Let's talk natural light

Natural lighting not only lends that much-needed aesthetic appeal to homes, but also lifts our mood. Welcome the sun into your homes, says Jayanthi S

Let's talk natural light

Global warming is a reality we cannot close our eyes to. As responsible citizens of this world, it is our bounden duty to do our bit to save the planet from the negative impacts of global warming.

To begin with, how about cutting down our use of electricity? Well, it would not only be a small step in the right direction, but a much-needed one too, especially if we are planning to save a few extra rupees in the face of rising electricity bills. Believe me, minimising our use of electricity isn’t rocket science, but quite an easy task. A small step in this direction is to plan on appropriate lighting at homes.

Actually speaking, appropriate lighting not only cuts down the need for artificial lighting, thereby saving the environment, but accentuates the beauty of a house too. There’s no alternative to lots of natural light streaming in during the day. And, of course, a good selection of light fixtures to light up the evenings.

However, it is best to lend lighting of the house a serious thought even as we are finalising the design of our dream homes. The right number of windows in the right places can work wonders to the interiors of our homes. It is always best to go in for large windows, set in the right direction, so that natural light will stream into our homes unhindered.

At the same time, while large, 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 are quite effective in controlling the flow of light, sometimes they tend to block the light completely, 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. However, if not in a mood for sunscreens, then opt for light coloured cotton curtains that only act as light filters, and not as light blockers.

Skylights to the rescue

While talking of good lighting, the advantages of skylights cannot be emphasised enough. For, skylights allow sunlight to light up our homes more effectively than conventional windows. 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 are also quite popular as they are said to allow us to customise our day lighting experience by regulating 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 interiors of the house in light shades reflects light better, making the home look brighter and inviting. Well-lit homes not only feel spacious, but clean too.

After all, sunlight is credited with the added advantage of killing bacteria!

Great mood lifter

Natural lighting not only makes our homes aesthetically appealing, but lifts our mood too. According to latest research, natural lighting has mood-lifting qualities, especially for people suffering from severe depression.

Natural light also 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 eye sight.

There’s no disputing the fact that natural lighting is pivotal to bright and happy homes, however, equal emphasis should be laid on the selection of curtains and blinds to our windows too. The trend is to go in for curtains that suit the purpose of the room they are being planned for.

While it makes good sense to go in for thick curtains for bedroom windows to block the flow of light when desired, 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.  Now, don’t you agree letting in natural light into our homes is as easy as pie? It is not only pleasurable, but simple too. Open your homes and hearts to the Sun.

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