Many of us spend up to 90% of our days inside buildings. Whether this is at school, at work or at home, we are often missing out on the benefits natural lighting in buildings has on us.
Because of the less than perfect weather in the UK the majority of people here suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency. Sunlight is the primary source of Vitamin D. Although we are being warned about spending too much time in direct sunlight, we still need a regular healthy dose of it.
Vitamin D has a very positive influence on our health, for example, it improves the health of our bones and teeth. It also mends muscle functions and can help sooth certain skin issues.
Better night rest
It has been proven that exposure to natural light help us sleep better at night. And a better rest at night results often in more motivation and productivity throughout the day.
Exposure to natural lighting in buildings also improves the level of serotonin that our body produces. This is a hormone responsible for our feeling of happiness. It is the same hormone that helps people deal with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Unfortunately SAD is much more common than expected in the UK.
So it is extremely important that we get a regular dose of natural daylight. Going for a long walk with the dog is a pleasant way of taking in some much needed fresh air and daylight. Also finding ways to get daylight into our place of work is an easy way to get your daily dosage.
Unfortunately there are still a lot of workplaces that do not have enough windows and sometimes no windows at all.
Cost of natural lighting in buildings
Not only is natural daylight beneficial to our health and productivity, it also helps us save money! This is because, installing a rooflight, skylight or sun tunnel within your home or workplace, reduces all costs to artificial lights.
Natural daylight has been proven to increase productivity throughout our day as it is constantly shifting in intensity, direction and colour which all provide passive stimulation for the eyes, which can lead to higher serotonin and hormonal levels improving the feeling of wellbeing.
Diffused natural light can have the most positive effects to health and wellbeing, which can be achieved through the use of ‘opal’ glazing. A study carried out by the Heschong Mahone Group in 1999 displayed results consistent with a 20% increase in student performance in Elementary schools that used a well-designed rooflight (one which diffused the light throughout the classroom and allowed control over the amount of light). These results have been echoed throughout various sectors in industry; for example similar studies have concluded that the presence of Skylights in consumer shops was the third
most-important criteria contributing to increased sales volume. (Heschong Mahone Group Inc, 1999)
By installing a sun tunnel into your roof you can let the daylight get to the more difficult to reach spaces in buildings. Natural light is collected from a dome installed on top of a roof, this is connected to a highly reflective silver tube which can be directed between rafters and roof voids to bring light into the rooms below. The Dome shape ensures light can be easily captured from all sides providing a surprising amount of light throughout the day.
Another way to get daylight into a room would be to install rooflights or skylights in flat or pitched roofs. Because of the angle of these rooflights and skylights they allow twice as much light in as regular windows.
While windows or vertical glazing are still a viable method and in some cases still the best method of allowing daylight in, natural light can only reach six metres from a window into a room, however where glass windows fall short, polycarbonate skylights can excel.
So, finding ways of getting exposure to natural daylight is of the utmost importance. How this is done will vary for each individual, but no matter what, we all need a healthy dose of it. Take a look at our range of rooflights, skylights and sun tunnels to allow natural daylight into your property and live a happier, more productive life.