Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Daylighting Strategies

The largest energy load in any home is heating and cooling. The one source of energy that has a dramatic impact on minimizing heating and cooling costs is from the sun. Every home should be designed and oriented in a way to utilize solar energy. Passive solar design can lower your energy bills significantly compared to photovoltaic and solar hot water collectors that are used to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels.

Designing your home to utilize natural night or daylighting requires special attention in certain areas where visual tasks take place like the reading area, living room, home office and kitchen. Other places that require adequate lighting are walk in closets and utility rooms. In these spaces, daylighting can reduce the need for artificial lighting. Solar tubes are useful for providing natural light in these type of locations and also hard to reach darkened areas.

You can consider a few daylighting strategies like the ones listed below:

·  To let light indoors, the house should be placed and angled accordingly. This is done by shading the windows from the heat of the day by using canopies or trees.
·  To admit warm winter light and block out the harsh summer sun, consider sizing overhangs. The house needs to be properly shaped to balance the light so that every room has light entering from at least two sides. H shaped and C shaped houses are constructed in a way that allows light entering every room from two sides. However they are less energy efficient and compact compared to rectangular shaped houses.
·  Adding daylighting products for the atrium and courtyard can illuminate the entire indoor space from above. The only way to direct natural light into darkened areas of interior spaces is to transfer sunlight from a daylighting device situated on the roof to areas inside the house.
·   A daylighting expert can guide you to install the device based on the climate and the room. There are many factors considered like whether the space needs warm ambience or bright task lighting or will the presence of windows prove a liability in a well insulated space or will they be used for solar heat gain. Questions like these require careful evaluation to determine a home’s basic needs.

What is passive heating and daylighting? It is all about planning your home design with a compass. You need to determine how the sun moves throughout the day and through the course of the year in the area you live before designing a floor plan. Selective construction strategies can save a lot of money in the long run, especially for heating and lighting. Also, there is another added advantage for the homeowner and that is a naturally lit house with plenty of sunlight that is a more pleasant and healthy place to live in. Use your home’s design to let in as much sunlight as possible.

Setting each room in your house thoughtfully goes a long way in helping your indoor space stay well lit and illuminated. Morning sun is usually dominant on the east side. You can place your kitchen and dining room in that area to make the most of natural light early in the day. Of course, early morning sunshine is definitely good for you. Bedrooms that have east facing windows will be ideal for early risers but not for those who would like to sleep in. Bedrooms with west facing windows will be ideal for late risers. Sunlight is the strongest on the south side, so you can place your living room in that area as it is the most used room in the house. The north side has the least amount of sunlight, so you can locate the bathrooms and utility rooms in that area where natural light is not so important.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Daylight fixtures – Green lighting

Living room is the focal point of a house where family members gather to spend leisure moments. This is the family room where guests are entertained. So, proper decoration of this room matters a lot. You need to be extra careful about selecting appropriate lighting fixtures for the living room. A poorly lit living room is not really the right place to engage in activities like reading, chatting, watching TV or playing board games with your kids. Again insufficient lighting doesn’t do justice to your stunning room décor and furnishings. So, if you are pondering about how to pick up best lighting fixtures for the living space, given below are few helpful suggestions.

Think of fixtures which are easily controllable, practical and saves energy

The room which is used most often and that too for long stretches needs to have lighting arrangement which is functional and cost effective. With daylight concepts gathering momentum, such illumination can be achieved easily and that too without spending a fortune. Just install necessary devices outside to catch the sunlight. Then decorate the room with eye-catching fixtures so as to transmit the pure and clean sunlight into your living space. Such a system not only guarantees exceptional lighting and vibrant effects but is highly flexible too. So, if your living room doesn’t have direct roof access, don’t worry. You can benefit from Daylight fixtures all the same. Another advantage is that you can totally switch off electric lights during the day and thus save a significant amount on energy bills.

Pick out “Green” lighting options

We all know that sunlight is good for health. However, it is our lifestyle and work pattern which forces us to spend maximum hours under a fluorescent bulb. This in turn means you are getting exposed to varied degrees of mal-illumination. So, why not make an effort to transform your living room into a “green” and healthy one so that when your loved ones gather at the end of the day they can not only enjoy fun moments but feel fresh and rejuvenated too!   

Emphasize on light color and intensity

If you want to highlight the living room’s attractive interior décor then be careful about picking out appropriate light color and matching intensity. Daylight fixtures offer enough flexibility in this regard so that you can select natural daylight with warming or softening effect.
Give a thought for the look

Now that you have taken care of all practical aspects of the lighting system, it is time to think about elegance and style. Oversized light fixtures jutting out of the wall or ceiling don’t really make a great picture! Modern households demand light fittings which are discreet, dazzling and classic; a lighting which can weave magic by creating cascading designs. With so many Daylight fixture options available, you can easily render a contemporary look or a timeless appeal to your living space.

When it comes to purchasing daylight fixtures, trust a certified dealer only. Enquire about the product features, warranties and installation process before finalizing a particular Daylighting option.