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If you want a combination of wow and feel-good factors the minute you walk into your home, then nothing beats natural light.

Sunlight streaming into living and relaxation spaces has positive impacts on our health, wellbeing and productivity. And you don’t need to be a health expert to know why. Dark rooms tend to make you feel cold, lethargic and uninspired, whereas light-filled spaces are warming and inviting.

From an energy perspective, the less light we have in our homes, the more often we turn on light switches and the heater. Fortunately, there are plenty of cost-effective options that can bring more light into your home.

"Daylighting" is the practice of installing windows, skylights and reflective surfaces so that sunlight (direct or indirect) can be used to provide internal lighting. This is often used to maximise visual comfort while reducing energy consumption.

Options include:

  • When installed within reach, roof windows can be quickly and easily opened for maximum ventilation
  • Designed for out-of-reach locations, skylights are a great source of natural light that also improve ventilation
  • Sun tunnels which runs from roof to ceiling can flood your home's darkest and most isolated spaces such toilets, walk-in wardrobes, ensuites, pantries and hallways

Stephen Parry from Velux says that while daylighting serves an important functional role, it can also provide an architectural point of difference. "For example, a bank of skylights above a kitchen island bench adds instant drama to the space," he says. "They create a design feature that becomes a talking point and helps to personalise your home."

Here are a few other ways to increase natural light in your home:

  • Install larger windows or glass sliding doors
  • Add more mirrors and reflective objects
  • Paint walls with lighter colours (nothing beats white!)
  • Replace heavy drapes with transparent curtains or white shutters
  • Swap dark timber furniture for lighter pieces
  • Wash the windows (you’d be surprised what a difference this makes!)

Boost your home’s feel-good factor and market appeal

  • solatube-fay-bathrtub-door-brighten-up-graphics 
    The amount of natural light a home receives can influence its market appeal.

    Regular exposure to natural light is not only good for your health but also has the added benefits of enhancing its value due to design, function and energy saving benefits.

    Experts in daylighting design for thirty years, Solatube continues to see the benefits that natural bright brings to homes in terms of improving environment and design elements.

    "As an outdoor nation we can still spend up to 90 per cent of our time indoors, which restricts our access to natural light and its many benefits", says Solatube General Manager Brett Dickson. "Spending time inside also tends to increase exposure to artificial light sources, such as computer screens and televisions. More natural light can help to counteract this."

    Here are five ways natural light adds value to your home:

    1. Transforms: Alongside its benefits to people in buildings, natural light can transform spaces architecturally by enhancing the design and aesthetics
    2. Brightens: Lively and spacious living spaces have immediate impact and are instantly attractive
    3. Enhances: Daylighting is a design strategy that pays off. It evokes positive emotional responses in people, making properties more attractive, and it has a lasting benefit to buildings
    4. Boosts buyer appeal: Light filled interiors add value to homes. The amount of natural light a home receives can influence its appeal, the length of time it’s on the market and its sale price
    5. Saves: Artificial lighting is responsible for a significant amount of energy consumption and adds to energy bills. Harnessing daylight as much as possible saves on energy expenses.

When daylighting is approached as a core part of your home’s design – rather than an optional extra – its results can be incredible!

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of State Custodians.

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