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Your Guide To Daylighting

Is there any feeling better than waking up on a Saturday morning, throwing open the curtains and letting all the morning sunlight on a beautiful day come streaming into the bedroom, kitchen, or living room? Sunlight is known to improve your mood, get your circadian clock going by making you feel more wakeful, and staving off depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Whatever the weather and whatever the season, there are few simple pleasures in life that can compare to sitting down at your kitchen table with a coffee and a paper and basking in the first light of the day.

Daylighting is the practice of deliberately designing your home to make the most of the daylight available, reducing your reliance on artificial lighting and bringing light and a positive atmosphere into your home. Before starting the process, it’s important to understand that there are two types of daylight: direct and ambient. Direct daylight shines straight into your home and, especially in the summer, it can even make a room too bright, not to mention heating things up and fading carpets or furniture, while ambient light is reflected, filling up the interior. On cloudy days, all light is ambient, and it creates a softer feeling while resulting in fewer shadows.

Windows are the best way to incorporate daylighting into your home design, and if possible, you should make the most of the south-facing side of your home. During the summer, the sun passes high above, meaning that the roof’s eaves will keep most direct light from entering through southern windows, while in the winter, when the sun is passing low on the southern horizon, it will allow more light in. East and west windows provide access to the most direct light; east-facing windows are great for letting in morning sunshine, whereas western windows can be tricky, as the glare is often excessive at sundown and in the summer it can be very hot. Northern windows are a great source of ambient light, but in the winter they tend to lose more heat than they gain. Skylights are another great tool, as they bring about 30 percent more brightness than wall windows of the same size, but they can considerably add to your hydro bill as they don’t insulate as well as the ceiling and roof.

If you want to practice daylighting in your home, using our Golden Windows energy efficient windows is an effective way to mitigate the disadvantages and costs. Our Energy Star-approved windows use low emissivity (Low E) coatings to reflect heat energy, meaning that direct summer sunlight pouring in through west-facing windows won’t heat up the interior of your home as much, while you can mitigate heat loss in skylights and north-facing windows. If you’re building a new home or redesigning an old one, visit a Golden Windows showroom in Kitchener, London, or Kanata and find out how energy efficient windows can help you meet your daylighting goals.

There are other techniques you can practice to keep glare out but let ambient light in, such as placing overhangs at the right height for Southern Ontario (approximately 3-4 feet to completely shade the window). Daylighting with energy efficient windows can help keep your home bright and cheerful without spending lots of money on artificial lighting, and the professionals at Golden Windows can help you do it right. Stop by and ask for assistance or book a consultation.

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10/16/2017 9:07:51 AM

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