Renovating your home or extending? Want to increase your wellbeing, too? Maybe sleep better? Feel happier? The answer might be surprisingly simple: get more exposure to natural daylight with roof lights.
Why does natural daylight make us feel good? Well, we've evolved to be alert when it's bright and to sleep when it's dark – what's called our circadian rhythm. Getting plenty of natural light has been linked to improved mood and enhanced morale, less tiredness, and reduced eyestrain. The problem is that many of us may be getting inadequate amounts of natural light, either because we spend too long in a dark office, or because our homes are badly lit.
In fact, a study by the National Research Council Canada concluded that people in Western nations really are not getting enough light. Many other studies have also focused on the direct link between not getting enough daylight and poor sleep, and on the reduced productivity of people who work in dark environments.
While the levels of natural light in offices are usually beyond our control, our home environments, at least for home owners, can be improved. So, what is the very best way to add natural light to a room? While choosing reflective flooring or window treatments that allow in more light will make your rooms brighter, if your windows are small to begin with, or there aren't many of them, some form of serious remodelling might be the best option.
Of course, it's not always possible to enlarge or insert windows into existing walls. Roof lights, on the other hand, are easy to install within existing extensions, in loft rooms or top floor rooms. The major benefit that's not well known, though, is that they bring in what's known as 'top light'. And top light is much, much brighter than the light that penetrates through traditional windows in a wall, which makes the benefits of roof lights that much more dramatic.
Until recently, off-the-shelf roof lights were the best option for home renovators looking to keep their budgets low. The other option? Bespoke windows designed by architects, which are out of reach of many, spend-wise.
Which makes the very affordable Vario by Velux such a timely addition to the company's range of roof products. These bespoke roof lights come in five basic types, from a slim rectangular roof light to a round one, each of which is customisable in terms of size and motorised opening function; there's an edge-to-edge option, and a walk-on reinforced panels, too. The frames are made from lightweight powder-coated aluminium, and all the roof lights come with a laminated inner glazing, providing extra safety in case of breakage.
From our point of view, it's great news – dramatically widening the choice of roof lights for home owners, at prices that are affordable and easy to DIY design and order. You can build your own Vario roof light online to suit your space – and it'll give you an instant quote. To give you an idea, a rectangular 2.5m x 1m double glazed, non-opening unit costs £1,750. If you're renovating or extending, we'd take a look. You never know, it might improve your wellbeing...