Our exposure – or lack thereof – to natural light has a huge effect on our physical and mental wellbeing that a lot of us often don’t consider. We all take pleasure in being connected to the great outdoors, but our modern lifestyles and work habits have forced a great number of us into the corporate environment of fluorescent-lighted, windowless workspaces. The current situation that the world finds itself in notwithstanding, we have also evolved to having all our needs met while indoors, meaning that we don’t need to leave our houses to have access to food, communicate or even for physical activity.
Where am I going with this? In essence, our modern lifestyle means that we are less aware of the benefits of natural light on our person and everyday life. This article aims to explore how a simple architectural choice – a skylight – can make a big impact on our inherent need for natural lighting, and the benefits that come with it. Let’s start with:
Productivity and Comfort
In recent years, much research has gone into understanding whether natural light really has an impact on productivity and comfort or not. The results have proven without a shadow of a doubt that natural light decreases a person’s feelings of isolation and enhances their contentment. Furthermore, natural light is also easier on the eyes, whereas artificial lighting—especially the type found in many work environments—can cause headaches and eye strain.
Natural light is also essential for a healthy sleep-wake cycle. The sun regulates this cycle, so not having access to it for large swathes of time can throw off our natural rhythm, resulting in poor sleep and ultimately poor health.
Psychologists, architects and business owners are increasingly highlighting the importance of daylighting buildings and its positive effect on productivity. This term refers to interior design that focuses on ensuring ample sunlight is received in the space. Skylights and retractable roofs play an important role in designing beautiful daylight buildings that make occupants feel at ease and connected to nature. A retractable roof provides access to the outdoors during nice weather but also stands up to unfriendly weather thanks to its insulated glass and thermally braked profiles that provide heat insulation. Occupants get to experience the peace of being bathed in sunlight even when it’s too cold to enjoy the outdoors.
If you’re using the sun to light a large building during the daylight hours, then you’re not using as much energy to keep light bulbs running. Insulated skylights allow the light to pass through without glare or excessive thermal transfer, so comfort and energy savings are unaffected by these factors. Not every daylighting feature reduces a building’s energy usage, but the right product integrated well can greatly contribute to energy efficiency.
Residential Home Value
While “man caves” and home theatres might be features of great interest for potential home buyers, they’re just about the only rooms in a home where daylight is unwelcome. Most people are looking for a home lit by natural daylight since it is so much more pleasing to the eye than artificial light. Glass skylights are the perfect solution for interior rooms and areas like bathrooms where you want natural light without sacrificing privacy. Additionally, retractable pool enclosures can increase the value of your investment by keeping it clean and allowing you to use it more days out of the year.
Whether in a restaurant, corporate workplace, shopping centre or residential structure, skylights are wonderful tools for improving energy efficiency and morale. And a beautiful view certainly doesn’t hurt! If you’re interested in having skylights installed on your Melbourne property, the experts at Daylight Skylights will gladly be of assistance.