5 ways to introduce light from above
What makes a room pleasant to be in? The answer no doubt varies depending on the person, but most of us could agree that size is something of a factor. A room doesn’t have to be palatial, but it does need to be comfortable. It’s also beneficial if the room is nicely decorated; if the furniture looks good and feels enjoyable to sit on… but there’s one key factor that always affects how pleasant a room is to be in: how light the room is.
Humans need light. We crave it; we rely on it for our health and well-being. For every room in your home to be truly enjoyable to be in, you have to focus on ensuring you find ways to introduce as much light as possible into the space.
There are many ways to introduce light into a room, but by far the best method is to introduce light from above. This, after all, is where most of us expect light to come from— it’s the most natural source, and creates the most pleasant ambiance. If you’re looking for a few ideas as to how you can introduce more light from above in your home, then the suggestions below are well worth considering.
A lightwell is a special architectural feature that is one of the most effective methods of increasing the amount of natural light in a room. Lightwells involve the installation of a vertical shaft through a building, which is then topped with glass so that light is able to spread through into the lower levels of the home. Lightwells are particularly popular due to the fact they can be used in any room, including basements.
We at Scenario completed this internal lightwell project for a client in 2013. It allowed us to provide huge levels of natural light to the client’s basement room, which looked wonderfully natural and effortless. Lightwells are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of different ways, so if you’re looking to add light from above, you may want to consider a lightwell and then expand from there.
Glass roof tiles
Glass roof tiles can realistically only be used on the upper floor of a house, and are particularly popular for attic conversions. If this is the kind of space you are looking to add more light to, then they should work well, and are just as robust as more standard construction materials.
Glazed gables require substantial restructuring, but the work is absolutely worth it. Glazed gables are exactly what they sound like; house gables that are glass rather than wood or other common materials. Not only do glazed gables allow light to pass through to create more light throughout the property, but they are also a stunning architectural feature in and of themselves— in essence, glazed gables offer both style and substance.
Personal sky garden
Sky gardens can offer truly fantastic light from above, and — as with glazed gables — are a beautiful design feature in their own right.
We created a stunning personal sky garden for a client in 2014. This design featured a range of innovations that were designed to add more light from above, including a glazed sunken roof terrace that played a huge role in allowing light to pass into the lower levels. This, combined with large windows on the lower level of the property, created a light, bright space that was, and is, effortlessly modern and chic.
Glass floor / ceiling
Finally, glass floors / ceilings are an incredibly useful way of introducing more light from above on multi-storey properties. These levels incorporate two functions: they are the floor for the second (or third, or fourth, etc.) level, and are also the ceiling for the level below. They can be walked on just like a standard floor/ceiling, but with the crucial added benefit of allowing light to pass between the levels.
A glass floor / ceiling increases the availability of light from above in general, but are particularly useful in conjunction with glass tiles, lightwells, and glazed gables. The special glazed floor allows the light to spread through the space naturally, creating a more welcoming, enjoyable space for the levels below.
So if you are looking to make your home brighter and more welcoming, choosing one of these options for adding light from above should deliver the results you are hoping for.
This guide is suitable for anyone requiring consent from the local council to alter a home. It reviews the ins and outs of UK planning and strategies for successfully navigating it, based on our own experience.