5 Ways to Bring More Natural Light Into Your Home From Above
More homeowners than ever are demanding increased natural light. It’s top of the list for homebuyers and understandable when exposure to daylight is scientifically linked to improvements in our physical and mental health. Furthermore, implementing natural light into a design also leads to energy savings, by way of reducing the amount of electricity needed for artificial lighting.
But many often overlook the benefits that come with bringing light in from above. Light from above is actually brighter and 100% of light from the sky will reach a roof light, whereas only 33% of the light from the sky will reach the windows at the side of a building.
From simple roof windows and roof lanterns to more bold expanses of glass, roof glazing can transform a space.
If you want to flood your home with natural light, start from above with these 5 solutions.
Use Roof lights to Let the Natural Light In
Roof lights have been popular for many years, and are a hugely effective source of daylight based on unit area. Of course, if you are looking for inspiration to create a space to connect with nature above, a roof light can create a much more open feeling of space.
They are hugely versatile and can be positioned in your living area, above a staircase, over a kitchen island, or in a bathroom, a roof light will bring in twice the amount of light of the average window, and is perfect for spaces where side glazing may not be possible.
Think about what you want to achieve. You might want to give your home the “wow” factor, to achieve that, I think an architect is vital. Our skill is being able to create something special!
Which brings me to the transformation of the house below. The bespoke roof light really finishes off the airy look, where the light from above adds a sense of height to this incredible kitchen, and anchors the eating area below it. And of course, there’s an incredible quality of light thanks to the unobstructed large south facing bifold doors.
Whilst it may feel relaxing to sit under a skylight, be wary as you can end up with the greenhouse effect. Always ensure you have the highest specification of glass and consider positioning and function. For example, certain rooms in the house will be more suited to a skylight than others. Again, if you are in doubt, consult the professionals.
Install Roof Lanterns to Bring More Natural Light
An alternative to a skylight, is a roof lantern that sits above the roof as opposed to a skylight which is fitted into the construction of the roof. Whether you are looking for an alternative to a traditional conservatory or to boost some extra sunshine in your home, a modern-day roof lantern has become a popular home improvement over the past few years.
A rectangular glazed lantern makes a stunning architectural feature and is a popular arrangement over a living space.
There are a plethora of sizes and shapes to choose from and the shape you choose will depend on the size of the room. An octagonal roof lantern is perhaps the biggest and most luxurious statement piece.
Insulation and eliminating heat transfer is something to think about when considering a roof lantern. For the ecologically minded, there is a thermal glazing option which will help improve the energy efficiency in your home.
An excellent way of introducing light from above is to utilise the space within the gable by filling it with glazing. This bold design feature can make for a statement window both internally and externally, and can be adopted in both traditional and contemporary homes.
How you make use of a gable end and the style of it is up to you and we can certainly advise you with this. Many people choose to use a glazed gable as part of a wall of glass extending from the ground up to the roof to take advantage of the surrounding countryside.
Due to the bespoke nature of glazing, the possibilities are endless and can be designed to fit any window structure.
You may want to consider the orientation of the gable ends as a south facing gable end could overheat the space in the summer.
We designed this glass gable (below) to ensure an inflow of daylight- even on grey days! We think the effect is simply stunning!
Install a Sun Tunnel to Bring More Natural Light
One effective way of lighting up a dark corridor, loft spaces, stairwell, bathroom or an internal room is to install a sun tunnel (also known as sun pipes or sun tubes). These can transform a windowless room into a space full of natural light.
Some sun tunnels will have a dome that sits on top of the roof, whereas others have a flat glass panel. The most important thing to consider is the positioning of the sun tunnel on your roof. Do you have a flat roof or pitched roof? Sun pipes work best on upper floors or single-storeys, as the light fades as the pipe gets longer.
Essentially, sun pipes are a low cost solution for places where you can’t install windows or rooflights.
Incorporate a Glass Ceiling or Floor to Add More Light
Beyond roof lights and roof lanterns, why not go for maximum impact and consider a large glass floor or ceiling? A glass roof really is THE opportunity to add a luxury aesthetic to your home.
If you have a light-filled ground floor or upper level, one idea would be to install a glass floor to let the light into the rooms below.
Side return extensions in particular can be very dark in nature as you will lose one window to the side of your house. A full glass ceiling will transform a dark rear space into a light filled space. (If you require a unique extension design, it’s likely that planning permission will be required).
Bear in mind, although with glass ceilings you will be able to enjoy the sun all year round, there are limitations with using glass. Sunlight can cause excessive heat and glare so orientation and placement is key. Using the best possible glass is essential for both safety and efficiency.
Additionally, you will need to consider the weight of the glass and if your walls can support it. Your structural engineer will be able to advise you.
Finally, there are limits on the amount of glass you can have in your home, so check with your local council’s planning department.
Modern glazing technology has come along way and now it’s so advanced that the choices are limitless. So, your glass ceiling can be bold and dramatic, designed to fit any space, it can retract, pivot or even be operated remotely and only limited by your imagination!
Hopefully, we’ve given you some ideas about how to bring more natural light into your home. We all love a light filled home to lift our spirits and promote a sense of wellbeing. Promoting the flow of natural light is key to all our architectural designs.
If you need advice, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org