Southern MD Builder Notes:
Lighten Up Your Southern MD Home
A home without ample lighting can be uncomfortable. Dark rooms can exacerbate feelings of depression and make a home feel less inviting to guests. However, bringing in more outside light or supplementing with artificial light can quickly transform the atmosphere of a space.
Daylight hours begin to shrink in the northern hemisphere starting as early as September. When daylight savings time is in full force, it can get dark as early as 4:30 in the afternoon. While this premature darkness may be ideal for animals who are hibernating for the season, for humans who remain active throughout the year, increasing the amount of light that is present in a home is a goal each winter.
There are different strategies to let in more light when the sun sets.
* When purchasing a new home, be conscious of window placement and also the direction in which a home faces. Apartments and homes that face north will be dark most of the day. Rather, those that face south will have ample sunlight. In addition, look at how many trees are on the property. Even a home that faces south can have compromised sunlight if it is hampered by many trees.
* Open curtains and blinds all the way throughout the home during the winter months. Not only will this let in more light, but it also may warm the home from the sun, cutting down on heating costs.
* Clean the windows. Dirt and grime that accumulates on windows can affect how much sunlight filters through.
* When planning a home renovation project, consider adding a window on a wall where there currently is none or think about the inclusion of skylights to let in more light from above. Innovations in skylight technology enable small ones to be placed in rooms and connected through interior tubes that reflect the light. French doors also can bring in a lot of light. Separate a dark room from a bright room with a set of French doors to spread even more light throughout the home.
* Paint walls with lighter colors that reflect light more effectively. Dark-colored floors and walls tend to absorb light, enhancing a cave-like atmosphere.
* Purchase light fixtures that allow for a higher wattage of light bulb, which will be brighter. You may find higher wattages even in energy-conserving compact fluorescent bulbs and LED bulbs.
* Stagger lights at varying heights to cast equal light throughout rooms. Task lighting, overhead lighting and decorative ambient lighting can combine to achieve a warm, inviting atmosphere.
* Use solar lights outdoors to add extra illumination outside, which can make your home more welcoming when arriving home at night.
* Clear rooms of clutter as such items can interrupt the flow of light.
* If you find that the light in your home is still lacking and you can benefit from a burst of extra light therapy, consider the purchase of a therapy lamp that simulates sunlight. Set the timer and have it face you in the morning or afternoon. There also are alarm clocks that wake you with the simulation of a rising sun.
To banish winter doldrums, sometimes the key is to simply let more light into a home.