How to Get Natural Light to Dark Areas of Your Home
Aug 15 2019
If you have a room that is deeper than it is high, then your room may have a problem with getting proper natural light. What will result is what is called the "cave effect." Because our irises contract in brighter light, we end up seeing contrast, not brightness. As a result, if a room is brightly lit on one side, the other side will seem especially dark. In this article, I will give some tips for allowing natural light to reach the other side of your deeper rooms, and even how to get natural light in rooms without windows.
Tip #1: Use Mirrors
One of the best ways to spread natural light around your room is to use mirrors. If a mirror is placed perpendicular to a window, it will be almost as good as having two separate windows. The bigger your extra "windows," the better the light will penetrate into your room. You don't need to place them right next to the windows, either. You can also place a mirror in areas blocked by walls. For instance, if you have a dining nook that is partly blocked from seeing the window, putting a mirror that reflects sunlight in can get around the problem (literally).
Tip #2: Using Light Colors
Light colors reflect a very large amount of light, far more than you might expect. In fact, white walls reflect over ninety percent of the light that strikes them. The light that reflects off of the walls will have a slightly different quality than it had when it was pure sunlight, but it will still brighten up your room and help avoid the "cave effect.".
Tip #3: Use Interior Glass: Placing glass in your walls and doors will help natural light reach areas that it might otherwise not be able to reach. For instance, if you have a hall that doesn't get much natural light, but is adjacent to a room that does, you can put in a window, and the light will come through.
Tip #4: Cut Holes In Your Walls
If your structure can support it and you can afford it, cutting holes in walls allows a lot of light through. The hole allows natural light in and can itself be used to place trinkets and other collectibles. Basically, the more open-concept your home is, the better natural light will spread around it.
Tip #5: Use a Skylight or Solar Tube
If you can afford it and if the installation is possible, you could consider a skylight or solar tube in your room. Place the skylight or solar tube at the darker end of the room, and your room will brighten right up, evening out the bright light from the windows.
Each of these tips should help you avoid the "cave effect," and make your home a brighter place to live.