Plantation Shutters Let Sunlight In

The sun is essential to life on planet Earth. It is also invaluable to living.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, “Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors.” About 69 percent of time is spent at home and 18 percent in other interior venues. That equates to an average of 14 hours awake indoors. In fact, our lifestyle encourages more time inside than ever before. Children are outside only half of time they were just 20 years ago.1 It almost seems like most Americans avoid sunlight.

Indoor plantation shutters allows lots of natural light through the window.

The damage overexposure to sunlight can inflict on the body is well documented. However, we tend to neglect the harm caused by underexposure. The benefits of sunshine are astounding. Minimally, scientists claim sunlight eases depression, increases energy, and improves sleep quality.

Even though Americans have tailored their lives around indoor activities, there are ways to increase sunlight exposure. The most obvious method is to simply increase outdoor activities by taking a walk, playing disc golf, or reading a book. The list is endless. The second step involves inviting daylight into the home.

Tips to Enhance Natural Light Indoors

There are many ways to encourage more natural light to impact areas where most time is spent. It is obviously easier to execute these suggestions if building a new house. However, one can also make plenty of changes to an existing home.

  • Windows and Skylights – Adding windows is the best ways to boost light in a room. Installing  carefully located windows will instantly brighten the interior space. Skylights can be an aesthetically pleasing addition to the home, making rooms not only brighter but also providing a feeling of spaciousness. Both traditional and tubular skylights are extremely effective.
  • Strategic Paint – Dark colors absorb light and reduce the effectiveness of a comprehensive plan. Paint interior walls bright colors to reflect sunlight entering through windows or skylights.
  • Window Coverings – Regulate outside light with intelligently designed window coverings. Shades, blinds, curtains, drapes and interior shutters each have unique characteristic that make them a good or bad fit for various types of windows. Indoor plantation shutters in particular are effective to govern all volumes of light. Painted louvers can be used to reflect and soften light entering the window. Close louvers to fully darken a room for rest or privacy. Plantation shutter panels can swing open to the side of the window for maximum access.
  • Glass Doors – A glass door can replace a solid door to add more light to the home. This addition also gives the house a more spacious feel. Both inside and outside glass doors can be beneficial.  Interior glass doors allow light to pass to an adjoining room with fewer windows. If privacy is an issue, frosted glass doors work, too.
  • Large Rooms – Solid walls prevent the passage of light. So one large room is more beneficial than two or three smaller areas. Consider removing walls to combine multiple rooms into one well-lit space.
  • Mirrors – The use of mirrors is one of the most inexpensive and effective ways to disperse sunlight. Mirrors reflect light and visually make small rooms appear larger.
  • Obstacles – Remove barriers inside or outside of the home that may prevent daylight from entering the structure. Trimming or even removing trees or shrubs might be necessary. Relocate lamps or other tall furniture placed in front of windows that may filter desired sunshine.

There are other techniques that were not discussed. Each application will require a unique solution. Sunlight is the most environmentally friendly method of lighting a home. It is a free resource that is available in an infinite supply. When your home has more natural light it will be warmer and more conducive to good health and positive moods. While certain types of artificial light can mimic sunlight, there is no substitute for the real thing.
1 Study: Juster, F. Thomas et al. (2004). “Changing Times of American Youth: 1981-2003″, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan. Child Development Supplement

By Brian Wright