Many people do not fully appreciate the significance of the direction in which a house faces. Estate agents will point out a south-facing garden and most people understand why this is appealing, but the importance of light is generally not understood.
The sun sets in the west
Many people are delighted to discover that the garden of the house they are planning on buying has a garden which faces west. This means that the sun will set in that direction and so the patio will be bathed in sunlight on summer evenings. However, the corollary of this is that the garden will receive little or no sunlight in the mornings, even in the height of summer. Furthermore, winter evenings will see the sun dip below trees our houses long before it reaches the westernmost point on the horizon. You might have very little light in your garden for much of the year. As well as being unappealing, this can also make it difficult to grow many types of plants, which might be disappointing if you were looking forward to having a beautiful garden.
Natural light indoors
But there’s more to this than just sitting outdoors. We always need light, even when we’re indoors and you’d be amazed how dark a room can become if it faces in the wrong direction. In the west-facing garden example, rooms at the back of the house will be decidedly gloomy until halfway through the day, at which point the east-facing rooms in the front of the house will start to grow dark.
If your house is detached or semi-detached and you have windows on the south wall, this isn’t so much of a problem, but if you only have north-facing windows on the side wall or you live in a terrace, you may well struggle for light – and not just in winter.
Tackling the gloom
Of course not all of us can live in houses with the optimum aspect. Most people have to compromise to some degree and some of us to a great extent. In this situation, you will have to try and do what you can with artificial light and indeed every home should take this seriously, because it isn’t daytime all the time.
The best piece of advice would be to have multiple light sources including LED lighting, in any room in which you spend a reasonable amount of time. As well as providing you with flexibility, it also allows for a softer lighting effect. Rely on one, bright bulb in the middle of the ceiling and you will end up with harsh shadows in places. However, if you have multiple light sources, this can be avoided. You can also have lower lighting when you feel like creating a different mood.
Lighting doesn’t need to be hard wired into the structure of the building. Plenty can be achieved with lamps. For example, floor lamps offer fantastic light without taking up useful table space, while lighting built into furniture is another great option. Unless you are sleeping, you need light, so take it seriously and think about what you can do to improve things in your home.
About the Author
Alan Richards was struggling to read in his front room even with the main light on. He therefore invested in a floor lamp from www.cultfurniture.com .