Natural sunlight is an important part of our lives. It is not only good for our physical well being but also has its psychological benefits. Natural sunlight strengthens the immune system and also boosts our energy level. Natural lighting is a magnificent benefit provided by nature to the environment as it reduces the burning of fossil fuels to produce electricity. Natural sunlight is economical as with all the tools to enhance the amount of sunlight in our home, we can expect to see reductions in our utility bills
Why is Natural Sunlight Important for a Home?
With many known and unknown benefits of natural sunlight, it is important that in our home buying process the amount and direction of sunlight a particular project/unit receives is not overlooked. During site visits, we should observe how much sunlight the unit we like receives. On the whole it may seem that all the towers in a project receive independent sunlight. However on close examination, we may observe that certain units do not receive sunlight as it may seem so.
The more sunlight a particular unit receives, the more beneficial it is. A well lit room fills its occupants with positivity and optimism. For best results it is always advisable to carry out site visits to any property during the day time and also in the evening to fully understand how much natural sunlight is received.
Some apartments have a system wherein there is a central cutout of the building that is left open for natural sunlight to seep in through all units. It also acts as a source of cross ventilation. The advantage of such a centralised open space is that all towers tend to receive good light and air even if the units are not facing the east direction. Some projects have also adopted a ‘no common wall’ approach in which there is no common wall between the units and each unit acts like an independent unit inside an apartment.
The advantage of such an approach is that abundance of sunlight is received by all units from all 4 sides. Natural sunlight in apartments is also dependent on the civic infrastructure around that place. Lot of buildings around a project would mean that natural sunlight is blocked. Open and green spaces in and around a project ensure that natural sunlight is received by all units proportionately.
In case of villas/independent houses the natural sunlight received by each house is almost proportionate to the other houses in that particular area. Sunlight in independent houses is received from all angles.
Generally, in northern parts of India, where the winters are cold, a south facing house is advantageous as the interiors will get more hours of sunlight, thereby keeping the house warmer at night. This system works only when there are no adjacent houses. Else no sunlight will hit house walls.
However, this will also mean that in summer the interiors can get overheated, so it’s essential to have a protective cover over the house in the hotter months to bring down energy costs incurred in cooling the house. Many houses in the north thus have balcony screens to prevent overheating of the interiors during summers. These screens also allow a bare amount of sunlight to come into the interiors of the house.
A house that faces the north won’t get too much sunlight during the day. This makes this orientation ideal for houses in the south Indian states, where the climate is tropical, as it helps to keep the interiors cool naturally, saving on energy costs. By designing the house so that the bedrooms face the south, they can be kept warm, when the weather turns cooler.
The above diagram shows that the morning sun is received from the east side of the house. After a while the afternoon sun directly shines over the house. Independent houses/villas which do not have another unit above them are likely to be impacted by the heat of the sun during summers.
At the same time in winters such apartments remain warm due the direct impact of the sun. further the diagram goes to show that as the sun sets, the western side of the house receives the evening sun.
How to Increase Natural Light in Your House
- Pull the curtains back and open the shades during the day.
- Avoid placing thick and dark furniture near the window.
- Use light colours in your interior design scheme.
- Use white curtains around your windows.
- Wall mirrors across from windows will diffuse rays through the room.
- Convert solid exterior doors with window doors.
The importance of sunlight in an apartment cannot be overlooked. It is a major component which has a great impact in all aspects. The amount of natural sunlight a house receives enhances the overall look of the house. It plays a significant role in reducing the utility bills as well in improving our holistic well being.
Comparing floor plans within a project is the ideal way to judge whether a particular unit you are interested in receives the right amount of natural sunlight which will help you make an informed decision.
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