October 1, 2023

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How to Design a Home to Maximize Sunlight | Home Guides

How to Design a Home to Maximize Sunlight | Home Guides

Lighting for a home goes beyond simply the illumination of a room. When you are using the power of the sun, there is also warmth to consider. Designing a home around maximum sunlight exposure allows you to harness the power of the sun to warm and light the rooms of your home as you desire. This not only creates the beauty in design that you want but also minimizes your carbon footprint since you’re tapping into a renewable energy supply to help with interior climate control.


Curtains are a powerful tool that can help with the lighting of a home. Dark, heavy curtains block out the sunlight, which is ideal for summer days in rooms where you do not want the temperature during the middle of the day to rise too much. Darker curtains are also ideal for office room settings where sunlight glares off of computer monitors and television screens. Consider sheer curtains, on the other hand, for colder, winter days when you want to maximize the amount of sunlight through a window to warm a room. Curtains change the entire function of a window, beyond providing an outdoor view, by controlling the amount of sunlight that is allowed to penetrate into a given area.


Skylights are another way to add extra lighting to a room, which can help provide more warmth during wintertime. But they are also adjustable in that some variants may be opened and closed to create drafts during the summer months to cool a home. For lighting purposes, skylights may be placed anywhere in the ceiling of a home, although for added warmth, placement is ideal on the southern and western sides of the home. This provides maximum exposure to sunlight at its most potent, during the midday and afternoon hours. They can be used in any room of the home to add extra light.

Glass Wall Panels

Although glass wall panels are not generally used in the living room setting, they are ideal for sun rooms, greenhouses or patios where you want the maximum amount of sunlight to warm the area. Glass panels on a wall are generally not included in load-bearing walls, such as where a second story is resting on the wall below, given the added weight. Instead, such panels are ideal for sun and open-air rooms that don’t bear the weight of a second story. Engineered glass is available for structured placement, however, such as for a living room with a view out over the beach or a mountain valley, provided they are built into structurally sound construction framing such as steel beams and don’t carry added weight.

Expansive Windows and Doors

A standard-sized door with just a small eye-level, stained-glass opening into the outdoor world does not provide much light. But expansive doors with glass panels on the sides and across the top are a useful trick to create wider entryways where you have more space to work with. The same goes for bay windows and other expansive windows that allow sweeping vistas out over the natural scenery. The more space you have to work within a given room, the larger the windows and doors may be to give you more natural sunlight to warm the room and provide illumination.

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