Autumn is approaching fast, and our afternoons are getting a bit darker as the weather changes. As a result, you may have noticed your home is starting to seem a bit more gloomy.
In the UK, we change our clocks back by one hour around the end of October each year. It doesn’t seem like much, but just losing this one hour of daylight can have a huge impact on our daily routines.
While having less light in the home seems natural as the Summer months draw to a close, increasing our exposure to natural light can be beneficial to our health – and bank balance. As energy bills are rising, people are also looking for alternative solutions so they can avoid using so much electricity and gas.
Here’s our guide on how to bring more light into your home, all year round.
Why is Natural Light in the Home Important?
Increasing the amount of natural light in your home can be beneficial for a few reasons. Here’s why getting enough light into the home is important.
Improve Your Health
Natural light is essential for our health. Our natural circadian rhythms respond to how much light we’re exposed to throughout a 24-hour period. Working like our body’s internal clock, these processes react to the environment around us to regulate biological functions such as releasing hormones, regulating our mood, and even digesting food.
Save Money on Energy Bills
Although electric lights work perfectly fine and help bring light into a room, we end up spending more money on our energy bills as the days get darker. In the UK, our average electricity use is around 36% higher in Winter than it is in Summer. This can’t all be attributed to turning on the lights more – but it’s easy to forget how keeping our lights on can add up. The amount you spend on lighting varies depending on the type of bulb you use. If we leave an incandescent bulb on for 24 hours, it costs £0.65. If it’s left on for 8 hours a day, for example, that’s £0.22. If it’s turned on for 8 hours a day for a whole year, that’s £58.30!
Balance Your Mood
As with our physical health, natural light also improves our mental health. If your internal clock is thrown off balance, this can have a negative impact on our ability to sleep, concentrate, and use energy effectively. Without enough light to maintain a consistent rhythm through the day, the chance of mental illnesses such as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) developing can increase.
Brighten up Your Space
Light, airy interiors are popular at the moment. Being surrounded by natural light can boost our mood, and even encourage alertness and productivity at work. Lighter rooms often seem bigger and more welcoming. A brighter home also gives you the opportunity to showcase your interior décor skills, attracting attention to your favourite areas within a space.
Window Style & Placement
The type of windows around your home, as well as where they’re placed, can have a huge impact on how well light can enter the home. You might not have the ability to completely renovate your windows and doors – but there are other ways you can keep them well maintained to let more light in.
Install Large, South-Facing Windows
If you are able to configure window placement, remember your windows can be strategically placed to let in the maximum amount of light throughout the day. Think about which side of your house is most exposed to sunlight. You’ll notice any northern-facing windows are mainly in the shade despite the daylight, since the UK is in the northern hemisphere. Large, south-facing windows are the ideal choice if you’re able to have those fitted, as the sun shines on us from that direction.
Bi-fold windows are an especially popular choice for those with south-facing gardens. Instead of limiting the window space to just one section of the wall, they’re made to open up an entire wall that would otherwise separate your interior and exterior spaces. Having bi-fold windows fitted means you can enjoy seamless access between your home and garden – so there’s no more struggling with awkward patio doors or steps. Bi-fold windows are designed to glide open smoothly with just a push. These large windows allow plenty of light into the home, while you get to benefit from improved accessibility between your house and the outdoors.
Skylights & Velux Windows
Rooflights are another great option if you’re looking to increase the amount of light in your home. Many houses don’t have south-facing walls or gardens, so finding other ways to lighten up your spaces can help. Skylights are ideal for those who want to add light while retaining privacy and even adding value to your home.
Skylights are now available with remote controlled options, so you can also improve airflow as your roof window opens with the push of a button. “Velux” windows are now the go to choice for those looking to brighten up their homes. Velux is actually the name of a brand that makes skylights, but the success of their room brightening windows means their name has become synonymous with the skylight concept. The Velux name was created by combining the words ‘ventilation’, and LUX – meaning light. Ultimately, skylights mean you can enjoy improved ventilation and access to natural light, no matter which side your house is facing.
Keep Your Windows in Top Condition
Keeping your windows clean is another way to make the most of natural light! Invest in a good window cleaner so your view remains clear and streak-free. Don’t forget to keep both sides of the window wiped regularly. If you notice your windows are steamy or fogged up from within, you might need your double glazing repaired.
Keep Your Windows Clear
If you have double glazing installed, it’s important to check your windows are fully functioning. When double glazed windows fail, moisture can penetrate the gap in between your window panes and make them look misty.
Failed double glazing can therefore cause a build up of condensation on your windows, obscuring your view and diluting the amount of light that can enter the home. Check around your windows for any water ingress which could be a sign of blocked window drainage or any slight patches of moisture inside the glass. If your windows look cloudy or steamed up, it’s time to get them fixed. If you leave the condensation to spread, it can cause even more problems – including mould and damp.
Make the Most of Sheer Curtains
Blackout curtains are a popular choice for use in bedrooms, so you can have total control over lighting levels as you sleep. Our choice in curtains can be similarly adjusted to let light in. To maximise the amount of light in your home without having an impact on your privacy, invest in some sheer curtains. These will be most effective on the south-facing windows on your property, but will also brighten things up in the rooms that aren’t exposed to sunlight.
If you prefer blinds, there are lighter options. White blinds will make a room feel brighter while allowing some light through. You can now also find semi-transparent designs made from finer materials like voile.
Plants & Garden Maintenance
Plants can easily obscure your view from outside the window, especially as they grow more over the summer months. Keeping your garden well maintained and having plants trimmed back means they’re not preventing any sunlight from entering via your windows.
The issue here comes in when it’s your neighbours plants that are growing over and covering your windows. It’s worth asking them to cut them back – or offer to help, so you can recover your windows and bring more light into your home. There are certain rights surrounding property boundaries and overgrown gardens – but this depends on whether your neighbours’ plants are weeds or inviting pests in.
Interior Décor & Mirrors
If you’ve tried all of the above on the exterior of the house and still need more light in your home, start thinking about how you can alter your interior décor to maximise light.
Lighter coloured décor can make your space feel much brighter. Opt for white or cream-coloured walls, go for light coloured floors (or rugs), and pick out neutral accessories. High gloss paint is a great way to improve the way light reflects around the home. If you don’t want it on your walls, a high-gloss ceiling can work wonders.
Mirrors and other reflective surfaces are great for inviting light in. Mirrors are especially useful if you need to reflect or divert light around to reach darker corners within a room. Metallic décor and accessories are popular at the moment, and can be used in a variety of ways to add a reflective shine in certain areas.
Repair Your Double Glazing with Cloudy2Clear
At Cloudy2Clear, we’ve been transforming windows since 2005. Specialising in double glazing repairs and maintenance, we’ve perfected our process so we only replace the steamed up glass within your windows. Where there’s no need to replace your window frames, we’ll save you money by focusing on the issue that’s causing your clouded windows – the glass itself.
This is a more eco-friendly way to manage your misty double glazing; and we’ll replace your old glass panes with efficient, insulating glass to ensure your home keeps the heat in. Save money on your energy bills, reduce the cost of having your double glazing fixed, and make the most of our services with our 25 year guarantee!
Call our team on 0800 61 21 119 to arrange your appointment with us for a free, no-obligation quote. Fill out our contact form with your details and we’ll get in touch soon as we can.