Velux product manager, Grant Sneddon, offers advice on selecting the best daylight solutions for your next project.
Light plays an incredibly important role in our daily lives. Given that as a nation, we spend as much as 90 percent of our time inside, healthy indoor climates are vital in buildings, particularly in our homes. So how do we gain more light in the spaces we use for living, working and playing in?
One of the primary things to consider when designing with daylight in mind is roof windows. A roof window can typically let in up to twice as much light as a conventional vertical window.
This is because the glazing is angled directly towards the natural light source, with very little diffused or reflected light. It can allow daylight to penetrate deep into a room, illuminating areas that might otherwise be quite dark.
Not only that, but roof windows can also enhance views, offer more comfort, improve indoor climate, and even be more energy efficient.
When it comes to roof windows or roof lights, there are a number of options to consider.
Choosing the right roof windows
The most recognised type of roof window for homeowners is the centre-pivot roof window, but it’s also worth considering top-hung versions, and thinking about whether the positioning will suit manual or remote control operation.
Top-hung roof windows open outwards with a handle at the bottom of the window, making them ideal for installations where the bottom of the window is easily within arm’s reach.
Typically, top-hung roof windows open 45° outwards for an unrestricted view and maximise the amount of natural daylight that can be allowed in.
Classic centre-pivot roof windows are ideal for lower installations and feature a top control bar, allowing the user to install the window lower than an equivalent top-hung operated roof window.
This makes space for living areas with furniture beneath the roof window and helps create a perfect view of the outside surroundings whilst standing and when seated.
Electric roof windows must also be considered for households, particularly for those who forget to open and close windows during the day and at night. This job is made simpler for homeowners through the use of automatically controlled roof windows, blinds and shutters which can be opened and closed with just one touch of a button.
With the touch-screen control pad, every window can be reached easier and faster – from anywhere in the home or building.
Making the most of your space
Sun tunnels provide a natural daylight solution for windowless areas such as halls, storage cupboards or tight areas of the home that have limited access to natural daylight. The product is comprised of a round, rooftop window and a tunnel to transport the daylight inside which allow homeowners to achieve a brighter, more natural indoor environment.
The New Generation Sun Tunnel uses innovative Edge-Glow technology, a new ring of clear glass around the edge of the ceiling diffuser that allows for better daylight dispersion.
The resulting natural light is more dynamic, more cost effective and brings more health benefits than electrical lighting, as well as reducing energy consumption.
Bring in the outdoors
For loft conversion areas in the home, the perfect solution to incorporate extra daylight is to add a roof balcony. Even if the floor space in a loft is limited, it’s still possible to enjoy the added space and light that a roof terrace brings. The roof terrace helps to make the most of unused roof space without compromising the size of the living space.
Our own CABRIO Balcony offers the chance to give areas in workplaces and homes extra space and light. Transforming from a roof window to a balcony in seconds, this product gives even the smallest areas an injection of daylight and space, as well as control of fresher air to add a real wow factor to any home or building.