Improving light in your home during winter months can be done in several ways. At the more drastic end of the scale a builder might be involved. At the opposite end, just some detergent and vinegar.
Here are our top top tips;
- It might seem obvious, but make sure the windows are cleaned regularly, both inside and out. Smeared or dirty windows restrict light entering the home and it can make quite a difference. Use a light amount of detergent and warm water with a cloth to clean the windows and a squeegee blade to remove the water and stop spotting. Afterwards, use white vinegar in a spray dispenser and a dry and clean, lint free cloth to make them sparkle.
- Buy some lamps! Nothing makes a room lighter and warmer looking than the use of several different light sources. In addition to ceiling lights, consider using lamps both during the day and at night. If you fit LED bulbs electricity usage will be minimal.
- Buy brighter bulbs! Again, pretty obvious, but if your rooms are dark try out a more powerful bulb. Obviously, make sure that the wiring and rose are rated for the power you choose. If you use low power LED bulbs this will help reduce your electricity bill too. If a room is still too dark, consider changing the light colour from natural to bright. White lights are harsher, but brighter.
- Consider installing a Sunpipe or Velux Window into darker rooms. The sunpipe is a great way of introducing natural light to areas of your home with little natural light. They can be installed on a DIY basis if you know what you’re doing, but a good builder is probably worth engaging to save time and reduce potential hassle.
- Increase your window size, install new windows or build a conservatory. Modern conservatories can be installed quickly and are relatively well insulated. Remember, if your home has previously been extended or it is listed or in a conservation area, you will almost certainly require planning consent as well as building regulations. Always take expert advice before proceeding with a project of this size and never start works until you are confident you have all necessary consents and know which walls can be knocked down – and which can’t! Again, this is probably a specialist contractor’s job, so make sure you obtain at least three separate quotes.
- Trim or take down large trees in the garden. Good husbandry is a part of living in the country, but it’s no less important in the suburbs too. Most of us like seeing mature trees where we live, but this doesn’t mean that their size can’t be managed over time so as not to impose excessive shadow. In winter evergreens trees and bushes are the worst offenders. Make sure the tree is yours and that it is not covered by a TPO (Tree Preservation Order) before you employ an expert to cut it back / down.
The Winter in the UK and Northern Europe can be a gloomy place so a little imagination can help make the most of the little light we have. And don’t worry, Spring is just a few months away…