Window Features for Improved Natural Lighting

For most homeowners, natural lighting is a highly desirable aspect in a home.  A house filled with natural light is warm and inviting and exposure to sunlight has direct physical and mental health benefits.  There are also economical reasons behind the desire.  Natural light means you don’t have to use as much electricity to brighten a room.  If the sun is shining in through windows, it’s also likely warming up your house.  Energy efficiency, passive solar, and all-around interior charm benefit from increasing the amount of natural light that can enter your home.  Planning natural light exposure begins as early on as designing a new home build.  There are smaller modifications that can be done when renovating without too much hassle, but it’s much easier to make these plans ahead of time.

Picture and Bay Windows

The size and scale of windows that can be manufactured today is incredibly expansive.  Whether you want to replace half a wall with a window or you’re looking for a more subtle, decorative approach, the panes can be created.  Large windows are a great way to give a home a more open feel and bring in more natural light.  If you have the right wall space and layout, you can make a major design statement through the use of large picture windows.

Bay windows are another option for converting an ordinary room into a well-lit accent of your house.  They offer unique lighting effects due to the fact that they’re angled outward on each end and can catch the sunlight from multiple angles.  Factoring in the direction a window is facing definitely plays a significant role in how much natural light will eventually come in.

Transom Windows and Arches

Where privacy is a concern, arch top windows and large picture windows that are set higher up can be ideal solutions.  An arch top window over an entry way creates a bigger angle for natural light to shine further into your house without opening up the line of sight into your main living area.  An added benefit is that the sunlight is shining in somewhere that’s directly onto your furniture, causing it to discolor over time.  Higher set picture windows are perfect features if you have a taller ceiling over a stairwell.  Since the wall extends upward, but isn’t directly used for anything else, you can install a picture window near the top to allow plenty of natural light in from above without compromising personal privacy.

A relatively new design idea is the installation of solar tubes.  These are basically domes on the rooftop specifically designed to let in natural light.  From that dome, there are channels, or piping, that run down, often into rooms such as closets or bathrooms.  The idea is that these rooms don’t always require a light to be turned on every time, but they also have limited to no light coming in from windows.  These solar tubes can allow natural light into the least expected areas of your home.

Make Windows a Key Design Feature

Overall, there are many different ways to use windows creatively for the enhancement of natural light in your home. With the incredible variety of standard and custom window options available, there’s really no reason not to make the most of the bounty offered by the sun when choosing the window components of your home design. Natural lighting can be beneficial for your physical and mental health, and it can provide financial benefits when it comes to energy consumption and resale.