Look to the Sun for More Your Home's Lighting

With the increasing costs of energy, the depletion of finite resources, and the projected long-term ramifications of emitting carbon to the atmosphere, with less energy for heating, cooling, ventilating and lighting a home is becoming vitally important. Passive daylighting — designing a new home to take advantage of sun and decrease the use of artificial lighting — is one step in this direction.

A number of external factors, such as adjacent trees and buildings, impact how much sunlight reaches a home and to specific chambers, but these factors can be controlled by incorporating windows on a couple of sides to out lighting and reduce warmth, getting light to the center of deep strategies, borrowing light from one space to another, and filtering sun via fixed and movable means to reduce heat gain.

Griffin Enright Architects

I’ve looked at just how bringing light out of either side has been regarded as socially conducive while also using sustainable advantages. While this ideabook concentrated on windows, one situation that I’ve grown to love is when lighting from windows on one or partitions is balanced by light coming from a skylight.

Even large windows, such as those that, can make parts of a space dark, requiring artificial lighting to much more lighting. Skylights can deliver more natural lighting (more guide, based on the time of the day) to deeper parts of your house and its chambers.

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

Artists’ studios are very great precedents for how to create even amounts of natural lighting inside a fairly open space. In this example we could see three kinds of apertures: sliding doors in the corner, clerestory windows (all those on the left are translucent) and skylights with operable colors. Throughout windows on several sides and also the ability to control just how much direct sun enters the distance, there’s very little need for artificial lighting.

Betty Wasserman

Here’s a similar situation: Full-height windows in the corner are balanced with a huge skylight. Note how the skylight also serves to give the big, open design a focus on the seating area.

Studio Sarah Willmer Architecture

With big, open programs — kitchen, dining and living spaces sans dividing walls — it is often necessary to discover creative ways to deliver natural light into the parts most removed from the outside walls. Light out of a clerestory window serves that kitchen, balancing the light that comes in the medial side (which would be behind us in this picture).

John Maniscalco Architecture

Skylights are an effective way of bringing extra natural lighting to kitchens, an important factor, provided that artificial lighting can influence the color rendition of foods.

However, this picture makes it clear that as sunlight traces its path overhead, its direct rays can lead to heat gain (necessitating more air conditioning).

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

Therefore some sort of operable shade is a fantastic idea for a skylight, as blinds and drapes are needed for windows.

Another area which can be discovered in the middle of a strategy (and so without enough natural lighting) is your hallway. When you can, skylights are an effective way of bringing light to hallways and diminishing the necessity to flick the light switch when going from room to room.

Schnarr Craftsmen Inc

If a skylight is impossible, a solar tube may be an option. (My parents actually installed a couple in their open-plan living area, and it made a huge difference.)

This example shows part of a master suite that clearly benefits in the solar tube overhead. Compare the light level in the foreground (with no artificial lights) with the distance over the stair, in which a number of downlights are around. Not only is it brighter in the foreground, but also the quality and color of light is superior.

Studio Sarah Willmer Architecture

Like hallways, stairs can at times be buried inside a strategy or for a variety of reasons not be given any windows. These vertical spaces are excellent for windows and skylights, since light can filter to adjacent spaces as well as the chimney effect can draw up warm air through operable skylights (more on that in a future Ideabook on passive cooling).

This example shows not just the advantages of the window and skylight, but also that the space on the right is borrowing light in the stair and hallway through clerestory windows.

Schwartz and Architecture

Borrowing light — bringing lighting from one distance to another through openings in walls or via translucent surfaces — is best accomplished through clerestories, for these high openings nevertheless allow walls to be used with furniture, such as this bed. It is worth taking a look at the restroom on the other side of the wall to learn how the borrowing advantages both spaces.

Carl Wooley

Another way of borrowing light is through translucent surfaces, such as the sliding panels which divide this home office in the hallway. When they are open, plenty of light spills in, however if more privacy is needed, the light levels are still fairly high.

Kevin Daly Architects

However for all the advantages of skillfully bringing daylight into houses through windows, skylights and even solar tubes, it is possible to have too much sunlight. Expansive glass walls can have their appeal, but the light which flooding a space could be excruciating at times, so means of Implementing sun should be explored.

This home in Los Angeles creates a statement with brushed perforated sheets which jut from glass walls. The mixture of screen and trees does a fantastic job of filtering sunlight entering the home.

Chan Architecture Pty Ltd

The plan of louvers, screens and other varieties of colors should take exposure into account: Which direction does the window face? Shades for south-facing windows (in the northern hemisphere), by way of instance, should be flat to deal with the high sun, but a western facade (such as the one displayed here) must be vertical to deal with the low sunlight as it moves on its own flat course across the sky.

Additionally, it is a fantastic idea to be selective about the use of colors. These louvers, for instance, make sense with the clerestory windows, for they cut down on sunlight where opinions aren’t too significant. Below them in eye level, vision glass preserves the opinion.

Note that the little eating nook has little windows at least 2 sides, bringing in enough lighting to the scale of the space and the framing viewpoints at head height when someone is seated.

More: Get Your Light Right for a Healthy House

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