Lighten Up – Naturally

Do you let the sun brighten up your home, or simply rely on electricity to take care of it?  Apart from causing your skin to produce vitamin D (which has a vast array of medical benefits), natural sunlight will improve your health, vision and mood as well as saving you money on lighting and air conditioning bills.

Allowing natural sunlight into homes has been shown to provide a number of benefits, including:

  • Improvement in moods and attitude, including a decrease in the severity of clinical depression
  • Better actual colour rendering (colours are “true to the eye”)
  • Reduced eyestrain
  • Reduced energy waste from electric lighting or air conditioning

Bringing natural light indoors can be easy – try adding more windows, or replacing walls and doors with glass.  Alternatively, skylights are ideal for turning dark and gloomy areas into bright places to enjoy.

Fixed skylights will provide you with the full benefit of the light, but no ventilation, so are ideal for hallways and stairs. On the other hand, opening or ventilated skylights are better for installing in a bathroom, bedroom or kitchen.  Some manufacturers even offer skylights with exhaust fans to remove smoke or steam directly into the atmosphere rather than into the roof cavity.

Most suppliers these days offer different glazings which provide radiant heat block, UV ray protection and noise reduction. For those days when the heat is too much, or the light too bright, there is a range of blinds which can be operated either electrically or manually.

The main types of skylights are:

Traditional, fixed skylights with either an acrylic dome or polycarbonate cover on the roof.

Ventilated skylights, which allow ventilation through the roof to the outside and provide living areas with fresh air.  These can be operated using either handle, rod or remote control.

Tubular skylights, also known as sun-tubes, which feed light directly into small locations (such as hallways, cupboards or lavatories) where you otherwise may need to use an electric light during the day.

Fire-rated skylights, which are made with fire retardant materials.

Whatever your need or situation, it seems that innovation and technology are being applied to make it possible to have natural lighting anywhere in your house, together with ease of installation, weatherproofing and security.

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