The effects of natural light on health, wellbeing and productivity in the home

  • 2 Jul 2024

Stella Rooflight’s Paul Trace explores the importance of effectively introducing light into home design for health, wellbeing and productivity… 

The influence of natural daylight
The introduction of natural light into a living or working space has far-reaching effects on occupants’ overall health, productivity, and mood. Researchers have found several compelling reasons to prioritise natural daylight in home design:

Enhanced Health: Natural daylight exposure plays a crucial role in regulating the body’s circadian rhythm, which governs our sleep-wake cycle. A well-regulated circadian rhythm is associated with better sleep quality, increased energy levels, and improved immune function. By incorporating natural daylight into home design, occupants can enjoy a more balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Improved Wellbeing: Exposure to natural light has been linked to enhanced mood and reduced feelings of stress and anxiety. Sunlight triggers the release of serotonin in the brain, which contributes to feelings of happiness and well-being. Homes that receive ample natural daylight offer a healthier and more uplifting environment for their inhabitants.

Boosted Productivity: For individuals working from home, the impact of natural daylight on productivity cannot be underestimated. Research indicates that exposure to daylight in workspaces can result in higher productivity levels, increased focus, and reduced instances of eye strain and headaches. A well-lit home office that embraces natural light can create a more conducive environment for efficient and creative work.

Designing home workspaces with natural daylight 
Integrating natural daylight into home workspaces requires thoughtful planning and design. Here are some practical tips for maximsing the benefits of natural light in your home office:

Positioning: Choose a workspace that allows ample natural light to flow in throughout the day. Position your desk near the brightest part of the room to make the most of the available daylight.

Solar Control: Opt for glazing treatments, such as solar controlled glass, that control the amount of sunlight entering the room. This way, you can avoid glare on screens while still enjoying the benefits of natural light.

Reflective Surfaces: Incorporate reflective surfaces, such as light-coloured walls and furniture, to help distribute and amplify natural light within the workspace.

Biophilic Elements: In addition to natural light, consider adding other biophilic elements to your home office, such as indoor plants and natural materials. These elements further enhance the connection to nature and promote a calming and inspiring atmosphere.

The role of the rooflight
Rooflights can help to provide natural light with qualities appropriate to the use of the building. Rooflights let in light from the brightest part of the sky and are not generally affected by external obstructions, such as trees or other buildings. They also provide a more even pattern of light than vertical windows.

Rooflights can form part of an effective technical lighting scheme, particularly in conjunction with efficiently controlled artificial lighting, to produce specified illumination levels for particular tasks. According to leading consultants, horizontal rooflights provide three times more light than vertical windows (the equivalent of 10,000 candles on a sunny day), which is more than 200 times the light needed for most educational or work related tasks.

In addition, rooflights can also add to the more subjective qualities of spaces as an integral part of the building’s architecture. They can provide views of the sky and promote a sense of well-being and connection with the outside without the distractions encountered with views through vertical glass windows.

These facts are well understood by most people involved in building design. However the huge potential of rooflights to provide exactly the amount, type and distribution of natural light required to meet any given specification is not always appreciated.

Conclusion
As our lives become increasingly urbanised and technology-driven, biophilic design emerges as a powerful tool to reintegrate nature into our built environments. Natural daylight, a fundamental aspect of biophilic design, has a profound impact on wellbeing, health, and productivity.

For those embracing the trend of home working, the incorporation of natural daylight into home design is an essential step towards creating a nurturing and productive workspace. By prioritising the inclusion of natural light via rooflights, we can foster a more balanced and harmonious living environment that promotes our overall happiness and performance.

For more information download ‘The Ultimate Guide to Conservation Rooflights’ – an independent guide to everything you need to know about specifying conservation rooflights – available exclusively on the Stella Rooflight website.

To inspirational ideas on how to introduce natural daylight into your project with Stella conservation rooflights visit: https://stellarooflight.co.uk/gallery/

About Stella Rooflight

Stella Rooflight is a bespoke manufacture of high quality stainless steel rooflights. From design and production through to customer service, Stella has a single vision of doing things better than the industry standard.

Stella produces exceptional rooflights that combine a flush fitting profile, while utilising the very best of materials, and has become the first choice for discerning clients looking to bring natural daylight into their living spaces through premium quality rooflights.

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