Whether it’s for taking the perfect selfie, or brightening up your home, is there anything quite like natural light? As humans we are programmed to seek out light. when we are young, we are scared of the opposite, and as we get older we aim to soak up as much of it as possible. Surrounding yourself with natural light, in the places you spend the majority of your time, is a sure-fire way to experience all of its many, many benefits. Here are 3 foolproof ways to dramatically improve natural light entry into your home…
First and foremost, let’s discuss the main benefits that natural light provides to us humans…
According to Nutrition.org.uk, 1 in 5 of Britons are deficient in vitamin D. This means that these people are at an increased risk of certain health ailments, specifically Rickets and Osteomalacia. Don’t fret too much though, as spending some time in the sun can reverse this deficiency completely! Vitamin D is a substance that we usually absorb from the sun. Although, we do pick some up, to varying degrees, through the food we eat.
The job of Vitamin D is to promote the absorption of Calcium, that we do get from our diet, in the intestines. Calcium, as we all know, is good for our bones, teeth and muscles.
So if you want to keep your bones healthy, and minimise your risk of the aforementioned ailments, then read on to find out how you can improve natural light entry in your home and soak up more of that delicious vitamin D.
MENTAL HEALTH BOOSTS – IMPROVE NATURAL LIGHT ENTRY FOR THIS REASON ALONE
Annoyingly, for many of us out there, we spend most of our weekday daylight hours in an office. So, the amount of natural light we can soak up in this time is dictated by the architecture of our work spaces. This is why we need to improve natural light entry when we are at home.
A benefit of natural light is the way it impacts our noggins. It has been scientifically proven that spending time in a naturally lit area increases the amount of Serotonin that the brain produces. Serotonin is the brain’s happiness chemical and having more of it being released is associated with increased mood. Furthermore, this happiness is not temporary. Meaning, that if we can spend more time in natural light on a daily basis, our happiness can improve on a much longer-term scale.
So, there you go, natural light makes us happy, and who doesn’t enjoy being happy? Natural light has also been shown to have a positive effect on long-standing mental health conditions, such as depression and seasonal effective disorder. How amazing is that!? If you still need convincing to improve natural light entry into your home, read on…
IMPROVE NATURAL LIGHT ENTRY = IMPROVED SLEEP
Now this IS a good reason to improve natural light entry into your home, because is there anything better than a good night’s sleep? This writer’s answer is a resounding no. Were you aware that spending your daytimes in plentiful natural light can make a humungous difference to the quantity and quality of your sleep? It can. Along with Serotonin, another chemical that natural light exposure has a profound effect on is everyone’s favourite circadian hormone – Melatonin.
This is another benefit of maximising natural light in the home. Melatonin is in charge of the body’s sleep/wake cycles. It’s what wakes you up at 6:45AM on a Saturday morning when you were hoping for a lie in. This occurs because the body becomes calibrated to fall asleep and wake up at certain times. Melatonin is in control of this. However, if you spent all day in darkness, while you may know what time it is, your Melatonin levels, and subsequently your body’s circadian rhythms would be thrown out of calibration. Theoretically meaning that you’d struggle to get to sleep.
Natural light has a very positive effect on this calibration of Melatonin, leading to restful sleep and all the benefits that come with it. Benefits including: lowered fatigue, better mood, improvements in memory, creativity, productivity, attention, hormone balance, fat burning ability and athletic performance!
HOW TO IMPROVE NATURAL LIGHT ENTRY INTO YOUR HOME
When it comes to how to increase light entry, I promise, no matter where you live, or the architecture of your living quarters, you will always be able to improve your home’s natural light entry. It is true however, that some houses just have more natural light entry potential than others, due to: the number and size of the windows, the direction they face, even the country you live in. A windowless bunker in Antarctica for example would be the opposite of ideal for natural light entry.
HOW TO INCREASE LIGHT ENTRY #1: MIRRORS
Firstly, mirrors. Rather than furnishing your house with boring, opaque, light-absorbing pictures of your family and friends, why not try chocking it full of mirrors instead, because looking at yourself is more important. I kid, the benefits of having an abundance of mirrors in your home aren’t limited to checking your hair from multiple angles. No, if you’re clever, you can place mirrors strategically, so as to reflect the natural light, coming in through your windows, into the normally darker areas of your home.
Now I don’t know if this is going too far, but if you are extremely clever, you can set it up so that different parts of your home are lit up during different parts of the day. This does depend on myriad factors such as the direction your windows face, cloud cover, the season, and occasionally the moon, but with this tactical placement of mirrors you can absolutely, more-often-than-not dictate where you want the light to go, and you can predict when it’ll be there!
And hey, if on your journey to improve natural light entry into your home you discover that you save money on electricity, because of a newly lit up room that no longer needs the bulbs on at 3pm, then we’ll call that a win-win.
HOW TO INCREASE LIGHT ENTRY #2: OPEN THOSE CURTAINS
I know this one might sound horrendously obvious. But, you’d be surprised at the number of people who sit there in eternal darkness, with their blinds perennially closed. If you want to improve natural light entry into your home, then light needs a point of entry into your home, and with your curtains basically acting as a pair of arrogant nightclub bouncers, light won’t be able to get in. Subsequently, you’re not going to receive the natural light your body requires, or its many benefits.
Foolproof is certainly the word here. Get into the habit of going around your abode every morning and opening all the curtains and blinds, because unless you happen to have a huge fiery ball of incandescent gas inside your home, you’re not going to receive much sunlight.
As light-dependant mammals, we need to spend time in the sun. This “sun-time” is much easier to come by for us humans if we’re maximising the amount of natural light we have entering our homes. So, in the wise words of English pop-rock band, Elbow, throw those curtains wide!
HOW TO INCREASE LIGHT ENTRY #3: LIGHTEN UP!
First of all, no, this is not in reference to your potential bad mood due to a lack of natural light exposure. I am talking about lightening up your decor! Admittedly, this may be verging on the expensive side of things. Especially, if your front room’s colour scheme has a bit of a gothic feel. However, lighter colours do reflect light better than darker colours, which tend to absorb.
If you want to improve natural light entry into the darker areas of your home, then we need some large areas of light colour. The main exponents of this are your walls, carpets and furniture. The colour of your walls can make a dramatic difference to the feel of a room. So, when it comes to paints think: whites, creams, beiges, sky blues, pinks, oranges, light greens and light greys. Whilst vehemently avoiding the darker versions of these colours.
Carpets are much the same. However, tearing up your carpet to lay down a new one could be time consuming and costly. Good advice is, if you have dark carpets, to invest in some nice brightly coloured rugs – which are also easier to wash than carpets if you have pets!
THROW YOURSELF INTO IT
Furniture is another expensive component of a room, so you want to make sure your get your palette right. Over the years, this writer’s parents have been partial to making some pretty questionable purchases, especially when it comes to living room furniture. A pair of dark green sofas with orange cushions springs to mind. when it comes to “How to improve natural light entry”, one way to sidestep buying a whole new, lightly-coloured recliner set, would be to invest in a throw or two instead. Preferably, one that covers most of your settee and is a bright colour to reflect light.
Bonus throw benefit: if you do happen to own a pair of offensive dark green sofas, you will no longer be able to see them. Marvellous.
CONCLUSION: GET MORE NATURAL LIGHT
Thank you for joining us on this, hopefully, eye-opening look at 3 foolproof ways to dramatically improve natural light entry into your home, combined with the many, many un-ignorable benefits of natural light.
In conclusion, even if you are only able implement some of the methods talked about in this piece, it’ll still be an improvement, so improve natural light entry into your home in any way you can. If you already have, then congratulations to you! Having increased natural light entering our homes has unimaginable positives. Furthermore, once your home is natural-light-maximised, you will never stop receiving its numerous benefits, even if you don’t notice them. Thank you for reading: “3 Ways To Dramatically Improve Natural Light Entry”.