We’ve all heard about natural light and how good it is for us.Studies have shown buildings using natural light tend to have happier workers. Office workers with exposure to daylight had more, and deeper, sleep at night. They also were found to engage in more physical activity than those who work in office buildings all day without natural light.
Medical patients who had windows facing trees recovered faster than those with views of walls or no windows. It is no surprise that natural daylight has also been reported to have increased test scores in students. This brings up one question, why?
What Are Some of these Benefits of Natural Light?
The simplest and most obvious benefit of using more natural light is that it saves, and minimizes, the need for electricity. Natural light boosts vitality, lightens our moods, creates better sleep patterns and encourages more physical activity. It leads to better alertness and metabolism. Natural light synchronizes our bodies and brains. It triggers serotonin and produces vitamins C and D, which is an important part of alleviating any depression. This is proven in studies involving those with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD.)Natural light also helps our bodies in absorbing minerals and other vitamins.
Ideas for More Natural Light
If you like shades, try to use sheer or translucent ones. Remove any heavy or dark curtains as they are designed to block light. If your windows are small or you want privacy, use sheer fabrics so light can still come in, or use shutters.
Mirrors reflect light well, so if you have limited windows, you can still maximize the amount of natural light you do get. As well, you can use glass doors in your house, internally and externally. For indoor rooms, use clear glass, mirrored doors or frosted glass. This will let in more natural light and make your rooms seem larger and open. If you don’t like the idea of clear glass doors, try frosted or tinted glass. There is also the option of putting in skylights or roof lights. They are becoming a common and easy way to increase natural light in a home. You can even use windows to replace internal walls!
Is there a Type of Glass for this?
Glass insulates and protects us from extreme temperatures, as well as control light throughout our homes. There are types of glass that can control glare and UV rays, and so enhance natural light.Here are a few options:
FGI Clear Float Glass: colorless, distortion-free, light transmitting.
- Tinted Glass: absorbs and radiates solar energy, reducing heat.
- Reflective Glass: controls solar heat gain.
- Toughened Glass: safety glass with strength.
- Laminated Glass: two or more layers of bonded glass, preventing breakage.
- LowE Glass: has reflective coating that reflects thermal radiation, reducing heat through the glass.
As simple as it sounds, it always helps to keep your windows clean. Keep in mind your building’s location, weather, and nearby vegetation when deciding how often to clean your windows. If you are close to highways, surrounded by sappy trees, and have a wet spring, you may have to have cleaners do your windows more often. It is all worth all the natural light in the end.