Let There Be Light: Why Your Home Should Be Full of Natural Light


By Rick Rutstein, Professional Design and Drafting

“Live in rooms full of light.” This sage piece of advice was given approximately 2000 years ago by Cornelius Celsus, a man considered one of the most important contributors to medicine and scientific thought. Old Cornelius couldn’t have been more right. Living in a space full of light—particularly natural light—is not only good for the environment; it’s good for our health, our happiness, our brain, and our productivity:

Natural light saves energy costs:

According to the


, daylighting—which simply means taking advantage of natural light, via windows and skylights, to brighten up and warm a home’s interior—can increase the energy efficiency and reduce the climate impact of your home. The more natural light available, the less we have to rely on energy to run light fixtures. Today there are highly energy-efficient windows and advances in lighting design that reduce the need for artificial lighting during daylight hours without compromising the home’s climate. Natural light also enhances a home’s aesthetic feel.

Natural light improves our mood:

A study by the

National Center for Biotechnology Information

showed that only thirty minutes of exposure to natural bright light improves our mood. An article in the

Washington Post

shows how artificial light can trick the body’s biological clock into releasing key wakefulness hormones at the wrong times, which can cause seasonal fatigue and depression.

Natural light promotes healing:

Right here in San Diego, according to the

UT San Diego

, an increasing number of hospitals are being built by architects who are using architectural elements that promote healing—one of which is natural light.

Natural light makes us smarter:


New York Times

cited a study of 20,000 students that found that standardized test scores among comparable students could be as much as 26 percent higher when they attended classes in buildings illuminated primarily by natural lighting, compared with those who relied mainly on artificial light.

Natural light makes us more productive:

The same New York Times article cited a study taken at a Colorado software company that found programmers in offices with natural light spent more time at their computers than those in offices without windows.

If you’re planning to build your dream home from scratch, add on to your existing home, or do some extensive remodeling, make sure to factor in opportunities to optimize natural lighting. A little natural light will reduce energy costs and doctor visits while increasing laughter and grade point averages.

For more information on how we can help you daylight your home, log onto

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