Having lots of natural light in a home carries many advantages. Relying less on artificial light saves you big bucks on monthly bills, and makes your home more energy efficient. But that is not the only advantage exposure to natural light can also have some health benefits, including increased happiness and well-being. So not only will you have big savings on electricity, but increasing natural lighting in your home may even improve your quality of life as well. A recent survey by Fixr.com found that homeowners now consider natural lighting to be the second most important home feature.
So depending on your budget, you may want to consider taking on a few of the following projects to brighten up your home and curtail rising electricity costs. Here are 14 ways how to create natural light indoors, ranked by budget:
There are a few little tricks and tweaks that you can undertake yourself which can help increase the amount of light coming into your home for little to no cost.
14 Home Improvement Projects by Budget
1. Cleaning Your Windows
By simply cleaning your windows is one way to increase natural light is to start by cleaning your windows. Many people don’t realize just how much dirty windows can impact the amount of natural light getting through them. And as you probably won’t be opening your windows during the winter time, make sure to remove any screens and store them until spring, which will maximize the light coming through during dull or cloudy days.
2. Move Your Furniture
Believe it or not, you can manipulate any light coming through your windows with the placement and angle of your furniture. Move any furniture that might be blocking light coming in, and angle it toward windows where possible. This will stop it from blocking any light sources and reflect the light shining through the windows into the room.
3. Use Reflective Materials
Another good trick is to increase the number of reflective surfaces in the room. Mirrors, reflective metals, and other polished surfaces will all increase light, so consider rearranging things like mirrors, pictures with glass fronts, and polished or glossy knickknacks so that they face the windows and help boost light in the room.
4. Add a Light-Colored Area Rug
If you have a dark floor, try adding a light-colored area rug to brighten up the room. This can help make the area seem both bigger and brighter as the floor will no longer be absorbing all the light.
5. Swap Your Window Treatments
Think about swapping out your old, heavy window treatments for sheer options. Even when open, heavy window treatments can decrease the amount of light coming in. Sheer window treatments are a good option for maintaining privacy, as well as maximizing the natural light coming into the room.
Low-Cost Projects ($100 – $1,999)
If your home needs a little more help to increase the amount of natural light, there are several low-end projects that you can undertake with a budget ranging between $100 and $2,000.
6. Consider Landscaping
If you have a lot of trees or shrubs surrounding your home, these may be blocking the light from entering some spaces, so consider having them either cut back or removed. This will increase the brightness of your space as the light coming through the windows will no longer be obstructed.
Cost: The average cost of a tree removal is currently around $435.
7. Paint the Room
Painting your rooms in light colors is a good first step for significantly increasing the natural light in your space. Hiring a professional will ensure you get the best results from this project, but make sure to opt for paints with a higher sheen, applying a glossy finish on the trim, a semi-gloss on furnishings, and satin on the walls. This will help reflect light and really brighten up the room.
Cost: The average cost to hire a professional painter is around $1,200.
8. Opt for a Tile Backsplash
If it’s the kitchen you want to boost light in, installing a glass tile backsplash is a great option. Glass tile can reflect a lot of light and help brighten your kitchen all day long.
Cost: Expect costs between $900 and $1,500 for a new glass backsplash installed by a professional.
9. Choose Recessed Lighting
If you have large or hanging lights in the room, removing them and installing recessed lighting will have a positive impact when it comes to increasing natural light. Believe it or not, a hanging chandelier will actually block more of your natural light than a flush light will.
Cost: Installing new recessed lighting costs around $1,650.
High-Cost Natural Light Projects ($2,000 +)
If you are willing to spend a little more, you can maximize the amount of natural light coming into your home with projects ranging from $2,000 to $10,000. Although they may be on the costlier side, these projects can help brighten even the darkest of spaces.
10. Install a Skylight
If the roof is directly above the room you want to brighten, consider adding a skylight. The benefits of how much skylights can brighten up a room are significant. If the room you want to brighten is not right under the roof, an alternative is a sun tunnel. Sun tunnels can bring the sun into any space, no matter how far from the roof.
Cost: A skylight installation costs around $2,000.
11. Remove Walls
If you have a lot of small rooms in the home, consider removing some walls to help open up the space and increase the amount of ambient light. Be careful to check for any load bearing walls before you commit to this project.
Cost: The average cost to remove a wall is $2,500.
12. Add a Patio Door
Adding a patio door is a great way to allow a lot of natural light to enter your home, and give you access to the outdoors at the same time. To boost natural light even more, consider replacing your existing solid doors with ones that have a window or glass insert for around $1,500. This way, the light will reach further into other rooms too.
Cost: Installing a patio door has a cost of around $2,756.
13. Replace Your Floors
Replacing your floor with a lighter colored material will be sure to help to boost natural light in the room. Consider something that has a reflective finish, like hardwood floors and some tile or marble floors. These will reflect light into the home, while a light colored floor will make the room seem brighter as well.
Cost: The average cost to install a new floor is around $3,500.
14. Install Large Windows
Picture windows and other large windows will help brighten up a room instantly. If your windows are old and drafty, making you cover them all the time, replacing them with more energy efficient models can help ensure you get the best out of them, letting the light in and saving on heating bills in the meantime. I personally hate the pop-in, (retrofitted), windows because it makes your actual window smaller. Guess what that decreases your natural light. Don’t do it.
Cost: Typical window projects have an average cost of $7,500.
Light Up Your Home and Reap the Benefits
No matter how dark your home is, the way it’s laid out, or what your budget may be, there are always ways to help brighten your interiors and maximize the natural light coming inside. With natural lighting now being one of the most important features in a home, any tricks that help boost it could also make your home more appealing to potential buyers if you ever decide to sell. Use these tricks to help make the most of natural lighting, and enjoy the benefits that a brighter home brings.