The fact that natural lighting plays a crucial role in our everyday actions and functions, is a common knowledge. However, not all the locations around the globe can enjoy long sunny days and people do need light to properly do all the work: be it in school, workplace or household. Nevertheless, people tend to overuse artificial light, especially in situations where natural light is available or at least its levels could be increased. In this article, we will highlight the main advantages of both natural and artificial lighting. We are also going to reveal some answers to the big question, namely – which one is better: natural or artificial light? Plus, some useful tips on how to maximize the amount of natural light in your home and workspace will be given in the last section of this article.
Benefits of natural light
While the importance of natural light has been a common knowledge for many centuries, now we have science that has also explored natural light and revealed some significant findings on how natural light can be connected to our health, mood and habits (such articles as “Skylighting and Retail Sales: An Investigation Into the Relationship Between Daylighting and Human Performance”, “Daylighting Impacts on Retail Sales Performance” and “Daylighting in Schools: An Investigation into the Relationship between Daylighting and Human Performance” are just a few examples to be mentioned). The benefits of natural light, however, are related with other life-spheres as well, such as budget and interior design. Accordingly, we can list the main acknowledged benefits of natural light which are:
- Day-lit rooms increase the productivity and comfort of people living in them;
- Access to natural light helps to improve one’s circadian rhythms;
- Working in daylight boosts one’s mood and motivation; the work is done faster, it involves more pleasure and the results are generally better;
- Since natural lighting reminds people of the outdoors, it creates a calmer indoor environment, reducing one’s stress;
- Utilizing natural light up to the maximum can help to decrease the amount of electricity spent thus reducing monthly electricity bills;
- Studying in daylight improves study results. There is a proved correlation between classrooms with good natural light and improved student performance and even attendance.
Benefits of artificial light
Of course, we can’t always enjoy the benefits of natural light, especially during the nights. If we would strictly work only in the natural light, our day would be a lot shorter and we would simply be forced to go to sleep very early. The electric light bulb was invented for a reason and there are many advantages of using artificial light as well:
- Artificial light gives us extra time for work, studies, and leisure. Majority of modern artificial lights can mimic natural light or at least have an effect very close to it, which means that they allow us to extend our work-day. Some people even prefer to work during night-hours, spending hours sitting in their London office furniture in the glow of artificial lights. And without artificial lighting simply would not be possible;
- Artificial light serves as a great design tool. Be it interior or exterior design, different sort of light (e.g. highlights and light strings) is used as a decorative tool that helps to create pleasant and cozy atmosphere and illuminate particular parts of the house;
- Artificial light can increase your safety. This is more related to outdoor lighting, more particularly – solar flood lights – but also concerns our safety indoors. Without proper lighting, the chances of accidents are a lot higher plus a lot of people like to use illumination of their house and yard during the darkest hours of the day as an extra security tool;
- Additional possibilities. Artificial lighting allows us not only to perform many tasks even when it is dark outside, but it also has stimulated other industries and possibilities such as indoor gardening. Thanks to artificial lighting, it is now possible to grow different plants indoors, which is a great opportunity for people who live in places where summers are very short.
Which one is better for your workspace and home: natural or artificial light?
Now, this is a very tricky question to ask. Of course, it is suggested that we spend as much time in natural daylight as possible, but what to do in the case when it is not really possible? Proper lighting is one of the key interior aspects for such tasks as desktop work, studies, reading, sewing and so on. Basically, it is crucial for all the tasks that require you to actively engage your eyes and concentration.
In that case, no one should hold on to the very last minute of daylight, before turning that light switch on. There is no need to constantly have your lights on if you have large windows and your room receives a lot of daylight, but not many offices and schools can really provide such opportunities and hence it is necessary to find efficient artificial light, which would not be too bright and too dim.
While there is no solid answer and this turns out to be an even competition between natural and artificial lighting, there is quite a lot you could do to include more of natural daylight in your home and workspace, additionally to artificial lighting.
How to maximize the amount of natural light indoors?
As said, natural light is very important and it can be very helpful in boosting one’s mood and productivity, plus it can even be helpful in eliminating stress and depression. However, not every house designer thinks about these issues upon engineering a building and a lot of people are forced to move in homes where all the potential of natural light has not been used up to its maximum. Here are a few methods of how you can maximize the amount of natural light indoors:
- Add windows. Extending your current windows will greatly contribute to allowing more sunlight to fill your space. Of course, unless you are an architect yourself, you will need a help of a professional to see how to do it the best way, but there is a possibility to add more windows nearly in every case;
- Install tubular daylighting devices or skylights. This technology is built specially for transferring more daylight inside a room. Installation of these won’t be the easiest of processes, but in the end, it will surely be all worth it;
- Think about glass doors. This can be applied not only to the front doors from where a lot of light could reach the indoor space, but also should be thought of in terms of the doors of all the rooms. Use frosted glass doors if you think you won’t be able to enjoy your privacy with a completely transparent door;
- Place mirrors around the rooms. Mirrors will reflect all the daylight that your room can receive, enhancing the overall amount of it inside. Placed on the correct sides of the room, mirrors can surely have a significant effect on increasing the amount of natural daylight and creating more warm vibes.