For all the advances in artificial lighting and the huge growth of energy-saving bulbs, there is still a lot to be said for allowing as much natural light into your home, and for as much of the day as possible.
At this time of year, darkness is reluctant to leave in the morning and quick to creep in again every evening. So, for the moment, long summer days with sunlight streaming into your home until mid-evening are simply memories.
However, there are a range of practical steps you can take to increase both the flow of the natural light that is still available, and to make practical, ecological use of artificial light options.
Bringing more outside light into your home
There are some obvious ways of allowing more natural light into your home. There is a trend, for example, towards simply replacing dark curtains with lighter ones. An alternative, which is also becoming increasingly popular, is to replace heavy curtains with a system of light-coloured blinds or plantation shutters.
Both of these can better allow increased levels of light to enter any room and they can also direct it to the areas you wish. They also offer protection against any glare from winter sun.
In older homes, heavy or leaded windows are often being replaced with more modern, lighter UPVC or aluminium alternatives. These allow more light to enter and present a cleaner aspect in their frame designs and construction. To take this a stage further, many people now look to add to the number of windows in their homes. Where possible, they may even replace a traditional window configuration with larger French windows, or add a conservatory to create a new place to enjoy that natural light.
Rooflights are also a great option for your home. When located on a flat roof they make a considerable difference to the amount of light that is able to enter your home during the day, and can also add warmth when the sun is out.
There are several options on the market; including both fixed and opening models. As the name suggests the opening version has the dual benefit of increased light with ventilation at the simple touch of a button. Eco-friendly triple glazed designs are also available where a high level of energy efficiency is required.
If installing rooflights is a concern due to weather conditions, then you can include a pre-made insulated upstand, which includes additional flashings to ensure a weather tight fit.
Consider the decor and furnishing in your home
An obvious action, but often missed, is to look at the current decor of your home. Consider where lighter colours might be used when next painting or wallpapering. If any sofas or chairs are being recovered or replaced, less sombre coloured fabrics are often an option. In the dining room, a future change from an oak or mahogany to a pine or other lighter wood table could also be made.
Making the best use of artificial lighting
When artificial lighting is required, the aim is to make the most effective use of it to avoid using up too much electricity. Not too long ago you could simply switch on a ceiling light in each room and make the best of it, with any lamps taking standard bulbs. Nowadays, energy-efficient light bulbs can be purchased which instead of decreasing the amount of light available, are viable options for creating the same amount of light for a significantly smaller dent in your bills.
Solar panels are also a sensible option that more and more people are considering. These can be installed on your roof to absorb the light and energy from the sun, generating power for your home.
Letting more light into your home will make it a more enjoyable atmosphere to be in for you as well as any guests. By implementing any or all of these steps, you will see a positive change in how you view the place you live.