The Importance of Light / by Graeme Fan

Our philosophy is to exceed the building code when spec'ing our windows, to maximise the benefits that natural light provides within our living spaces. The issue of privacy and thermal loss can be addressed with effective window treatments and double glazing which provides flexible solutions for our home owners. In saying that, we ensure there's a lot of space for the all important art work too!

Here's a link to a really interesting (though heavy and technical) article about the impact of light in an interior space. The provision of natural light, or daylighting, as it's referred to in this article attempts to demonstrate what we all know intrinsically about the importance of natural light in an interior space. Despite all the research carried out, it's very difficult to quantify/measure.

It's been reported that we spend up to and over 90% of our time indoors. The main benefits of ensuring that our homes are adequately designed to capture natural daylight in at least all habitable rooms are numerous.

These benefits include:

  • A connection to the outdoor environment
  • An improvement in health and wellbeing
  • Prevention of isolation from the outside world - an ability to be stimulated by human, natural 
  • An increase in productivity and comfort
  • Provision of mental and visual stimulation
  • Regulating our circadian rhythms - how our body naturally determines our waking hours with regards to sleep and rest. It's been shown that when there is a lack of natural daylight in our lives, our clocks can be 'out' by up to 2 hours.

The Building Code requires buildings to have natural light of no less than 30 lux at floor level of 75% of the standard year (or the hours between 8 am and 5 pm each day with an allowance being made for daylight saving). In other words, this means external windows must have a window area no less than 10% of the floor area. It's safe to say, that we ensure that our rooms far exceed that!

For more information, please see  https://www.building.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/building-code-compliance/g-services-and-facilities/g7-natural-light/asvm/g7-natural-light-1st-edition-amendment-2.pdf