If you’re anything like most people, you probably spend a lot of time indoors right? Studies show we spend an incredible 90% of our lives indoors. And if your weather is as unpredictable as ours that can seem to make a vast amount of sense. But being indoors doesn’t mean you have to compromise on enjoying natural light. A rooflight provides an ideal way to let more daylight into your home and if you’re still wondering why this is important, check out these amazing things rooflights can do for you.
1. Double your daylight
Did you know that a rooflight brings in twice the amount of daylight as a vertical window of the same size? (Johnsen K., Dubois M., Grau K. (2006) Assessment Of Daylight Quality In Simple Rooms). That’s because light from above enters a room directly, rather than the mostly reflected light you get through a window on the side of your house. This means that with a rooflight you effectively get double the daylight for the same price as a standard window.
Got a flat roof? Then rooflights are even better news for you, providing three times as much natural light as a standard façade window. One rooflight could give you the same effect as putting in another three windows into the walls of your home.
Not only does a rooflight give you far more bang for your buck, it provides a completely different sort of natural light experience, with light pouring in from above and penetrating deep into your home. You’ll enjoy a closer, more powerful connection to natural circadian rhythms. It’s like bringing the best bit of the outside inside. Without any of the uncomfortable stuff like rain, wind or excessive heat.
2. Express your signature style
When people think about rooflights, they often fall into the trap of thinking about a standard square with white PVC edges. Rooflights can be far more flexible than that. Bespoke ranges like Vario by VELUX offer you the chance to design a rooflight that expresses your innate sense of style and tones beautifully with the rest of your home. Imagine creating a truly personalised opening to the sky or floor above that’s just the right size and shape, bordered in whatever colour takes your fancy and featuring whatever additional features suit your requirements, from automatic opening and closing to walk on windows with non-slip coating.
How about a bespoke rectangle, illuminating your kitchen? Or a long slim window pouring a waterfall of natural light into your dining area? The options are endless. See where your imagination takes you as you create a rooflight that expresses your home’s unique character with our easy-to-use Build your Own design tool.
3. Stimulate your senses
Artificial light is a necessary feature of our homes. But by its very utilitarian nature, it is constant. Designed to provide illumination for specific tasks, it provides the exact same light in the exact same space all the time. This is helpful, but not very stimulating for the senses. Natural light is always shifting and nowhere is this more pronounced than via a rooflight. The natural light flowing into your room from above will shift throughout the day, providing interesting and ever-changing nuances to stimulate your visual sense and enhance your appreciation of different elements of your space.
Add ventilation and you bring in sounds and smells from the world outside, fresh cut grass, a child’s laughter, that fresh, clean scent of the world after heavy rain and a hundred other sensual cues that connect you more deeply with the wider space around you, triggering powerful emotions and poignant memories.
4. Cool, clean air
As our modern houses get ever more airtight, the importance of natural ventilation has never been better, for our health and comfort. Mites love moist air and natural ventilation from your rooflight will help to combat this ideal breeding environment in your home. Similarly, poorly ventilated indoor air can become very polluted with particles our lungs were never designed to breathe.
As well as helping our health, rooflights enable something professionals term “stack ventilation” where they allow warm air to escape above and be replaced with cooler air below. This is especially effective at night and the perfect antidote to steamy summer days where the temperature can range from the uncomfortable to the unbearable.
5. Bigger, brighter, better
Most homes were never designed to maximise natural light. And deep rooms suffer more than most from daylight starvation. Rooflights are the ideal antidote to these situations, allowing a cost effective and efficient way to transform your home into a brighter, bigger and better version of itself.
Modern design practice states that light should not just be considered for delivering simple visual tasks in specific areas but that the light perceived by the peripheral vision is also vitally importance to our spatial experience. Rooflights can provide broad spectrum illumination of the spaces in your home, allowing you to not only see what you’re doing but to enjoy your home environment that much more as you perceive it to be more spacious and brighter.
6. Because it’s worth it
If so far you’ve been thinking “ok, that’s all very nice but it’ll cost me money to put a rooflight in” this may be the benefit that convinces you. Did you know that rooflights actually increase the overall value of your property?
By flooding your living spaces with natural light, you create a perception of a larger space. Having light entering a room from the top and side together actually creates an optical illusion that the space is bigger than it actually is, whereas a room that is a bit too dark will be perceived as smaller than it is. This means your home will appear larger (and therefore worth more) to a prospective buyer than other similar properties without this feature.
In addition, the aesthetic effect of more light increases the overall appeal of a property and if the rooflight opens people will attribute greater value to the property because it is already correctly ventilated, meaning less work for them to do when they move in.
You may not be able to exactly measure how much value a rooflight will put on your asking price, but property professionals generally agree that they get homes sold quicker and for more money, so it’s a good investment.
7. A happier, healthier, more productive you
A rooflight provides the best possible source of natural light into your home. Why is that important to your wellbeing? Natural light has been proven to better serve our innate circadian rhythm (the biological thing that controls things like sleep and energy levels) than any source of artificial light (Hathaway et. al. 1992). Artificial light is on a different place on the spectrum, primarily serving our ability to see what we’re doing in order to perform tasks effectively. A study of office workers revealed that workers who had windows in their offices, providing better daylight exposure, got on average 46 minutes more sleep than those without.
And it’s not just sleep that’s improved by daylight. Studies have proven the link between daylight and improved mood, enhanced morale, less fatigue, and reduced eye strain. Many studies also show that the performance and productivity of workers can increase with the quality of light. Companies have recorded an increase in productivity of their employees of about 15% after moving to a new building with better daylight conditions which resulted in considerable financial gains.
Daylight and ventilation aren’t just about sleeping better and doing more. According to the Healthy Homes Barometer, single family occupancy homes that are dark report illness 1.6 times more than those that are light. Adding indoor natural lighting can help you be healthier! Also, did you know that the levels of certain pollutants like dirt particles, emissions from electrical items and household chemicals can be up to 5 times higher indoors than outdoors? Ventilating a room correctly can bring a room back into balance which is easier on your lungs and reduces the potential for a buildup of these harmful airborne nasties.
8. Save energy, save money
Finally (as if the previous seven advantages weren’t enough) rooflights can actually save energy, enabling you to do your bit for conserving our environment and being kind on your wallet at the same time. They do this through something called energy balance. Most people are familiar with a window’s energy efficiency ratings, which are based on how good they are at keeping heat in. Energy balance takes this calculation a bit further and considers not just how good a window is at keeping energy in, but how much it positively contributes through acquiring warmth from the sun.
Your first instinct may be to think “well we don’t have many sunny days and when it’s hot I open the windows anyway”. A natural response. But roof windows actually bring warmth into the home year-round, even on cold days. This enables the best of them to have a positive net effect on your energy consumption, saving the planet and saving you money. In addition, the higher levels of daylight provided by a rooflight increase the number of hours when electric lighting will not be needed, which, in turn, results in significant energy savings for lighting.
So, there you have it. Eight great reasons to add rooflights to your home. Now all you need to do is get your creative juices going and design one that’ll transform your living environment in so many brilliant ways.