One of the best things about home is familiarity, but this can be a double-edged sword.
When we spend a lot of time in one place, it becomes so familiar that we don’t see some of the features and characteristics – good or bad – anymore.
The more familiar we are, the more difficult it is to see opportunities even though they may be right in front of our eyes. This is often the case with home lighting so it deserve special attention.
Natural lighting is one of the best ways to add a fresh and clean look to any home. The benefits of direct sunlight even extend beyond home aesthetics to health and well being.
Luckily, there are many simple and inexpensive ways to increase the amount of natural sunlight that enters your home. Below are some tips and strategies that you can use to make your living space feel more open, bright, and inviting without breaking the bank.
Windows are the most overlooked part of home lighting. Here’s how to make sure your windows are being used as your best light source.
Make windows your best lighting source
Cleaning windows is a quick and inexpensive way to get more natural light into your home.
The dirt on your windows will significantly reduce the amount of visible light that enters the room. When you clean windows, it is not just about removing dirt and smudges from the glass surface. You also need to remove any dust from the frame, sills, and windowpanes to maximize the reflective surface, so the most sunlight is allowed in.
If you have skylights, make sure they are clean and free of debris that could block light.
Some windows are much easier to clean than others, so you may want to consider hiring a window cleaning service or tackle a few windows at a time. Start with the larger windows you look out most frequently. You won’t notice how much of a difference it makes until you do it.
While we’re talking about letting in the sunshine, let’s look at another inexpensive and easy method to give you a bright space as well as produce a few additional benefits.
Open window curtains & blinds
Next, open curtains and blinds during the daytime. It’s such a simple activity, but is often overlooked as we go about our daily routine.
Allowing more natural light into the room can give you a sense of space and make your room feel larger. You don’t need to have your curtains open all day long; just opening them for a few hours in the morning or afternoon can do wonders for your room’s lighting.
Another way to increase natural light is by changing the window treatments.
Take a look at your window treatments
Consider switching window panels for a lighter-weight fabric or a sheer window treatment if curtains are heavy. Darker colored fabrics of any weight will block more light, so try replacing them with a lighter color fabric.
If there is a valance – a window treatment covering the uppermost part of the window – try eliminating it or replacing a more opaque valance with a sheer fabric.
You could also mount the curtain rod higher so that the valance blocks less sunlight but still provides a decorative effect.
There was a decorative valance on my dining room windows when I moved into my home. It was made from a dark material mounted on a wooden board. Even though it was only 8 inches wide, I didn’t realize just how much light it was blocking until I took it down. I removed the nine screws holding it into the drywall and instantaneously had significantly more light in my dining space.
Benefits of increased natural light
Increasing natural lighting in your home has many benefits. Here are some of the most impactful.
In some instances, the heat from sunlight can also help to warm your home and reduce energy costs. And the more natural light is used, the less electricity is needed for artificial lighting with light fixtures.
Few people enjoy working or living in a dim space. Natural light increases work productivity and has been proven to be beneficial for those with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It also boosts mood, reduces eye strain and even helps maintain a healthy weight.
Another eye-related benefit of additional sunlight is that it helps older eyes to see. Aging eyes need more light since eye muscles weaken allowing less light into the eye. When considering future home design, especially when designing and decorating a home for aging in place, make sure there is plenty of natural or artificial light.
Make a home feel larger
Poor lighting can make a house feel smaller than it actually is by reducing visual space. Adding more natural light is a quick way to give your home the feeling of ample space. Many people would like more square footage in their homes, and adding light with natural light and lighting fixtures can create that illusion of space.
Having more natural light may even increase your home’s resale value. Dark space in your home can turn off potential buyers and make the space feel cramped.
Here are other ways to make your home feel more spacious.
The benefits of natural light are well-documented and now you know just how good it can be for your home, health and happiness. Time to let the sunshine in!