natural light coming in from the windows

Home Improvement Project: Let More Sunshine In

Health experts always remind people to wear sunscreen whenever going out to protect the skin against the ultraviolet rays from the sun. Excessive sun exposure can increase someone’s risk to have skin cancer and other health complications. In 2020, however, people are forced to stay at home to avoid contact with potential carriers of the coronavirus.

Since you’ve been working at home for the last couple of months, you barely get exposed to the sun. That’s supposed to be a good thing, right? But lack of sun exposure can also affect your health.

How Natural Light Affects Your Health

Natural light plays a significant role in a person’s well-being. It’s not surprising that a significant number of employees want to have “access to natural light and views of the outdoors” in their workplace environment.

Sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D, a nutrient essential to prevent bone loss and minimizes your risk of heart disease. Getting enough vitamin D also helps prevent weight gain and various cancers.

Not getting enough natural light can affect your sleep, too. The National Sleep Foundation explains spending too much time on electronic screens during the daytime can lead to shorter sleep, more sleep deficiency, and longer sleep onset.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says you can go outside for outdoor activities. It’s important to wear a mask and stay six feet away from other people. With a few home improvement projects, however, you still get natural light without leaving your home.

Let More Sunshine into Your Home

Getting more natural light in your home makes your place brighter and feels homier. Plus, you can save energy usage since you don’t need to turn on many lights during the day. Here are a few ways to ensure you’re getting enough naturally in your home.

1. Build a Skylight in Your Ceiling

Having skylights at home is an effective way to draw natural light into your home. It’s like having a window on the roof. Since it’s facing upward, you’ll get as much sunlight as you need during the day. Skylights that are positioned properly provides triple the amount of natural light you can get from a vertical window of the same size.

Choosing the right skylight also improves the overall aesthetic of your home. It also offers energy and environmental benefits since it can illuminate a room without the help of artificial light during the day.

woman sleeping on couch inside glass house

2. Paint Your Walls Using Higher Gloss Paint

Paints with higher gloss levels give your walls a mirror-like effect, allowing them to reflect more light. You can use glossy paints because they have a shiny finish that looks like enamel or plastic. This type of paint, however, is not commonly used for painting walls. But they can give a dramatic look to cabinets, furniture, and trim.

Eggshell and semi-gloss finish are safer options if you plan to repaint your walls with higher gloss paints. Eggshell paint finish adds a slight hint of shine or gloss to the surface, and they are easy to clean. Semi-gloss paints, meanwhile, provide a subtle shine to the surface. Keep in mind that using paints with a higher gloss level can lead to more glare from artificial light.

3. Use Lighter Colors for Your Walls and Ceiling

The color of your interior walls will affect the amount of natural light that will reflect into a room. Consider the Light Reflectance Value (LRV) of the paint you’re using. The lighter the color, the higher its LRV and vice versa.

White has 100 percent LRV, making it the brightest. White has different varieties with other color tones and shades. These are ideal options if you don’t want to use white for your interior walls.

Ceiling, on the other hand, a flat white is the best option. This type of paint reduces glare and doesn’t require the kind of washability of glossier paints. Having white ceilings help reflect more light into the room.

4. Remove the Drapes

Drapes add style to a room. They block the natural light from outside, however. Removing them lets more sunlight come into your home. Letting your drapes open in your bedroom in the morning also allows the sunshine to wake you up. This makes your circadian rhythm get back to normal. Getting sunlight in the morning will give you the energy you need for the day.

If you want to accentuate your windows, use curtains with lighter fabrics and colors. Sheer curtains, for example, are perfect if you want to diffuse the light coming from the window without totally blocking it.

Looking after your wellness is essential, especially during a pandemic. If you have the time, get as much natural light as you can be it indoors or outdoors, to keep your body healthy. Wear sunscreen if you’re going out to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays.

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