HOUSE & HOME: Bring More Natural Light Into Your Home This Winter!

A home without ample lighting can be uncomfortable.  Dark rooms can exacerbate feelings of depression and make a home feel less inviting to guests.  However, bringing in more outside light or supplementing with artificial light can quickly transform the atmosphere of a space.


Daylight hours begin to shrink in the northern hemisphere starting as early as September.  When daylight savings time is in full force, it can get dark as early as 4:30pm.  While this premature darkness may be ideal for animals who are hibernating for the season, for humans who remain active throughout the year, increasing the amount of light that is present in a home is a goal each winter.

To banish winter doldrums, sometimes the key is to simply let more light into a home.  Here are some light enhancing strategies to consider when the sun sets:

  • When purchasing a new home, be conscious of window placement and also the direction in which a home faces.  Apartments and homes that face north will be dark most of the day.  Those that face south will have ample sunlight.  In addition, look at home many trees are on the property.  Even a home that faces south can have compromised sunlight if it is hampered by many trees.
  • Open curtains and blinds all the way throughout the home during the winter months.  Not only will this let in more light, but it also may warm the home from the sun, cutting down on heating costs.
  • Clean the windows.  Dirt and grime that accumulates on windows can affect how much sunlight filters through.
  • When planning a home renovation project, consider adding a window on a wall where there currently is none of think about the inclusion of skylihhgts to let in more light from above.  Innovations in skylight technology enable small ones to be place in rooms and connected through interior tubes that reflect the light.  French doors also can bring in a lot of light.  Separate a dark room from a bright room with a set of French doors to spread even more light throughout the home.




  • Paint walls with lighter colours that reflect light more effectively.  Dark-coloured floors and walls tend to absorb light, enhancing a cave-like atmosphere.
  • Purchase light fixtures that allow for a higher wattage of light bulb, which will be brighter.  You may find higher wattages even in energy-conserving compact flurorescent bulbs and LED bulbs.
  • Stagger lights at varying heights to cast equal light throughout rooms.  Task lighting, overhead lighting and decorative ambient lighting can combine to achieve a warm, inviting atmosphere.
  • Use solar lights outdoors to add extra illumination outside, which can make your home more welcoming when arriving home at night.
  • Clear rooms of clutter as such items can interrupt the flow of light.
  • If you find that the light in your home is still lacking and you can benefit from a burst of extra light therapy, consider the purchase of a therapy lamp that simulates sunlight.  Set the timer and have it face you in the morning or afternoon.  There are also alarm clocks that wake you with the simulation of a rising sun.