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Why combining natural and electric light may be right for you.

Lighting is something we often take for granted. Here's why incorporating natural light could be right for you.

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You wake up in the morning, head to the kitchen to make breakfast, and what’s the first thing you do? Flip the light switch—instant illumination. It’s something we tend to take for granted, but lighting is an essential part of our lives.

Take a moment to consider your daily routine without electric light. You would not be able to complete necessary or enjoyable tasks, such as cooking or reading, after sundown. Though your eyesight would adjust to darkness, you would likely need to strain your eyes to perform many ordinary tasks.

Now, imagine waking up to natural light from the outdoors shining into your bedroom. Imagine energy-efficient task lighting in the kitchen that allows you to brew coffee and prepare your morning meal with ease. When designed to fit your lifestyle, a combination of natural and electric lighting sources can be ideal for your health and your energy bill.

Consider these tips for choosing lighting sources for your home:

Add natural light to rooms used most often.

Incorporate innovative smart skylights or sun tunnel skylights in rooms that get used the most, such as the kitchen, living room or bathroom. During the day, the natural light will ease strain on your eyes and help you see clearly while completing tasks such as cooking, reading or applying makeup.

For natural light that lasts all day, place skylights on north or south facing roofs. If you want to achieve optimal energy efficiency, consult an architect to find out the best location for windows and skylights in your home. By using daylight to its fullest potential, you can reduce your dependence on electric lighting sources and lower your home energy bill.

Supplement productivity with task lighting.

Some areas of the house, such as kitchens or offices, require additional, focused illumination. Task lighting is just what you need in these rooms.

For instance, pendant lights that hang above an island countertop will help with meal preparation, and desk lamps brighten your workspace in a home office. Task lighting can also help alleviate unnecessary eyestrain when completing these daily activities.

Enhance décor with accent lighting.

Once you’ve found the perfect shelf on which to display your family photos, you shouldn’t keep them in the dark. In the morning and evening, accent lighting—such as up lighting or down lighting on shelves—can provide the perfect way to enhance specialty décor.

Cover your bases with ambient light sources.

When the sun sets and natural light no longer streams through the windows and skylights, ambient light becomes a crucial part of completing everyday activities. Recessed or overhead lighting sources provide ambient lighting at night.

To achieve as much energy efficiency as possible, try limiting ambient light use to early morning and late evening hours, supplementing the need for electricity with the use of natural light from windows and skylights. Also, consider purchasing energy efficient light bulbs that are known to be long lasting.

Learn more about installing natural light sources in your home.

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