How To Add Natural Sunlight To Your Home: 5 Ways
An open home, full of natural sunlight, can boost any mood. No matter your situation or budget, there a few tricks you can do to instantly add sunshine to any room of your home to make it feel brighter and lighter.
1. Check your exterior, first
When we think of adding natural light to a home, we tend to look inside. The first place you should look, though, is outside your walls.
Increase natural sunlight by:
- Regularly cleaning your windows, as dirt and grime can stop light from entering
- Trimming back (or removing completely) any trees or bushes that are blocking light
- Pulling back any privacy or hurricane shutters when they're not in use
- Painting the underside of your eaves white to reflect in more sunlight
2. Let there be light, with more windows
The next tip is the most obvious: more windows will allow in more natural sunlight.
When you go to add more windows, think of tall, big windows that let in a maximum amount of sunlight. And, don't be put off by avoiding windows on hotter, exposed sides of the home. Even in the hot New Orleans climate, our low-e glass windows allow in sunlight while blocking or reflecting heat-causing infrared light. That means you get the light, without as much heat.
Then, think beyond normal places to put windows. You can still get more sunlight into your home by adding:
- High windows in the bathroom or even shower, for light along with privacy
- Small windows that run along the tops of basement walls
- Windows in unexpected places like closets, the end of hallways, stairwells, or pantries
Once you've added more windows, don't close them off. Use light linen or gauzy curtains to allow in more light.
3. Use doors to open up, rather than close off, rooms
Wherever possible, consider adding glass doors or insets. For a front door, you can use frosted glass to increase light while ensuring your privacy.
From there, try frosted or French doors for offices, closets, or pantries. Large sliding doors that open up to your yard can also let in more light.
Your goal is to open up your interior as much as possible. This way, light can move unrestricted from one side of the house to the other. That means more light in commonly-dark areas of the home.
4. Look into skylights and solar tubes
Another obvious way to add more light is with large skylights that allow unfettered light into your home. New options are more energy efficient, less liable to breakage and leaks, and easier to install.
However, installing a skylight is still a large task and some rooms simply aren't big enough for one. Lower cost solar tubes (also called sun tubes) are another great option for adding sunlight. With highly-reflective piping, they can bring natural light from the roof, from as far as 30 feet away.
As with windows, consider adding these solar tubes in bathrooms, closets, pantries, and hallways for more light in dark areas.
5. Increase the shine, everywhere
No, your home doesn't need to have as many mirrors and glitz as a Las Vegas hotel, but touches of reflective light and shine helps any room feel more open and light.
- Mirrors as decorative pieces, especially opposite of windows and at the ends of hallways
- Furniture with glass panels, mirror accents, or highly-reflective metals
- Glass tiles for an elegant look, and more light, in bathrooms and kitchens
- Shiny pieces into your fixtures, such as door handles, cabinets, and faucets
From there, remember your paint. Shinier, glossy paint will reflect more light than a flat option. High-gloss may work in some areas of the house, but not in others. At the very least consider adding a bit more shine where you can, such as opting for eggshell instead of flat paint.
And, when you do paint, know that lighter colors will feel more bright than dark ones. Paint light blues, grays, and whites on the walls, and white on the ceiling for maximum reflection.
Ready to invest in sunshine?
Adding sunlight into your home can boost your mood and add value to your home if you sell it. Doing so doesn't have to increase the heat or energy use in your home, especially if you already have old windows (we talk more about why it's important to replace old windows here).
At LAS Shutters + Windows, we're experts in designing and installing beautiful windows for New Orleans residents. We always use high-quality windows and siding to reduce your overall energy cost, while also allowing in plenty of natural sunlight.
If you're ready to get started, give us a call today. Our window professionals can provide a free estimate for the design, construction, and installation for your project.