7 Benefits of Natural Light in Your Home or Business

A white living room with a white couch and a plant.

“Here comes the sun, doo-doo-doo-doo.”

Sunlight does more than just put a bouncy soundtrack in our heads — it can make a world of difference to our homes and well-being.

It’s like Mother Nature’s little life hack, from improving mood to lowering utility bills. How many songs have you heard extolling the feel-good qualities of fluorescent lighting? (We’ll hazard a guess and say “none.”)

So, let’s dive into the fantastic perks of letting the sunshine in!

1. Elevated Moods

According to the American Psychiatric Association:

About 5 percent of adults in the U.S. experience SAD and it typically lasts about 40 percent of the year. It is more common among women than men. SAD has been linked to a biochemical imbalance in the brain prompted by shorter daylight hours and less sunlight in winter.

Those who’ve experienced SAD (seasonal affective disorder) will tell you it’s a debilitating condition, making it challenging to focus and feel motivated. Even if you don’t have SAD, shorter days can lead to the “winter blues,” as we tend to receive less sunlight in colder months.

But natural sunlight triggers your body to release serotonin, a hormone that can improve your mood without medication. So, if you’re feeling the blahs, open those window coverings and bathe yourself in sunlight!

2. Better Sleep

Your body produces melatonin, the sleepiness hormone, in darkness. However, melatonin production goes up significantly when you’re exposed to sunlight.

The contrast between light and dark can help your body produce the correct amount of hormones, facilitating sleep at night. If you’re not getting enough natural light during the day, your body might not release enough melatonin at night.

Allow natural light into your home every morning and turn off the lights at night. This will give your body the cues for optimal melatonin production and a sound night’s sleep.

3. Vitamin D Production

Why does the body need Vitamin D?

  • It helps regulate calcium and phosphorus absorption to maintain strong bones.
  • For healthy growth and development.
  • It may play a role in cancer, heart disease, and multiple sclerosis prevention.

How do we get enough of this “sunshine vitamin”? The answer: spend 15 minutes a day under the sun without sunscreen! Before you panic, that’s 15 minutes without protection to allow your body to produce Vitamin D. Afterward, apply sunscreen.

But can’t you take a Vitamin D pill instead and remain in your dark lair like a Morelock from The Time Machine? You can, but natural Vitamin D production may have extra benefits (like absorption of calcium and phosphorus).

5. Increased Productivity

If you’re feeling drowsy at work, try moving your workspace near a window instead of reaching for caffeine or energy drinks.

A study by the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell University found natural light exposure to increase productivity by 2-3%, leading to improved focus and efficiency.

Workers sitting close to a window that optimized daylight exposure reported a 2 percent increase in productivity – the equivalent of an additional $100,000/year of value for every 100 workers or around $2m over the window’s lifetime.

So, if you’re in a slump, get some sunlight! People feel more energized when exposed to natural light.

6. Lower Utility Bills

Natural lighting trends in architectural design have gone mainstream, and for a good reason: it improves your well-being and your wallet.

The more daylight you let into your home or business, the less energy you’ll need to power up artificial lights during the day.

Not only is natural light better for your well-being, but it’s also free! This free and abundant light source will keep your home or business bright, airy, and budget-friendly.

7. Everything Looks Better

It’s no surprise that natural light improves a home’s aesthetic value. It makes the room seem airier, more spacious, and more welcoming.

Natural light also positively affects colors: they appear more vibrant and authentic. Your blue will look bluer, your red redder, and so on. Without natural light, your color palette may come off dull.

Sunshine also casts shadows that bring depth to a room and make it feel alive. Artificial light can’t project shadows in the same way.

How the Right Window Treatments Can Make a Difference

The wrong curtains or blinds can let in too much heat, overexpose your interior to UV rays, or block sunlight altogether.

The best window treatments for light control include:

  • Sheer curtains to diffuse sunlight while letting it in.
  • Blinds with adjustable slats that control the amount of light coming in.
  • Plantation shutters with adjustable louvers.
  • Solar shades that allow natural light while keeping heat out.
  • Motorized window treatments that let you control natural lighting automatically.
  • Skylights that open up ceiling space for more sunlight and fresh air.

Now that we’ve explored the benefits of natural light, we hope you’ll make the most of it in your home or office.

And if you live in the sunny (and sometimes scorching) metro Los Angeles area, call us at Aero Shade to discuss our beautiful window treatments, which offer a balance of light control, privacy, and energy efficiency.