Daylighting is the practice of using windows as your primary source of indoor illumination. There are some things that you can do to get the most out of daylighting, from choosing window styles to the right furniture placement.
The Benefits of Daylighting
The primary benefit of daylighting is both practical and aesthetic. The illumination it provides can make indoor spaces look more open and spacious as well as enhance colors. It can also reduce, if not eliminate, the need for artificial indoor lighting during the day, which can result in energy savings. Daylighting also has health benefits. People exposed to daytime-nighttime cycles tend to have regular sleep patterns. This results in healthy amounts of sleep and alertness during the day, resulting in more productive hours.
Tips for Optimal Daylighting
There are things that you can do with existing windows that can dramatically improve daylighting in your home. If buying new replacement windows is part of your plans, incorporating daylighting into your choices can further improve daylighting. Here are some daylighting tips:
Choose Windows That Provide Diffused Lighting
Just because a window is letting sunlight stream into the room doesn’t mean you’re getting good lighting. Diffused lighting is better for daylighting as opposed to direct lighting that results in glare and sharp shadow lines. This means you have to consider window orientation. South-facing windows tend to receive harsh light,while north-facing windows provide softer so, therefore, more ideal, light.
Window Height Matters
The typical daylight penetration rule of thumb is that the depth of a daylighted zone is 1.5 to 2 times the window head height. This means the taller the window is, the better lit the back of the room will be. This is an important consideration if you are considering adding clerestory windows to existing windows.
Choose Bottom-Up Window Treatments
Window treatments that let you cover the bottom half – as opposed to the more common top-to-bottom ones like interior blinds – can increase indoor daylight distribution. This lets you utilize daylighting for longer in the day and reduce glare during midday.
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