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4 ways to Add Natural Light to a Room

Updated on April 7, 2017
Ashish Dadgaa profile image

Ashish Dadgaa is a Construction Manager with 10 years of experience in the Industry. He writes about Home Improvement and maintenance.

Natural light is one of the most essential resources but usually not considered during the design of a house. Designers should take best advantage of it by utilising it in a proper way. Large amount of electricity can be saved by the access of natural lights into the house. Natural lighting can easily change the dull room atmosphere and convert it into the healthy living area. It can bring positive effects inside the house, which assist occupant to feel fresh and energetic all the time.

Window plays an essential role in a house as it’s the main passage way for sunlight to get into the room. The basic criteria taken into consideration for natural lighting in a house such as, facing of window should be on south to get maximum sunlight, sides of window openings should keep slant so that inner opening is bigger than outer one and large white coloured window sill should be used, so that it can project the light inside the room. However, window is not the viable option every time for the access of natural lighting inside the house.

These are the following are the four ways to enhance the natural lighting inside room:

These are the following are the four ways to enhance the natural lighting inside the room:

  1. Solar tube
  2. Light Shelf
  3. Clerestory Windows
  4. Prismatic Glazing


Solar Tube

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Solar tube is a modern technique to provide natural lights inside the room, where it is impossible to install more windows. Solar tube allows the sunlight to the come through rooftop by means of a highly reflective tube, which then distributes lights from the ceiling. Solar tube’s effectiveness arrives from its Light Intercepting Transfer Device and Raybender Technology.

These two parts allow solar tube to use the sunlight which is not certainly in the direct way of a tube and redirect it to give optimum sunlight from sunrise to sunset. It dispenses direct and bright light even on a cloudy day, in early morning or in late evening. To get a maximum amount of sunlight the tube dome should be installed in south facing. Solar tube is most advisable to install in a side-lit room of a building.

Section of Solar Tube

Additional Benefits
Zero heat loss during winter or solar gain during summer
It has low maintenance with high durability
It doesn’t need any structural alterations
It cuts down an electricity cost
It is easy to install


Light Shelf

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Light Shelf

Window gets high level of energy from the sun and it get wasted on one single area. The direct sunlight on the electronics gadgets such as TV and computers could harm them. This sunlight could be annoying if it is received in a particular area only, but it would be more helpful if it is distributed equally inside the room. Light shelf is another best way to improve natural light inside the room. It reflects the light up in the ceiling and then spread it down into the room. The internal and external light shelves which are fixed on the south facing window distribute natural brightness inside the room and thus minimising the need of extra electronic lights.

For the excellent result light shelves should be fixed horizontally at 90º. To get a wide coverage of the sunlight, shelves should be painted in rough textured and this will spread out the natural night at various angels. The ceiling should be painted in white reflective colour to get more brightness. To eliminate the reflection, internal and external shelves should be mounted at 2.1 meters above the head height. The intensity of the light through the light shelf is double than two fluorescent bulbs which is it’s the best feature and hence the room looks brighter and lively than artificial lights. This saves the electricity as well.


Clerestory Windows

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Clerestory windows are broadly utilised by architects in the house design. Clerestory Windows provides a good amount of natural light inside the house as it is located on the height and at the same time it minimise the requirement of artificial lights and also gives good privacy. It is usually arranged in a row on the roof of the building but while installing designer should consider a level of heat gain requirement. They are usually fixed but can be operable for providing cross ventilation inside the room.

To increase the brightness and heat gain inside the house clerestory windows should be installed on the south. During the winter sun will enter inside the house from the south-facing clerestory and warm up the rooms and during summers window shades will prevent the heat gain. Clerestory window is very beneficial for bringing natural light inside the dark and gloomy room, which keeps a room lively and energetic throughout the day. It is very essential passive solar element and also it is being used in varies architecture forms. In this way, clerestory window is another way of enhancing natural light inside the house.


Prismatic Glazing

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Another way of improving natural light is Prismatic Glazing. This technique works very effectively. It redirects the sun rays which are coming on the window glass and directs them to the room ceiling and brightens it and the light is then diffused uniformly inside the room.

Redirecting properties of prismatic glazing can be used for improving natural light inside a side-lit room. If a prismatic glazing structured is joined between the sheets of glass in double glazing then it will be well shielded from weather and thus can be use in traditional building facades by using accepted common techniques. The shape of prisms should be taken into consideration while selecting this device as position of the sun keeps on changing throughout the year. Assure that Prismatic glazing system does not allow any direct sun rays inside the house. This glazing is highly advisable to use with normal window as a fanlight.

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© 2017 Ashish Dadgaa


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    • Ashish Dadgaa profile image

      Ashish Dadgaa 5 months ago


      Thank you so much for your feedback :)

      I am happy that my work helped some way :)

      Good luck brother.

    • shprd74 profile image

      Hari Prasad S 5 months ago from Bangalore

      Excellent hub.

      Got me something to plan before it too late. Very useful this is ashish.

      - hari