Scott Couldrey, Managing Director, The National Domelight Company, discusses how to design a better living space for improved wellbeing using natural light from a rooflight or skylight.
Natural light is hugely important in a home. It can make a room feel bigger, more spacious, airier, transforming dark and tired spaces. But even more importantly, it can have a huge effect on our wellbeing and enjoyment of our homes.
We all feel it as we approach winter – the clocks turn back; the nights draw in, and we experience fewer daylight hours. This can have a huge effect on our wellbeing, thought to be caused by lower levels of serotonin, which affects mood, appetite and sleep, and higher levels of melatonin, a hormone that causes sleepiness. It’s clinically recognised as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) with those affected feeling ill or depressed. Yet, a dark and oppressive room in the home could have a similar affect all year round.
Improving the natural light in a home is easy with rooflights. They can let in up to three times more light than a same-sized vertical window to flood a space with natural light and drastically improve the home. This can help with SAD, improve mood and increase wellbeing to help us feel better overall. Research shows that daylight also has a positive effect on productivity, concentration and children’s learning abilities, so could have a particularly positive impact in spaces used as a child’s nursery, study or home office.
Pointing you in the right direction
In the scheme of things, where should a rooflight go? You’ll need to think about which way your home and windows face in relation to the sunlight. A south-facing window will get the sunlight for most of the day. While a north-facing window will get no direct sunlight but a weaker light all day. A west-facing window will get the sun from early afternoon and an east-facing window will catch the sunrise. Where you position your windows will depend on the size of the room and how much light you want to let in.
People often forget that by extending a room they are moving the vertical windows further away, which can make the space darker. Incorporating a rooflight into the design of your new conversion or development will bring daylight right into the heart of the space and make the room feel brighter and more inviting.
Create more space
As well as making us feel better, bright and airy rooms can create the feeling of more space. Chasing away shadows and dark areas, natural light lifts and expands a room. It can create a welcoming feel and make it a pleasure to use.
Light can also have a huge impact on all aspects of interior design and can be treated in the same way as paint and fabric. You can splash light across a wall, over furniture or cover an entire room to make it feel more spacious. This is particularly effective in extensions where rooflights can also help to bring the outside in and connect the home with the garden.
Breathe fresh air
Not only will a rooflight bring in daylight, but National Domelight Company solutions are designed to improve ventilation to help exchange stuffy, stale air with fresh air from the outside. Fresh air comes with its own health benefits, while the flow of cooler air through the house reduces overheating.
Rooflights are an environmentally-friendly solution to reap the benefits of light, space and air in the home. They harness the sun’s natural and hugely powerful energy source to provide both light and heat in a room. Controlling the temperature is vital for comfort, so there are a range of coatings and solutions to ensure the space is not too warm and not too cold.
With a decreased need for artificial light and improved temperature control, rooflights provide a great opportunity to reduce energy bills and CO2 emissions while improving wellbeing and a home’s carbon footprint.