What does natural lighting mean to you? Maybe it’s a window with a view. Or perhaps it’s a must if you experience seasonal affective disorder. Or maybe natural lighting is fine and good, as long as it comes in from the south.
As homeowners, we’ve toyed with the idea of natural light for generations. Remember when skylights in the master bath were all the rage? More recently, natural light has become more of a science in the world of home design. It is often as utilitarian as it is aesthetic.
Consider this: Electric lighting consumes more than 15 percent of all electricity generated in this country, according to the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
If you are able to do your part by cutting back on how much light you use, it can add up to substantial savings on your utility bills. That only compounds the good feeling that comes from basking in natural light. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, lighting consumption drops 50 to 80 percent with properly planned windows and skylights.
The natural progression of the day, from daybreak to dusk, also puts our circadian rhythms in sync with the 24-hour cycle of light and dark.
It’s not enough to just throw a bunch of energy-efficient windows in the house, though. There is an art to placement, one that goes all the way back to Roman days. South-facing windows do bring in the most heat, while east- and west-facing windows glow with morning and afternoon light.
For a balanced effect without dark shadows, bring the light into the room from at least two directions. You can also use well-placed mirrors to reflect light through the room or high-placed windows to bounce it off a white ceiling.
Here at Rainey Homes, we take all of this into consideration while working with you in designing your dream Energy Star home. When you’re ready to make your move, come for a visit and we’ll talk.