How to maximize the natural light in your home

When designing the interior of a house and choosing interior decor, people rarely think of such aspect as natural light. Usually interior design is based on personal taste and functionality of each room. But that can result in you reducing the natural light that illuminates your space, which in return can cause you to pay more for electricity and increased eyestrain. So make sure that you consider natural light the next time you are designing or even just rearranging a room in your home. And to help you to get the most out of natural lighting, here are tips and tricks how to maximize the amount of natural light each room gets.

First off let me start by saying, that in this guide I won’t be suggesting you to add more windows or to turn whole walls into windows, because as much as that would help, to many that is just not an option. So in this article I will highlight the more sensible and less expensive ways, how you can have a lighter, more illuminated space. It might seem like a daunting task, but actually it is quite easy to increase the level of natural light in your home.

Use mirrors and reflective surfaces

Mirrors are a great tool when it comes to maximizing the light in a room. They reflect light, so, during the day they can work as additional natural light sources if arranged correctly. For example, if the mirror is placed adjacent to the window, it will imitate the window and it will seem like there are more windows in the room. But if the mirror is replaced opposite the window, it will reflect the light from it and will elope the whole room in bright daylight. And the bigger the mirrors are, the more light they will reflect and the more light you will receive.

The same goes to reflective surfaces such as glass. If you place glass furniture, for example a glass table of shelves opposite to the natural light sources, it will reflect the light, and will make the room that much brighter. So, especially if you have smaller rooms that don’t get a lot of light, mirrors and reflective surfaces are your best bet at maximizing natural light in the room.

Choose correct colors for ceilings and walls

A common solution to prevent rooms from appearing dark and displeasing is to paint them white, but it is not always the best thing to do. First of all, white color can give a very cold look to the room, and it also takes a lot to clean white walls and to actually keep them white. A solution here is to paint your walls light gray, light tan or light cream colors instead of white. These colors will still reflect a ton of light and your room will feel bright without actually being full on white.

Additionally you should also paint the ceilings just a bit lighter than the walls. Otherwise one color on the walls and ceilings look to bland and the room won’t feel natural. And use glossy finish colors for your ceilings, because these types of colors will reflect light better and will make the room appear taller and therefore bigger.

Keep the windows clean

You can’t imagine how much darkness dirty windows can cause. Although you might not see the dirt on your windows with a naked eye, its there and it blocks a chunk of natural light from coming into your room and illuminating it. Which is why you should clean your windows at least once in every couple of months, so your windows could provide maximum levels of natural light.

I know that window cleaning isn’t the easiest of tasks, especially if you don’t live on the first floor, but, unfortunately, it is just something you have to do if you want your windows to serve their purpose as best as they can. To make it a bit easier, buy appropriate cleaning tools and products, and you should be done with your windows in no time.

Choose light windows treatments

If you want more light to come in your home, go for window treatments in light colors and made from transparent fabrics. Of course, they also should provide some privacy, as that is the main purpose for window treatments, but they also shouldn’t block all the light. Best solution is to have two layers of window treatments. One made of transparent fabric for daytime use, and the other made from thick linen or cotton fabric for nighttime use. And avoid heavy, drapey, dark-colored blinds at all costs, because they block light even when they aren’t drawn and won’t help you in getting more out of natural lighting in any way.

Don’t block the windows

Blocking the windows with furniture or other things reduce the amount of natural light that comes into your room. So when arranging your home, make sure you keep the windows open and not blocked by a table, bed or any other furniture piece. That also refers to putting furniture near the windows, because, even if the furnishings aren’t fully blocking the windows, they are still reducing the natural light.

And also, don’t put big plants on the window sills. No matter how beautiful they are, they still block light and won’t do you any favors if you are trying to get the most out of your natural light in your home.

Choose glass doors

Lastly if you have typical wooden doors, maybe it is worth thinking about change them to ones, that have glass panels. And that goes for both indoors and outdoors doors. Exterior doors with glass panels will let more natural light inside the house, but interior doors with glass panels will let the light circulate throughout your home and therefore your house will appear lighter.

And you don’t even need to have transparent glass panels in the doors, the same effect can be achieved if the glass is frosted or otherwise treated so it is not see-through.

Bringing more natural light inside your home has many benefits. It will make your living space appear brighter, bigger, you will be able to spend less money on home lighting and your eyes will thank you for the extra light, too. And there are many ways to do it, so I hope that you will try out at least one of these methods and see how much of a difference they make.


Blogger, editor, developer who loves green living. Interested in photovoltaics and solar lighting. Reviewing solar products since 2013.

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