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Last edited 09 Feb 2018
How to maximise natural light
With open plan living on the rise, more and more homes are quite literally opening living space up to the outdoors. Natural lighting can play an important role in creating a comfortable environment, helping to regulate your body clock, improve concentration and create a calm, tranquil setting. So, what can be done to bring more light into homes?
Start with windows and doors. First of all, embrace what is already there. Strip back furnishings that may block light, such as thick blinds and heavy curtains. It is possible to protect privacy with lighter alternatives, such as sheer curtains, venetian blinds, or brighter fabrics.
Think about installing new windows or patio doors - this can also create the illusion of additional space. The addition of a window or door to the side of the room that receives the most sunlight can make a big difference. Skylights are ideal for opening a naturally dark room up to natural light, where the rooftop is above the living space, and may not need planning permission.
Other daylight systems collect natural light and deliver it deep into the heart of buildings. They use collectors in the roof to harvest light, then transport it to diffusers in interior spaces. The quality of this natural light tends to be 'alive' and vibrant, and diffusers can be placed strategically to allow the best distribution of light within the interior.
Taller windows will allow light to penetrate deeper into a space.
Positioned correctly, the simple addition of a mirror can transform a room to feel bigger and brighter. The creative use of mirrors not only results in the reflection of light, but can also create an enchanting sparkle that fills the room. Budget-friendly, mirrors are a flexible solution that can be updated regularly to suit any style.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- BRE Expert Collection 6 Daylight and shading.
- Choosing the correct glazed facade heating system.
- Commercial lighting.
- Daylit space.
- General lighting v task lighting.
- Health and wellbeing impacts of natural and artificial lighting.
- Light well.
- Lighting and health infographic.
- Lighting designer.
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