Last edited 01 Nov 2020

Natural light


In simple terms, natural light is light that is generated naturally, the common source of which is the Sun. This is as opposed to artificial light, which is typically produced by electrical appliances such as lamps.

Natural light is received during daylight hours and coves the visible spectrum with violet at one end and red at the other. Not only is natural light beneficial for health, wellbeing and a good source of Vitamin D, it is required by plants to carry out photosynthesis.

Other sources of natural light include fire and, on clear nights, the moon.

Natural light can play an important role in creating a comfortable environment, helping to regulate the body clock, improve concentration and create a calm, tranquil setting. It can reduce the energy consumption of a building compared to artificial light and can also help prevent mould or mildew from developing in buildings since these spores thrive in darkness.

For more information, see How to maximise natural light.

Typically natural light is transmitted to the interior of a building through glazing such as windows, or through other openings. More complex '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.

Exposure to too much natural light can be a problem for workers on a construction site, particularly during the summer, with the risks of sunburn, heatstroke, and glare obstructing vision.

A right to light is a type of easement referring to the right to receive sufficient light through an opening (such as a window), allowing ‘ordinary’ comfortable use and enjoyment of a dwelling, or ‘ordinary’ beneficial use and occupation of other buildings. The levels of acceptable light have not been objectively quantified and are instead assessed on a case-by-case basis by the courts.

For more information, see Rights to light.


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