nice accent filler wall, too.

Daylight can look fantastic in just about any area of your home. It’s great to know that options abound for harnessing this natural wonder so that it brightens and cheers but does not destroy or damage.

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