Making the most of natural light in the home is not only a question of energy efficiency, but also ends up being very beneficial for our well-being. Sunlight provides us with vitamin D and impacts on the regulation of our circadian rhythms, affecting our mood. For this reason, it is not surprising that for years architecture has been looking to designs that maximize the entry of natural light into rooms, using the most diverse formulas.
The premise is to prioritize natural lighting, bearing in mind that if it is excessive, it can have the opposite effect to that sought. Nevertheless, it is always possible to apply measures to mitigate this excess of light, while in the opposite case it would be impossible to reverse the situation.
Thus, the trend for large windows in rooms such as the living room or even the bedroom has really come to the forefront. Over time, however, designs have been refined and architects are now exploring formulas for indirect light to achieve other and more subtle effects of light.
One of the best examples comes from perforated walls or walls with multiple openings that allow light to pass through. The light provided by this technique helps to create relaxing atmospheres, with thermal comfort that, conveniently regulated, also contributes to providing natural ventilation.
The variety and creativity of the designs allows playing with light and shadow, creating very colorful figures and patterns. Nonetheless, it is important to stress the importance of taking into account factors such as the orientation of sunlight or the type of glazing to be installed, in order not to lose the potential balance between aesthetics and functionality.
Light from the ceiling
An interesting variant of the previous one comes from the hand of opening spaces in the ceiling, either through fanlights/sun tunnels or through skylights. Particularly suitable for larger rooms or those where circumstances make it impossible to have a window to the outside, the focal point provided by these elements is very interesting. In recent years, their use in rooms such as bathrooms or kitchens has become more popular.
It is important to consider that in this case we are not so much talking about indirect light, but rather the opposite, so it is even more crucial to calculate the orientation and how the sun’s rays enter, as well as the size of the skylight to play or not with a more diffuse light. In addition, as they are located on the roof, insulation and the use of glass with good thermal performance in inclement weather are essential.
Combinations with large windows
The option of large windows, which tends to be the most common, has also evolved over time. Especially when it comes to playing with the level of light, something that can either be done directly with the glazing, combining translucent surfaces, even colored ones, with transparent ones, or through textiles and blinds.
On this last point, the variety is infinite, as we have seen in the past, with Alicantine blinds, Roman blinds, Japanese panels, Venetian blinds, etc. In essence, it is a matter of graduating and filtering the level of light we want at any given moment, – by combining subtle brightness with direct light, creating different atmospheres depending on the time of day and even providing movements of light and shadow. All this, of course, maximizing the level and quality of insulation, if we do not want to suffer the negative impact of thermal leakage.