Natural Daylight Ideas

Bringing brightness into the home in ways that help lower your use of electricity and artificial lighting.

This articles provides natural daylight ideas. Making the most of natural light within your home is the healthiest and most environmentally friendly way to reduce electricity use during the day.

Where do you live?

Depending on your location in the world, the levels of natural daylight will be affected by the season, climate, day and time. If like me you live in Ireland, you are used to dark winters, lots of cloud cover and rain which all restrict the amount of natural sunlight my home receives, meaning I have to rely on artificial lighting instead for the better part of the day (energy efficient lighting of course). For most locations in the Northern hemisphere, the amount of sunlight changes through the seasons.

The winter solstice sees the sun rising at 8.30am and setting at 3.30pm at a maximum height of around 10-12 degrees above the horizon. This gives little natural light at a low intensity. Compare this with the summer solstice where the sun rises at 4.30am and sets at 9.30pm at a maximum height of around 50-60 degrees above the horizon. Ideal conditions! It would be unrealistic to rely entirely on natural lighting in this situation, however never the less you can make the most of natural lighting in your home.

Natural daylight ideas – Building orientation

The way you home faces is important when thinking about how to use natural light.

North – Areas that are exposed to the North will not receive direct sunlight, however windows will receive low levels of light throughout the day. This applies to North East and North West.

Although the percentage of light receives is a little more. Windows are usually smaller and doors and openings are kept to a minimum. South a Sunlight that falls on these areas and surfaces receive the most natural light. This also applies to South East and South West areas. Although the percentage of light received is less.

Areas facing directly South, this is the only direction that will receive natural light throughout the year. This is the best location for any solar panels, windows, doors and openings.

East and West – The East areas receive light as the sun rises in the morning and West areas receive light as the sun begins to set in the afternoon.

Continue to part 2

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