To maximize natural lighting in your home or office can be quite tricky, especially if opening up new windows isn’t an option.
Despite this, it remains simple and effective to go solar with natural light; there’s no need for complex technology to convert sunlight to electricity if you’re just using it to boost natural light at home, after all.
These nine tips will help you make the absolute most of the sunlight available to you and acquire all the myriad benefits of natural light—even if you’re just renting.
- 1 9 ways to add natural light to a room
9 ways to add natural light to a room
Mirrors and shiny metal surfaces work wonders for reflecting sunlight throughout a broader space. You can leverage full length stand mirrors, wall mirrors, and other reflective surfaces to greatly enhance the lighting of a room.
As a bonus, using mirrors in such a way is currently quite trendy in interior design.
Positioning mirrors is usually best done as a final step, so you don’t have to worry about furniture or other decisions impacting the final result—compared to most of the other steps on this list, mirrors are much easier to adjust as needed.
2.) Color choice
Dark colors are colors which absorb most of the light which hits, where lighter colors reflect most of what strikes the surface.
With this in mind, it’s clear that you’ll want to adopt light paint on your walls, light colored carpets, and lighter materials and paint for furniture in any room you want lit by sunlight.
There are two significant trends in interior paint color this year, saturated emotional reds and blues and various pastels. Choose the pastels if you want to maximize natural light.
3.) Clear interior light paths
You can block out huge amounts of light with poorly placed furniture, so try to leave the area around your windows and other natural light sources clear. Combine appropriate furniture placement with savvy mirror use to get consistent lighting without stripping your rooms bare.
Similarly, you’ll want to consider changing your drapes, blinds or whatever other coverings or shutters you might have in place on your windows, if you truly want to maximize the incoming sunlight.
A completely bare window can still look great, if you aim for a deliberately minimalist, naturalistic room.
4.) Low tint windows
If your windows are tinted too much, you’re not going to get much in the way of sunlight through them. Consider adjusting to a lighter film if you’re using window films, or replacing your windows entirely if the treatment is inherent to the glass.
If you’d like to preserve privacy while getting sunlight, frosted glass works quite well. You can also get special eco-friendly windows which will help keep rooms cool in the hot months without blocking much if any of the visible sunlight.
5.) Keep your windows clean
It doesn’t take much in the way of dirt, residue, and smudges to cut down on the light passing through your windows. Make sure you’re using an appropriate cleaning product and wiping them with an appropriate material to get the most transparent clean possible.
Streaks aren’t just a minor unsightly problem if you want to maximize natural light in your home—they’re something that directly impedes that lovely natural light and warmth.
6.) Transparent doors
Replacing that big slab of wood you have as a front door with something inset with frosted glass can introduce a lot of new light to your home, without sacrificing privacy or security.
Replacing or removing interior doors can similarly extend the reach of sunlight coming from windows, skylights, and other light sources across multiple rooms. This is especially important if you’re trying to light an interior room and can’t get away with solar tubes or similar solutions.
7.) Clear the exterior
Furniture isn’t the only thing which can block the path of sunlight. Make sure the outside of your natural light portals stays as clear as the inside; that means trimming plants, adjusting fences, and keeping an eye on trees and other larger objects which might block the sun.
If you want to go the extra mile, or need to make up for an obstruction you can’t get rid of. If my apartment gets no sunlight is a common problem of yours, consider using mirrors or other reflective surfaces to reflect sunlight into house.
8.) Skylights and solar tubes
If you’re able to make major changes to your home or office, but windows either aren’t an option or aren’t appealing, consider using skylights or solar tubes to increase natural light in your home. A skylight is rather straightforward, a window in the roof which allows light in.
A solar tube is a solution for rooms with no direct connection to the exterior; a small opening at the roof or in a wall gathers light and reflects it through a tube to your target room, giving you natural light even in the deepest rooms of your building.
These are a great way to maximize natural light in your office, if your office is deep within a larger building
In much the same way that mirrors and shiny metal surfaces can assist in spreading natural light, glassware can help too. Glass tables, glass trinkets, and similar items through a room can really enhance the spread of natural light, offer function and decoration without impeding light, and improve interior décor.
A little natural light can go a very long way. If you’re thoughtful about how you configure your rooms, you’ll find it simple to fill your apartment with natural light. As a bonus, you’ll cut your energy bills at night with these ways to maximize natural light, as they work just as well for maximizing the lighting your get from other sources. These are all great ways for renters to go solar.