Blog - Providing Insight into Residential Architecture and Construction

The Use of Natural Light in Home Design

NJ Architect design natural lightIt was best said by Louis Kahn, "A room is not a room without natural light." In architecture, there are few elements more important than how a building is illuminated. Of course, artificial lighting is attractive and allows homeowners to play with different styles, but nothing compares to the feel of a sun-filled room. When working with a NJ architect, or an architect anywhere in the country, consider the following benefits of introducing more natural light into your home.

NJ Architect design natural light

A Better Vibe

Over and over again, the connection between light, energy and mood have been proven. As sun shines though the windows, the overall feel of a room becomes more welcoming and friendly. This is ideal for communal spaces in a home, such as the kitchen and family room areas. Entry ways and foyer areas are also important areas to fill with sunlight. The comfort introduced by the soft glow of the sun beats harsh artificial lighting at nearly every turn.

Accents the Interior

Architects carefully design every element within a floor plan, from the flow of the rooms to the positioning of the walls. By carefully utilizing natural light, the architect has the opportunity to highlight some of the most intriguing features of your home and expand the feel of the rooms. Additionally, the brilliance of your building materials shows under natural light. Paint and fabric choices appear truer in color, while other materials, such as granite countertops, are allowed to show their unique gradation and subtle splendor.

Reduced Energy Costs

The cost of electricity in New Jersey is 17th in the nation, and while this is not high, reduce your bill by utilizing the sun. Rooms that properly utilize daylighting have very little need to use artificial lighting during daytime hours. Further, as the sunlight comes through the windows, its heat does as well. In the winter months, this can mean the difference between running your heater all day or only for a few hours in the mornings and evenings.

NJ Architect design natural light
NJ Architect design natural light

Architects are well-versed in designing homes around the elements of natural light. One of the most general ways to increase the natural light of a home or a building is by room placement. Those areas of the home that benefit from an increase in energy are best set in a south-facing position. Rooms facing south feature all-day light, and this is ideal for main living areas, offices, kitchens, etc. East-facing rooms enjoy the cool exposure of morning sun, while west-facing rooms soak up the afternoon sun - also ideal for living areas or even bedrooms. Dens, darker bedrooms and other rooms that require a lower amount of natural light benefit from northern orientation.

Once positioning is determined, the architects have many options for introducing natural light into a space. Most commonly, large windows are used, or a mixture of windows and glass doors; however, there are many other options. Skylights, both fixed and operable, add an interesting architectural element to almost any room. Decorative accent windows, such as those used in bathrooms and above staircases, introduce natural light and provide the opportunity for an unexpected design element, such as stained glass. Transom windows are a great way to help light flow between rooms, whether used in the walls or above doorways. Clearstory windows - while not common and many times inoperable - bring lots of natural light into a room without compromising privacy.

Overall, consider the needs of your family and where you need the light the most. Communicate your needs with your architect during the design process, and be open to less conventional options to make your home one of a kind. After all, your architect has the knowledge and know-how to make your sunlight-filled dreams come true.

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