how to get more natural light in a house

Photo of author

Nick Dardalis

Updated on

We are frequently asked about windows and doors to provide more natural light in a house. The obvious answer is larger windows and doors like the latest sliding door products, which provide the largest panes of glass and door leaf sizes than any other door product. Despite the numerous benefits of having more natural light in a house, the more glass you have, the more solar gain, the risk of overheating and having to consider shading, privacy and general interior comfort. We’ve provided this helpful guide on how to get all the benefits of brighter rooms, more light, a more spacious feel and what to consider with new and replacement windows, doors and the all-important glass.

The benefits of getting more natural light in a house

open bifolding doors showing how to get more natural light in a house
Large doors and windows create more light and space. The latest Schüco AS FD 75 bifold doors.

Daylighting is the practice of bringing more light into a building, so that both direct or indirect sunlight and daylight generally can provide internal lighting. Today, numerous studies explain the health and wellbeing benefits of more light in the home. With windows and doors or rooflights being the best way to get more natural light, these work best during the shorter days of winter, reduce the need for turning on artificial lighting, improve productivity in the workplace and create overall better living and working environments.

During the pandemic, the entire fenestration sector saw a surge in consumer demand and noteworthy consumer home improvement enquiries related to conservatory refurbishment and making more use of an underused conservatory, the building of garden rooms for home offices and the general swift completion of existing property renovation projects. With more people now on flexible hours and working from home, getting more natural light in a house is an important factor in property renovations and new extensions.

The current generation of aluminium windows and doors and even internal glazing products all play a part in creating better indoor climates, creating a better connection with outside spaces and creating significantly better homes than our older dim buildings, constructed with small windows and doorways. With the rising cost of energy bills, natural light is free.

Bigger windows and doors bring more natural light in a house

Creating larger windows and doors as part of a property renovation is the best way to create more light, space and an open aspect. Combine these with rooflights or a lantern roof, and you bring light in from above as well as the front of the sides. Here are some examples of glazing designs where maximising natural daylight is achieved with some excellent door and window designs.

Open corner sliding doors

Whether created as a fully open corner or with a visible post, open corner sliding doors in a new extension bring light from two sides when closed and create a fantastic connection to the garden or outside space when fully open.

Shown here are Sunflex sliding doors with a low track in a three panel design on one side, and two panels on the other. Sunflex sliding doors also have the facility to open and stack flush when open.

open corner sliding doors showing how to bring more light into a house

Wide-span bifold doors

Whilst any quality bifold door brand will create a great way to open up an opening and connect to the patio area and garden, some are designed to go wider than others, giving you three panels where other models need four, looking like a sliding door closed, with all the functionality of a bifold fully open.

The latest bifold door models are even slimmer, with mullion sightlines less than 100mm on some models, providing reduced visible aluminium and maximum glass. Shown here are Schüco bifolding doors supplied and fitted by alühome of Stamford, Lincolnshire.

wide closed bifold doors in a dining room

Modern aluminium windows

Another way to bring more natural light in a house is to design the windows taller and put glass in the bottom panels. The benefits of aluminium windows is wider and taller opening elements than PVCu windows, slimmer frames and fewer mullions and transoms.

Tilt and turn windows shown in this room design are an excellent way to get the biggest opening windows possible, and some go up to the size of a single door. They tilt in for ventilation and also swing inwards, letting you clean the outside pane of glass from inside the room.

gable window and glazed bottom panels bringing more light in a house

Internal doors and Screens

Whether fully glazed or in the steel look, choosing internal glass doors is a further way to bring natural light in a home, better than solid wood internal doors. These stylish and ultras-slim doors create a fantastic flow and light between rooms, with the benefit of dividing or closing off the space when required.

Some of the best aluminium internal doors are those designed and made by Aluco, shown here as double doors with side panels and the floors uninterrupted by a threshold. Image Credit: Emma Merry Styling.

em kitchen 18 black

Lantern roofs and rooflights

Combine modern door and window designs with a lantern roof or rooflight, and these brighten up a room even more, creating an even brighter, better interior atmosphere with full insulation and weather protection.

Lantern roofs come in traditional or modern designs, whilst flat rooflights offer fixed, manual or automatic opening designs.

sunflex sliding patio door with rooflight

What to consider with glass and glazing for more natural light in a house.

With using slimline aluminium, more glass and larger door or window panels to get more natural light in a home, there are several factors to consider. Most of these come about as a result of substantially more glass. The good news is that all manner of glass solutions, and complemented by additional shading products, can eliminate most of the issues that can occur due to more glass. You can get in touch with us, and we can help with glass options for doors and windows and put you in touch with professional installers with access to the entire range of safety glass, solar control, acoustic and high-performance glass.

Increased solar gain

With larger glass panels and depending on which elevation the doors and windows may face, is increased solar gain. The solutions include choosing solar control glass, adding integral blinds where possible or considering, on the outside, a canopy above the doors. Manual shading solution such as after-market blinds are also available.

An architect is perfectly placed to help you get the best design to not only have the doors and windows you desire, but also to minimise solar gain.

Overheating in rooms

The overheating of properties is a concern and there are now even Building Regulations covering overheating in buildings. Large glass panels and too much glass generally can cause overheating in rooms. Ensuring the rooms can be ventilated with opening elements such as windows elsewhere and providing shading solutions can minimise overheating.

Rooms that are too bright

When considering getting more natural light in a house, a potential downside is rooms that may be too bright. This can make using the room, working, watching television and other everyday activities uncomfortable. If your property is not overlooked and enjoys all-round exposure to daylight from one or more sides, this is a consideration to bear in mind in your home design.

Sun damage to fabrics

One disadvantage of too much sun is ultraviolet light and its potential to damage furniture and fabrics. Shading solutions offer protection here, but there is also glass designed to prevent this. Using laminated glass with the right coatings can offer protection against sun damage.

Getting more natural light in a house – conclusion and summary

Choosing the right doors and windows with the right home design can be transformational in getting more natural light in a home. It is not just about the glazing element. Your choice of interior decor, building materials, accessories and even the room layout are all relevant to getting lighter, brighter spaces and ensuring your rooms provide the right level of interior comfort and enjoyment in use.

The rooms in question are also worth thinking about. Open-plan spaces are fantastic, but designed too bright, they can interfere with working, everyday tasks such as cooking and can make the room hard to use for just sitting in during the day.

Today’s modern aluminium windows and doors are designed to give you the best possible experience in terms of sizes, styling, overall sightlines, functionality and getting more natural light in a house. You can contact us for product advice, companies offering supply only or supply and fit windows and doors, and we can help you choose the best products for your project from the right suppliers.