14 Effective Ways to Optimize Natural Daylight
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Natural Daylight Optimization means lightning (or illuminating) up house naturally by bringing sunlight into the house (i.e. anytime you are able to light a room with a window or a skylight instead of flipping on a light switch). Natural light not only has positive psychological effect but also beneficial for physical and mental health. When a place is well flooded with well-controlled natural light, the amount of electricity needed for lightning may plummet (fall).
Also Read: Aims of Good Lighting in a House
Usually builders will make your house eco-friendly with the use of solar power, but you too can contribute by optimum utilization of natural daylight. Following are the ways to optimize natural daylight:
01. Enlarge Windows:
Enlarge windows by dropping sills and removing a section of the wall below. This won’t affect structurally. Replacing windows with patio doors.
02. Provide Openings:
Add a window on a flanking wall.
Flank wall: a side wall opposite to party wall (wall with no openings) where openings are permissible.
03. Add Glass Brick Walls:
Change a non-load bearing wall or stud partition into a glass-brick wall.
Courtesy - Seattle Glass Block
04. Provide Skylights:
Give access to natural light into room by providing small skylights (roof windows).
05. Clerestory Windows or Roof Monitors:
As an alternative to skylights, one can also construct clerestory windows or roof monitors.
- Clerestory: a section of wall that supports windows above eye level to let in light.
- Monitor (Double Clerestory) Roof: a roof on which another section of wall projects from the ridge of a building.
06. Opt for Glaze Windows:
If you’re building a house, remodelling or replacing windows, you can choose from a wide range of high performance glaze windows (double glazing). High performance glazing makes it possible to use more glass while minimizing heat loss, heat gain and glare.
07. Natural Light Reflection:
Try to bounce(reflect) natural light off the ceiling. For this, locate your windows close to the ceiling works. Louvre or operable custom blinds can direct light towards ceiling. Below image shows window blind directing light towards ceiling, from where it is bounced.
08. Coordinate Mirrors with Openings:
Hang mirrors, particularly opposite to windows. It will brighten up space.
09. Trim Trees/Shrubs:
Trees/shrubs block the light from entering into a house. Trim trees or bushes that may overshadow windows so that natural daylight is not blocked and makes room brighter.
10. Window Dressing:
Replacing dark and solid window dressing with voile (light weight fabric) and muslin to diffuse light.
11. Reflective Surfaces:
Use light-reflective surfaces, and pale carpets and furnishings. Below image illustrates reflective flooring.
12. Light Coloured Paint:
Using light coloured paint is another way to enhance the reflection of natural light in a room. Wherever appropriate, you can select paint with a high reflective value.
Courtesy - thevitaminoutlet
13. Glazed Doors:
Turn an inner door into a glazed panel or replace it with stained or clear glass.
14. Angling the Blinds:
Install venetian blinds as they can be adjusted into different angles to aim the light in certain directions. Angling the blinds towards the ceiling will always reflect the light downwards without baking your room.
Nidhi Patel – Civil Engineer