Healthy Homes: How to Have One… Part 1 – Natural Light
This is probably the most obvious feature needed to have a healthy home. Rooms that have lots of natural light feel comfortable and enjoyable to be in, while rooms that are poorly lit feel cramped and depressive. Natural light provides many benefits, psychologically, physically and financially, and is an essential feature in a healthy home.
Exposure to natural light actually encourages the production of serotonin in the brain and releases endorphins, both of which contribute to a happy state of mind. Additionally, natural light provides Vitamin D to your body which is an important vitamin that improves the immune system and helps reduce a long list of various ailments. You will also experience higher energy levels, a more regulated and better quality sleep, and healthier eyes.
With increased natural sunlight in your home comes a reduced requirement for artificial lighting and heating. This reduces the expenses of running your home and also the energy impact on the environment. The only caveat here is that while increasing sunlight into your home you need to consider the high temperatures that we experience in Perth summers and design to ensure that there is not excessive heat gain.
When designing a new home or renovation, natural light will be a significant consideration, in the orientation and layout of the home and the fenestration. Some practical tips for in the meantime:
- Adding a mirror will reflect light into a space
- Lighter colours reflect light more; consider painting a dark wall or ceiling, add a light coloured rug on a dark floor, paint your window frames a lighter colour, replace any large dark pieces of furniture with lighter coloured furniture.
- Add a skylight
- Replace heavy curtains or blinds with semi-sheer curtains or frosted glass to increase light but maintain privacy.