Why You Need More Natural Light in Your Home and Office
In the history of the human race, the world has never been as fully illuminated as it is now. And yet in the presence of these flickering lights, one essential component has gone missing – sunlight.
At Westral, we’re in the business off helping our clients regulate the light that enters their homes with shutters and blinds. And as we intend to show you in this post, boosting the amount of natural light you’re exposed to on a daily basis could end up working wonders for your body and quality of life. Read on to learn about some of the specific benefits of more natural light in the home.
More Natural Light Could Save You up to 40% on Your Energy Bill
Marilyne Andersen, of the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Department of Architecture, has offered insight regarding the benefits of embracing natural light. She states that artificial lighting accounts for anywhere between 25 and 40 percent of the energy usage in a building. With that in mind, leveraging as much natural light as possible to illuminate indoor spaces could result in considerable savings on your electric bill.
But of course, there are trade-offs to letting in too much natural light. One is that windows allow more heat transfer than insulated walls. If you let in more light, it’s reasonable to assume that you’ll also be letting more heat in or out of the building. This means that you’ll have to spend more on heating and cooling. But there are ways to limit heat transfer as well, such as by installing insulated double- or triple-glazed windows.
Finally, letting in more natural light means that you will also need to have a means of blocking it out when you would like to dim the lights. This isn’t a problem so long as you have shutters, blinds or retractable awnings in place. These are easily deployed when you would like to bring the lights down.
Feel Happier with More Natural Light
There are so many health benefits to having plenty of exposure to natural sunlight. One of the most surprising benefits of increased light exposure is a boost in serotonin – the hormone known for producing a sense of calm and focus in the brain. Artificial light doesn’t produce the same response.
If you don’t have enough exposure to natural sunlight, then the brain may even experience a dip in serotonin. This is actually a well-documented phenomenon in the case of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is a form of depression brought on in some subjects when the seasons change and the days grow shorter.
If you’re already not exposed to natural light on a regular basis, letting more into your home or office could actually lead to higher serotonin levels in the brain. In other words: it might make you feel happier.
Natural Light Helps You Get More Done
Who doesn’t want to be a bit more productive? As it turns out, with a little bit more natural light in your life, you could end up being more productive.
There have been several studies published over the years correlating increased natural light with higher productivity levels. One oft-quoted study took place at Chicago’s Northwestern University and found that workers in windowless offices got less done than those who worked in the presence of natural light.
And it wasn’t just workplace productivity that was at stake here. The employees who worked without windows reported lower levels of happiness and satisfaction. This is likely due at least in part to the serotonin issue we mentioned above. Similarly, the loss in productivity is at least partially due to problems sleeping. More on that in the next section.
Sleep Well with More Natural Light in Your Life
Here’s an interesting angle on sunlight: it regulates your body’s circadian rhythms. These are biological phenomena that help to coordinate your body’s biological and physiological responses. Your circadian rhythms affect a wide range of bodily responses. And while they’re at least partially coordinated within the body, they still depend to a large extent upon external factors.
One of those factors is light exposure. The cycle of light-to-dark and dark-to-light that our bodies go through serve as signals that help keep your biological clock on schedule. This controls hormone release, including that or melatonin, which is responsible for sending us off to sleep. If your exposure to natural light is disrupted, then you may have trouble falling asleep when it is time to do so.
If you’re planning to introduce more natural light into your home, it’s important to also install blinds and shutters that you can use to control and regulate the light. Browse our selection of blinds on our website to see what’s available.