Light, naturally speaking

Light, naturally speaking

 

In such a scenario, isn’t it binding on us to do our bit to save the planet? Well! A good start would be to minimise the use of electricity. A small step in this direction is to plan on appropriate lighting at homes.

Appropriate lighting not only cuts the need for artificial lighting, thereby saving the environment, but accentuates the beauty of a house too. Lots of natural light streaming in during the day and careful selection of light fixtures to light up the evenings do the trick. However, it pays to lend the lighting of the house a serious thought at the planning stage itself, when our dream homes are still clipped to the drawing boards of architects. For, windows of the right size, in the right direction, allow natural light to burst into our homes unhindered, while also working wonders to transform the look of our home interiors for the better.

However, while huge, airy windows are planned, it is best to go in for sunscreens too, so that the effect of ultraviolet rays on our furniture is minimal. Though curtains do help, they tend to block the light, thereby defeating the very purpose of large windows. A huge window with light tinted glass is all that is needed to take care of the lighting needs during the day.

Skylights are the rage
When it comes to good lighting, the advantages of skylights cannot be ignored. For, skylights allow sunlight to light up the rooms they are fitted into and are more effective than conventional windows in lighting up the rooms. Of late, tubular skylights are a rage around the world as they are proven to be much better than conventional skylights. These tubular skylights are known to deliver an abundance of light into the house. They also allow us to customise our day lighting experience as the effect lens of tubular skylights regulates the inflow of light.
Along with big, airy windows and skylights, another important feature that brightens up the house, lending it the much-needed classy look is the colour of the walls. Painting the inner walls of the house in bright shades does the trick as they reflect light better. Well-lit homes not only feel spacious but clean too. After all, sunlight is credited with the added advantage of killing bacteria!

Impact on productivity
Apart from the aesthetic benefits of natural light, there are many other advantages too. Latest research lends credence to the fact that natural light lifts our mood like nothing else. Especially for people suffering from depression.  
This is not all. Natural light makes a big impact on our productivity. No wonder, many corporate companies are being advised to keep the windows of their offices open to welcome the positive effects of sunlight into their work place and to move the work stations of their employees closer to windows that open out to warm, bright sunlight.

Students are also believed to perform better in environments that are naturally lit. According to a recent study, students’ learning rates improved in proportion to the time they spent in classrooms with the most natural light. And, of course, more natural light equals better eyesight.

Opt for right curtains
Though no effort should be spared to lend our homes that homely touch, equal emphasis should be laid on the selection of curtains and blinds to our windows. The trend is to go in for curtains that suit the mood of the room they are being fitted into. While it makes good sense to go in for thick curtains for bedroom windows to block the flow of light when desired (especially when you are in the graveyard shift and are required to sleep during the day), it is advisable to buy curtains in two different shades of light and dark for the living room windows. If the dark one takes care of harsh summer light, the one in the lighter shade will handle the meager flow of sunlight on dark, cloudy days quite effectively. Buying the right curtain is also an art. Not to be overwhelmed by the huge variety available in the market, we should only go for curtains that spell our taste and suit our pockets. After all, letting in abundant natural light is our prerogative.
Last but not the least, let us not flout building norms. For, maintaining sufficient space around the house allows lots and lots of natural light in.
We don’t need a big budget to light up our homes naturally. All that is required of us is a wee bit of ‘light’ common sense.

Tips for better lighting
Tap solar energy as sunlight is both abundant and cheap.
Move your work station closer to the window.
Keep curtains and blinds open during the day.
Locate windows with the flow of light in mind.
Colour the inner walls in bright shades to reflect light better.
Go in for skylights wherever possible.  

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