Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Lighting Affects Your Moods

Everyone has a favorite room at home. It could be any place, even the bathroom. What makes it special and why you feel better there than in other parts of the house is something you can’t explain. There are many possible factors that affect your mood, including the décor, layout, temperature and lighting. Changing these could make a room you are not comfortable in a happier place to be. But changing the décor, layout and temperature are big projects that require time and money. Before trying those actions, why not start with the simplest solution and one which typically offers the best chance of success.


The Effects of Light

The proper lighting of a room is not based purely on how bright or dark it is. There are many subtleties and any or all of these factors can affect how a person feels about it.
  • Poor lighting does not just make a room dull and gloomy. It can cause eye strain and headaches which in turn can make people feel sick or depressed.
  • Inadequate natural light during the day can make a room feel closed off and isolated. This can cause depression among the people who are in the room for extended periods of time.
  • Bright lighting is a stimulant which makes the mind more active. It is good when work has to be done but not so nice when a person wants to relax and unwind.
  • Contrast (a room with both bright lighting and dark shadowy spots) can lead to eye strain. The extremes of bright and dark can also lead to a feeling of uncertainty and an inability to concentrate.
  • Overly bright lighting can make a room seem overly bright and soulless. The brightness can hurt the eyes and the atmosphere can cause nervousness and a feeling of being on edge.
  • Natural light coming from windows or daylighting systems has a calming effect on the mind and the emotions. This happens while the light also elevates the mood and causes a more positive attitude to issues at hand.
The light requirements for each room are different. The ideal lighting for a bedroom is different from that of a kitchen, study or living room. Ensuring the lighting is right will make a room more comfortable and a happier place to be in.

Daylight is the Best

Humans are diurnal creatures. Although we can function at all times, we are at our best during the daylight hours. Daylight literally nurtures and nourishes us, keeps us mentally alert and lifts our emotional state. Ensuring that there is good exposure to daylight is essential for all round well being. Often windows and skylights cannot provide enough light in an indoor space. Instead of using artificial lighting, why not use tubular daylighting devices (TDDs)? These collect external daylight, carry it through walls and ceiling via special conduits and then diffuse it effectively where it is required.  It consumes no electricity, lasts for many years and is completely green. Contact a daylighting systems specialist to learn more about how TDDs can light up your home.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

How to Brighten a Dull Room

Using artificial lighting during the day is not just expensive and ecologically unfriendly; it can also make the interior of a home look dull and, according to some interior designers, ‘artificial.’ If you find that some or all of the rooms in your home do not have the kind of light you want, here are some tips to make them brighter look better.

Remove anything that could restrict light entering through the windows. That includes secondary glazing which often absorbs light and any objects from the window sills. Replacing heavy curtains with thin drapes or blinds will also allow more light to enter.



You can increase the effect of available light by reflecting it. Use mirrors to make a room look brighter. A mirror placed opposite a window will reflect light around a room.

Paint dark rooms in bright colors. Hues like light green, lilac, blue etc. will make a room look larger and bright while dark shades like brown, red, orange and so on absorb light and make a room darker. The more glossy the finish, the more reflective the paint.

Choose colors according the where you live. In regions where the sunlight is bright and strong, stronger hues can reduce the glare and help to keep a room cooler. However, where the natural light is less strong or where cloudy skies are common, these shades can make the same room, with the same décor, look drab.

The floor has a major impact on how bright a room is. Carpets, even light colored ones, tend to absorb light. A polished floor of stone or hardwood will reflect the available light throughout the room and make it look brighter.

For a small room, less is more. Minimizing the furniture and avoiding patterns that draw the eye away from the natural light that is present will make the room look more open and bright.

In general, the more open a room is, the brighter it looks. If you have a large room with big windows that still appears gloomy, consider replacing heavy furniture with slimmer designs. This will free up space and make the room look more open and bright.

Invest in tubular daylighting devices (TDDS) or, as they are often called, daylighting systems. These capture natural sunlight and use high tech tubing to carry it through walls and ceiling to the interior of a home. Such systems have almost no light loss and can bring natural lighting to even those parts of a structure that do not have access to external light, such as closets. You can get fittings of all styles to suit any décor so they can be installed almost anywhere. The cost is far lower than you think, installation is easy and inexpensive and once in place, you can expect clear natural daylight for years at no cost.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunlight and Productivity

In any commercial activity, profits are linked to productivity. Any drop in output, either in terms of actual work output or creativity will result in a loss of income. That is why many businesses, both large and small, are going the extra mile to working environments that promote higher levels of mental and physical performance as well as emotional calm. While the results on this are always positive, many companies overlook the importance and contribution of sunlight to improved performance. Man is by nature a diurnal creature that performs best during the daylight hours. The reason for this is not only one of conditioning. There are physiological reasons for this.

Daylight Energizes

A recent study has found that Seasonal Affective Disorder, or ‘winter blues’ as it is commonly known, is caused by a lack of sunlight. In winter, with shorter days and cloudier skies, the body is exposed to less sunlight which causes the serotonin level in the human metabolism to drop. Serotonin is the chemical that affects moods and low levels have been linked to depression and feelings of dullness and apathy.

The effects of inadequate sunlight exposure can occur at any time of the year. People who spend long hours indoors, under artificial light, will often have low serotonin levels as well as other health related problems like vitamin D deficiency which affects joints and movements.


Inadequate Sunlight = Inadequate Output

The solution is obviously to expose the workforce to more sunlight. That does not mean moving outdoors and working in fields and gardens. Attractive as that may sound; it is not practical or viable. The solution is to bring more sunlight into the workplace.  Having an office with lots of windows is not enough. There will be interior areas where sunlight does not penetrate.

This is where daylighting systems or tubular daylighting devices (TTDs) can make a huge difference. These systems capture sunlight during the daytime hours and carry it through special reflective pipes to building interiors. The sunlight exposure available to people in these spaces makes up for their not being out in the open. This will allow the human body to function according to its normal circadian rhythm (24 hour cycle) and enable people to perform better. Look at the daylight available in your office and if more is needed, a surprisingly small investment will produce a significant return.

Installing a daylighting system in the workplace is not difficult. The technology available today means that the leading TDD manufacturer has systems that can carry the light into almost any interior area. Once installed it works for free. Besides the psychological and physiological benefits, the reduction in electricity usage translates to lower utility bills. The savings here will also contribute to an improved bottom line.

Friday, September 23, 2016

How to Choose a Commercial Daylighting System Part - 2

Adaptability

A building is not static. It evolves over time – the décor will change, the business conducted in it may take a different course and style trends may dictate that its look should be altered. A commercial daylighting system must be able to adapt and evolve to meet these demands without being completely ripped out to make way for a new one. Not only will this be expensive, it will add to the disruption in the work flow that the other changes may cause. A good system should be able to use new fittings and lighting controls to suit the new requirements. If needed, the tubing should be capable of being rerouted to a new location. This will enable it to conform to the new environment.


Predictability

The amount of natural daylight varies according to the time of day and the season. However, the lighting in a workplace must be consistent and predictable so that the working environment remains stable. A good daylighting system must be able to deliver consistent and predictable lighting. This means that cutting edge technology and state of the art materials have to be used and that the system itself should be designed for optimal light availability. The best manufacturers and their dealers will have the tools and technology to create customized lighting designs to meets these goals.

Reliability

A daylighting system that is unreliable and needs frequent repair, maintenance and parts replacement will negate all the benefits that it should offer. The best systems offer years of trouble free use with little or no maintenance and parts costs. The best brands do this by focusing on quality and innovation. To install a daylighting system that is not state of the art is to spend money on what will be a continuous source of problems and expenses. Installing a top level system will ensure the reliability that every organization wants.

Sustainability

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is becoming a key factor in all business planning. A major facet of this is reducing an organization’s negative environmental impact. The use of sustainable natural daylight reduces electricity usage and by doing so, minimizes the carbon footprint that is created. A CSR act of this nature will enhance the image of the business and assist it in creating a positive impact in the market. The other aspect of sustainability that must be taken into consideration is the cost effectiveness of daylight and the low maintenance. These will both help to reduce operation overheads and by doing so, improve bottom lines. 

A high quality daylighting system can make an immense difference to the look, feel and functionality of a workplace and by doing this, improve workflow and productivity. If you are planning, or even considering, the use of daylighting in an office, the first stage is to talk to reputed experts in the field to develop a lighting plan and design that will give you the maximum return on your investment and the greatest savings in lighting costs. With utility cost continually rising, daylight will soon stop being an option and become an essential.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

How to Choose a Commercial Daylighting System Part -1

Although many manufacturers offer one-size-fits-all daylighting systems that they claim to be equally suitable for home and commercial applications. The requirements of the two are very different. When choosing a daylighting system for office or factory use, the design, operational and functional parameters are all very different and only a system designed for commercial applications can provide the performance and cost efficiency that users expect.

If you are contemplating installing a daylighting system in a commercial space, keep these factors in mind to ensure that what you install gives you the performance you expect.


Technology

The light requirements for an office are different than those of a home. In a commercial space the light levels must be predictable. This stable light level is a key feature of commercial architectural design as fluctuations in the amount of light could affect both workplace mood and output. Also, ceilings in commercial spaces are much higher than in homes and typically range from 8 to 20 feet. The system and the fittings will need to provide light from these heights. A good commercial daylighting system must be able to meet both these imperatives, which will not be necessary for residential daylighting.

Architectural Integration

Commercial daylighting poses a number of challenges not normally found in residential projects. The distance from the rooftop, where the light is connected to the interior space where it is needed, is often long. The system must be optimally designed for minimum light loss and use materials and technologies that maximize efficiencies. The system itself should bend seamlessly into its environment – the building or spaces where it is being used.

Optical Controllability

A good commercial daylighting system must be able to delivers the visible light spectrum to the interior spaces while filtering out infrared wavelengths. This will reduce the amount of heat transferred indoors and in turn bring down air conditioning costs. The system must also restrict the entry of ultraviolet wavelengths which can cause damage to interior finishes and make paints and fabrics fade. Additionally the light output should be controllable so that lighting can match operational and functional needs.

Maximum Light Transmission

The need to deliver the maximum amount to light is a given, even if all of it is not used. That is what dimmers and other controllers are for. Light intensity is subject to season variations and a daylighting system that is unable to produce enough light in winter is one that is unable to do its job. A good commercial daylighting system should be able to provide year round lighting. In addition, the color temperature must be maintained so that the indoor colors appear natural and do not change hue if the light availability / strength is deliberately changed.

There are many other aspects to commercial daylight which will be covered in the next blog.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Do you need a Tubular Daylighting Device?

The answer to this question is not difficult to find. To put it in the simplest terms you do need one or more Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDDs) in your home if:



  • You want exceptional lighting. You will get natural and bright light output. It will give you as much light as skylight and many times larger.
  • You want cost effective lighting.  A TDD is much less expensive than other options for using natural light such as installing windows or skylights.  This is true of both the product as well as the installation cost.
  • You want easy installation. A TDD requires no tunneling, structural reframing, painting or drywall demolition or construction. A professional will normally be able to install the device in under 2 hours while creating little or no mess to be cleaned up.
  • You want a DIY project. Most homeowners with reasonable skills should be able to install a TDD in one day.
  • You need light where windows are not possible. A TDD can provide light to almost any room in a home, even those with no roof access and where external light will normally not enter, or be inadequate. Examples are places like closets or basements. The system easily carries natural light through walls and ceilings.
  • You want to make your home “Green.” TDDs allow you to switch off electric lights during the day which reduces the amount of power the home consumes and so the carbon footprint it creates.
  • You want to reduce your utility bills. Once a TDD is installed, there are no running costs. It provides free light all day. The impact this can have on your electricity bills is significant. Since power costs will only rise in the future, the savings that a daylighting system offers will continue to increase over time.
  • You want your home to be a healthy place. Several studies by respected institutions have shown that exposure to daylight offers a number of health benefits and boosts both energy and concentration levels.
Finding the Right Brand

If your response to these issues is “yes” there is no reason to delay making a purchase decision and acting on it. All you need to know is which brand to buy and where to get it from. Look for a brand that is known to be the leader in its field and has a reputation for continuous product innovation and development. This will ensure that the system you invest in uses the latest technology to give you the best possible service. Also look for a manufacturer that is known for producing quality products to avoid any hassles down the line. Finally, there should be a wide range of fittings and options available so the system fits seamlessly into your home.


As for where to get it from, the best thing to do it to go to the company’s dealer. If a prime dealer is available in your area, that is even better. The dealer will be able to do an assessment to identify your daylight needs, give you a quote and, if required, do the installation. There will also be a showroom where you can go to physically to see and examine the fittings etc. that are available to you.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Benefits of Daylighting in Workplaces


In an increasingly competitive business environment, reducing costs and overheads to improve profitability is a major focus. Each industry will have its own imperatives to deal with in meeting this challenge. One common area for all of them is utility costs. Reducing these without impacting operational efficiency is the key. Increasing the use of daylight in the workplace is the way to do it. In fact, studies show that increased daylight actually improves workplace performance and productivity. Here are a few of the ways a business can benefit:

  • Maximizing the use of daylight can result in a significant reduction in energy costs.
  • Modern daylighting systems do not cause any additional heat transfer or loss, so HVAC operation costs are not affected.
  • The human metabolism so genetically programmed to operate at its best during the day. An environment that uses artificial light during daytime disrupts this natural cycle and affects human efficiency.
  • A great deal of research has been done on the connection between natural daylight and human functioning. Among the findings have been:
  • Daylight improves the ability to focus and concentrate on work.
  • It promotes an overall sense of wellbeing.
  • A study carried out by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District found that people performed 10% to 25% better in cognitive tests when in a room with natural daylight.
  • Another study found that office workers performed 6% to 12% faster when working in a daylight environment. Click here for more information.
  • The same study found that there is a positive correlation between retail sales volumes and daylight.
  • Research done by the California Energy Commission found that daylight increases concentration levels and short term memory recall.
  • The U.S. Green Building Council has found that there is a connection between what is known as the Biophilia Hypothesis and workplace sickness. The Biophilia Hypothesis states that humans have an inbuilt need to be in contact with nature and the more they are cut off from it, the more their health suffers. Daylighting systems provide natural sunlight which meets the needs for contact with nature.
  • A study published in the International Journal of Energy Engineering concludes that people who work in daylight environments find their work easier to do, are more comfortable and are likely to have shorter hospital stays.
  • It has been established that sunlight causes the brain to increase its production of serotonin. This is a hormone that boosts energy, reduces the impact of pain and improves mood.
Providing people with natural daylight to work in is inexpensive and when the benefits and long term costs savings are added together, it pays for itself in a surprisingly short time.

Older structures often ignored the issue of lighting because the benefits of daylighting were not appreciated at the time they were built and artificial lighting was easily available and cheap. Architects and engineers today know the importance but often have to compromise to meet space utilization and other demands.  Wherever there is a building that can benefit from more daylight, there is a need for daylighting systems. Current daylighting systems offer the maximum efficiency, ease of installation and a significant return on what is a surprisingly small investment.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Skylights vs Daylighting Systems



When there is not enough natural daylight available in a part of a home, the traditional solution has been to supplement the light from the windows with that from a skylight. While this option may increase the amount of light available, it comes at a cost which is often far too high. This may seem to be an exaggeration, but consider the following:

  • A skylight is one of the most common causes of water leaks from the roof. Repairing a bad skylight installation is not only difficult and expensive, there is no certainty that the leak will not reappear. Condensation on the inner surface of the glass that drips down is another problem you may have to face. This is especially true in the case of a bathroom which is part of the house that often has inadequate natural light entry.
  • A skylight may allow too much light to enter, especially if it is on the sunny side of the house or on the east or west face. This will not only make the room uncomfortable, the excess UV radiation will cause paint and fabric to fade and lose their colors.
  • A skylight is basically a hole in the roof with glass in it. This means that it will allow a huge amount of heat to pass through. In other words, the room will become very hot in summer and remain very cold in winter because of the heat loss. The effect on your utility bills in terms of air conditioning and heating costs can be massive.
  • Accumulations of snow, leaves, dirt and debris on the skylight can reduce the amount of light that enters the room to the extent that the skylight is ineffective.
  • Most skylights use either deck seals and gaskets or adhesive underlayment and engineered flashing. All these components tend to fail over time, resulting in leaks and heat loss.

The Daylighting Alternative

Daylighting systems have none of these problems. They use a small roof mounted collector to collect the maximum available sunlight. This is then piped to that part of the home where it is needed most using special highly reflective pipes that reduce light loss to an insignificant amount. The light then enters a special light fitting in the room from where it is diffused. In other words it provides natural daylight in a manner similar to electric lighting. Installation is simple and once installed nothing further need to be done to keep it functioning. There are none of the problems or disadvantages of skylights.

Tubular Daylighting devices (TDDs) offer a much safer, energy efficient and effective way of bringing daylight into your home than skylights. These systems use state of the art technology to carry natural sunlight through walls and ceilings to those parts of the home which need it the most. There are also systems that incorporate LED lighting so the same fitting that provides daylight during the day can provide light at night. With the range of elegant fittings available, TDDSs are not just the way to light your home naturally; they are also the future of lighting.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

How to Light a Room

Have you ever entered a room and noticed how well it was lit? Probably not because the key to effective lighting is that it is not noticeable. Lighting is not an end in itself - it is a tool to add character and atmosphere to an enclosed space. Here are a few tips to change the look of any room for the better by using light.



  • Layer the light. It is a common misconception that the whole room must be equally well lit. Instead use multiple light sources and diffuse them to create a layered look that will highlight key accents of the room while allowing the rest of the space to become the backdrop. Experiment by placing lamps at different locations and trying out different bulbs and shades.
  • Use a dimmer. Besides allowing different moods to be created, dimmers have another important function. All light sources cast shadows and the difference between a bright spot and shadowed part of a room is literally like night and day. Dimmers can reduce the contrast and keep the room ambience on an even level.
  • Use the right bulbs. Never use fluorescent bulbs in a home – they make any space look like an office. They also alter the color of everything in the room and, in addition, cause eye fatigue. CFL or LED bulbs are a better option and the warm shades that are available can be used to give even the most cold and clinical feeling rooms a warmth that makes them comfortable to be in.
  • Exposure to daylight is good for the health
  • It is free
  • A room that is lit by natural sunlight will looks more natural and open than one that uses artificial lighting during the day.

The Daylight Advantage

However you decide to light your home, one factor to remember is that nothing is better than natural daylight. There are a number of reasons for this, including the fact that:

The problem many homeowners face in maximizing the use of daylight is that often rooms do not have enough windows, the exposure is not right for maximizing the use of daylight or trees and other natural factors restrict the amount of sunlight that enters the home. Adding more windows requires major modifications to the home, even if it is possible. The exposure cannot, obviously be changed. And cutting down trees is not something that anyone wants to do. That does not mean that people with these problems have to content themselves with a dark home or need to use electric lights 24 hours a day.

Daylighting systems collect daylight from the roof of a home and using cutting edge technology channel it, with almost no loss, though walls and floors to almost any part of the home. This allows dark rooms, hallways, closets and other areas of the house to receive natural daylight. This will change the ambience of these areas and make them better looking and more comfortable to spend time in. Contact a daylighting systems dealer for a reputed manufacturer of the equipment to learn how daylight can change your home for the better.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Solatube Story

From the dawn of time man has wondered if there was a way to capture sunlight to bring it indoors, where it was needed. All kinds of technologies were tried over the centuries but none of them were successful. The only way to light interior spaces without access to direct sunlight was with fire, candles, and lanterns and later by electricity. Architects continually tried to find ways to use windows and skylights to maximize the amount of natural light that could enter a structure, but design, function and location constraints limited how effective these efforts were. The breakthrough came about 30 years ago when the tubular daylighting device (TTD) was invented.



The Solatube Timeline

It was in the 1980s that an Australian inventor created a system to bring sunlight into a building by taking it through walls and floors with the use of pipes that had their interiors coated with high reflective materials. This, coupled with highly efficient daylight collection devices and indoor diffusers to spread the light took daylighting out of the realm of theory and made it a practical and viable way to light the interiors of buildings without using electricity.
  • 1986 – The first patent on the TTD is applied for
  • 1987 – The first prototype is installed.
  • 1991 – The first sales take place in Australia.
  • 1992 – Solatube enters the North American market
  • 1995 – New material and technology increases the amount of light that can be delivered indoors.
  • 2000 – A new division of Solatube is created to cater for the increasing demand for daylighting in non-residential buildings. New products with improved features and new technologies that allowed for improved transmission of light are launched. The Solar Star Attic Fan is launched.
  • 2002 – The 90 degree extension tube that takes light to places where it could not go before it is launched. New industry leading reflective materials are developed and unveiled.
  • 2003 – An industry first dimmer system to control the amount of daylight is launched.
The list goes on and on. In almost every year the company has either launched new products that have been industry leaders or set industry standards and benchmarks or unveiled technological advances that have kept it at the forefront of the daylighting industry. Today the name Solatube is no longer just a brand name. It has become almost a generic term of daylighting and all the benefits it offers.

Daylighting systems are the way of the future because they offer natural, environmentally friendly light while also helping to reduce your utility bills. There are several manufacturers of these systems but going with the originator of the technology is the best option, especially if it is the industry leader in terms of features, customer service, options and market share.  Today over 2 million people are enjoying the benefits of the Solatube daylighting system in their homes. Millions more are unknowingly enjoying daylighting in department stores, schools, hospitals, offices and other public and private spaces across the world. Major Corporates are using TTDs to reduce their energy costs. If you have not considered daylighting systems for your home, now is the time to do so.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

How to Reduce Lighting Costs

Energy costs may occasionally drop, but the overall trend is, and will remain, a rising one. That means your electricity bills are going to continue to rise over time. With the cost of everything else also going up, saving on electricity, without living in a dark gloomy home, is becoming increasingly important. There are several technology based and common sense things you can do to keep your utility costs under control.


  • Use Energy Efficient Bulbs: CFL and now LED bulbs have revolutionized indoor lighting. It is now possible to get the same amount of light as produced by an old incandescent bulb by using a fraction of the electricity.
  • Stay Away From Multiple Fittings: Just because you are using low wattage bulbs does not mean that you can go wild and place them wherever you want. The amount of electricity used can creep up unnoticed and counter the savings you get from the low wattage bulbs.
  • Control Wattage: In the same way, do not overly light a room. A room with too much light can give the feel of an office or a factory. Keep the lighting down to what you need and what the room is used for. A kitchen will need brighter and different light than a sitting room.
  • Use Multiple Switches: When lighting a large open plan area, balance the light locations to ensure that the lighting is even throughout the space. Also install multiple switches so that only those areas that are being used need to be lit and no electricity is wasted on unoccupied and unused spaces.
  • Use Dimmers: Dimmers control lighting intensity and the amount of electricity that is being used. Not all bulbs are dimmer compatible. Check on this before buying bulbs to be used with dimmers.
  • Use Lamps: Generally speaking, lamps can illuminate a small area more effectively than overhead lights. This will not just save electricity, the lamps can also give the room a completely new ambience.
  • Don’t Use Electricity: Daylighting is the hottest concept in indoor lighting today. It is a technology that captures daylight and channels it into parts of a home that do not receive adequate natural light, like hallways, closets and so on. The light is diffused indoors by modern fittings that remove the need for the use of electrical light during the day. The constantly evolving technology of daylighting systems means that the latest devices are super-efficient and provide all the light that may be needed without the use of an external power source. The only cost is that of the onetime equipment and installation expense which is much less than what you may expect.

While all the factors listed here can make a significant dent in your lighting costs, the place to start with is daylighting systems. Once you maximize the use of natural daylight in your home, you will know the amount of electrical lighting that will be needed. You can then plan your lighting to optimize efficiency and operating costs. Contact a daylighting systems supplier to get started in the right way.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

How to Maximize Daylight in Your Home

A well-lit home is a cheerful one. Many homes do not get enough natural light during the day due to which even the most well-furnished and decorated homes look less attractive than they really are. Using electric lights during the day will never give the same feel and of course, your electricity bills will go up. If this is a problem you face, here are some things you can do to increase the natural daylight in a room and change its whole look and aura.


Use mirrors: Mirrors are a great way to multiply light. Place one on the wall opposite the window and the light will  reflect through the room. The reflection of the view from the window will also make the room look larger than it is. A mirror placed adjacent to the window will mimic the window and make it seem like the wall has another one.

Avoid heavy window treatments: Heavy window treatments, curtains blinds and shades will block most of the light out of a room. While these are necessary for privacy, the same result can be achieved by using light translucent curtains and shades. These will allow much more light to enter while still providing the required privacy. Depending on the colors and tints chosen, this option can even give a glow to the curtains and shades and also diffuse the light more evenly across the room.

Use light colors for ceilings: A dark ceiling will absorb light and make a room look dark. If the walls are white, a white ceiling is the best. If the walls are dark, a white ceiling may make the room feel cramped and oppressive. In such cases, a colored ceiling that is lighter than the walls is a good option. Do not use glossy or semi-gloss paint on the ceiling. This will make the room look like an office or a doctor’s clinic. A white or light colored matte finish is the best option.

Install reflective surfaces: Reflective surfaces like a black painted backsplash in the kitchen will bounce light around the room and make it significantly brighter.

Keep it clean: You will be surprised at the amount of light that is lost with even a thin film of dust on window glass. Additionally, in a world that is becoming increasingly more polluted, thin layers of almost invisible oily deposits appear on the glass. These can diffuse the light and cause less light to enter a room. Regular cleaning of both the inner and outer surfaces will maximize the amount of light that is able to get in.

These are just a few ways in which you can brighten up your home using natural light. Daylight will always give your home a more cheerful and natural look than artificial lighting. It will also save on utility bills. If your home has areas that cannot be lit with windows and skylights, consider using a daylighting system to channel natural daylight to those parts of the home that remain dark and gloomy. You will be surprised at the difference it makes. These systems are not as expensive as you may think and are easy to install.