Lighten Up a Little: Three Tips to Increase Your Home's Natural Light

by Niz Brown 03/15/2020


 Photo by Free-Photos via Pixabay

There's a lot of benefit to be had from increasing the amount of natural light that enters your home. Scientists have long linked natural daylight to improved mood and productivity. You just feel better when you regularly work or relax in a room filled with light from the sun. Sunlight helps regulate circadian rhythms, too, meaning you sleep better and feel more rested when you wake up. Increasing natural light sources in your home can also help lower your monthly utility bill and raise your home's resale value. Here's what we recommend.

Ditch the Heavy Drapes

Drapes made from heavy fabrics and liners may be nixing your natural light. Replace them with solar window films instead. Solar window films won't damage your windows, and they block up to 99 percent of harmful UV rays, while allowing natural light to stream through. You won't have to worry about fading carpets or upholstery, and solar window film also reflects the heat from the sun, so your space doesn't become an instant sauna. 

If privacy is a concern, install blinds or window shades that can be closed at night. You can even purchase frosted solar window films that provide privacy without darkening your room. 

Install a Skylight

If a small renovation project is in the budget, consider adding a skylight to a dark, gloomy room to bring it into the light. Skylights keep things private while increasing access to natural light. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to install a skylight runs around $1,500. That's a small price to pay for added light and ventilation in a dark room. Even better -- adding a professionally installed, energy-efficient skylight can increase your home's resale value. There may even be a tax credit available for homeowners who choose skylights that are solar powered. 

Use Reflective Wall Colors

Did you know many paints have an LVR? That's a light reflectance value, and the higher the number, the better the paint color is at reflecting light around your space. When you paint walls in a color that's highly reflective, (white has and LRV of 100. Black has an LRV of zero) your room appears brighter. So, even if your room has only one window, using a light paint color can help bounce that natural light into all the corners. 

If you're stuck feeling gloomy when you spend time in a dark den or bedroom, try letting a little light shine in. You might be amazed at how easy it is to transform a space from one you dread to one you highly desire. Use these three easy tricks, and you'll find out just how easy it is to lighten up a little. 

 

About the Author
Author

Niz Brown

Born in San Pedro, California, as a first generation Croatian, I graduated from California State University at Long Beach with a degree in Mathematics and Chemistry and then earned a teaching credential from San Francisco State University. In 1960 I married native San Franciscan Jim Brown. Jim, was a high school teacher before becoming the owner/chef of La Lanterna Restaurant in Kentfield from 1985-1992. He is now retired. I combined substitute teaching in Marin County with the rearing of our four children, all of whom are grown and have settled in Marin. I became intrigued with the world of homes when we acted as the general contractors in building our own home in Woodacre and another home in the San Geronimo Valley. I began to work the carpet business, and became licensed to sell real estate in 1976. I was an associate realtor with other companies before becoming an independent broker and opening my own office in downtown Larkspur in 1991.