The power of natural light
Light is vital to human functioning and it plays an important role on both our psychological and physiological condition. Beyond aiding vision, light has a direct effect on the areas of our brain that act as a stimulant, keeping us alert and able to better perform cognitively.
A good indoor climate is designed and furnished to create an atmosphere in which the user is both comfortable and motivated. The quality of lighting is an element of the indoor climate that can affect everything that we do.
An interesting study highlighted important trends within the building industry - "Smart Market Report 2016" DODGE Data & Analytics - identified access to daylight as a key feature for healthier buildings, and 60% of survey respondents identified it as a feature that will remain on the healthy building agenda in the near future.
Let the light in
While daylight is a great means to reduce our dependency upon electrical lighting, it can also create beautiful effects that both catch the eye and promote well-being.
There are several ways that an architect can optimise design and building orientation to capture natural light, it is sometimes not always enough, necessitating the help of a building’s interior materials to draw light further inside.
Using materials with high light reflection and light diffusion can increase the level of daylight available in a particular room or space. For example, using a ceiling with a light reflection of 87% can draw light 11% further into a building. To avoid too much glare, which can be troubling for the eye, it is also recommended to use products with a matt surface as it helps nurture visual comfort.