Ah, the light of day. On a sunny day we are appreciative of the rays of light that shine in the windows and through the doors across the walls and the floors. It brightens up the room and your mood no doubt. More than likely you’re not inside for long on a good day and you get outside to enjoy the sunshine. Those moments are memories we keep fresh in our mind while bearing the rainy days and wintery grey days. If you’re like me, it’s something we’d like to keep with us as much as possible. Even viewing a clear starlit night, or watching the meteor showers spread out across the sky on a hot August night. If you’re able to be outside, that’s a spectacular thing.
But what about the times when the temperature drops and you spend more time inside? Living on the Cape the weather can change often within a 24 hour period. We have to wait a moment to get to the weather we want and either dress in layers or bring extra clothing along to suit the weather. Ok, so that’s what happens when we are outside; back to being inside and keeping the sun in our lives or at least as much day light as possible. Do you have enough light in your room without flipping the switch at 6 am or even at 4 pm? How do we save money long term by adding more light without the use of the light switch? Am I going out on a limb?
You’re thinking about remodeling that back room to extend it into more livable space but it’s a north room and tends to be darker than the rest of the rooms in the house or the use of a connecting hallway that is always dark without turning on a light. Pictured to the right is an added-on room that had skylights put in the ceiling of an otherwise dark room.
How about adding a skylight to the plan? Or add a skylight to a room you spend time in frequently already; your living-room space, your kitchen… even your bedroom or bathroom. Adding more light from above brings in natural daylight and helps reduce energy bills by providing illumination during the day without turning on the lights. It is also effective when wall space for kitchen cabinetry is a premium rather than adding a window.
Velux windows (www.veluxusa.com) are a great competitor for adding the right window to your home. They have solar powered skylights with size availability to meet your space requirements. They have a rain sensor built in the unit in the event that our inclement Cape Cod weather changes. They even come with internal blinds should you choose to order them.
In smaller spaces where the ceiling space is at a minimum or the ceiling in question isn’t directly under the roofline, there are Sun Tunnels also known as Solar Tubes as alternatives to skylight windows. This design still allows plenty of natural light into the space without taking up too much ceiling space or if you’re unable to connect directly to the roof. Typically these are meant for single story or second story ceilings but it’s not impossible to add right to a first floor room.
Looking at the photo to the left you can see how the interior layout of the sun tunnel within the structure is designed and the photo to the right shows the difference between not having a solar tunnel and adding two to an otherwise dark hallway.
Then, for additional creativity, there is the roof window that folds out like a balcony in seconds, often used for lofts and finished attic spaces or even that spare room above the garage. The bonus here is that they are an instant gateway to the outdoors and add an emergency escape exit if ever there were the need. Velux calls this the Cabrio Roof Window. This window closes on the top and the balcony folds inward when not in use and acts as a regular closed sky light; still adding plenty of natural light on a larger scale. (See https://www.veluxusa.com/products/roof-windows/cabrio-balcony for functionality video)
There are so many possibilities to add more natural light with a variety of ways to accomplish them. Gable Building Corp uses Velux windows in some of the finest quality crafted homes here on the Cape. What will be your next project? Come to Gable and ask design experts what the best choice would be to brighten your home from the roof down and let the sunshine in.