Natural Lighting for the Dark Corners of Your Home

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for Direct from the Designers™

Everybody has experienced a home or room that just seems dark. Sometimes it’s due to the house’s design, how it’s oriented on its lot, or because surrounding features block out the sun. No matter the case, there are ways you can brighten your interior naturally! Here are some sunny solutions that’ll completely transform dark corners throughout the house.

VELUX Sun Tunnel Skylights

These aren’t your standard recessed ceiling lights—they’re Sun Tunnel™ Skylights that reflect sunlight from the roof down into the house, so there’s no need to waste electricity lighting your home during the day. And with the Solar Night Light Kit, you can get free light at night, too!

Flexible Faux Lights

When faced with dark spaces, most homeowners opt for lamps and then consider wiring for overhead lighting when they fail to brighten the whole room. Tricky places like interior hallways, closets, and staircases often pose a problem, too. If you’re willing to cut into the ceiling, you might as well harness the free sunlight that otherwise goes to waste on the roof! Sun Tunnels transport light from the roof, capturing and channeling it through a highly reflective tunnel so it shines down where you need it. They’re relatively inexpensive and simple to install, but they can make a huge impact inside.

Sun Tunnel skylights can circumvent attic obstructions to bring sunlight to rooms below. You can choose to have a pitched dome on top, which sits parallel to the flat ceiling below to capture the most sunlight, or a low-profile flat glass lens that sits flush with the roof. You also have your choice of diffusers for the inside, so you can modify the light for the space. Sun Tunnel skylights have a clean, minimal look, but you can dress them up by choosing from six decorative films for a fun style pop on the ceiling.

VELUX "Solar Powered Fresh Air" Skylight

Imagine how much darker that shower would be without the skylight overhead! In this arrangement, Solar Powered “Fresh Air” Skylights can also contribute by venting steam much more efficiently than a fan, and without any wiring, either. Learn more in Reasons to Love Solar-Powered Skylights.

Skylights Tailored to Your Space

Get creative with where you place your skylights. You could be able to fit a long, narrow skylight where you wouldn’t expect, or you may have a spot where a single large square skylight would offer the best solution. Consider placing skylights near a wall to let natural light highlight artwork. Or remember the night sky views they afford and look at installing them in the master bedroom, so you can gaze at the stars as you fall to sleep.

There's a common misperception that skylights can only be installed in vaulted ceilings, but they can bring light to rooms with flat ceilings, too. We love a good fresh air skylight in the bathroom where it can pull double duty by delivering natural light where it’s often dim and by opening to vent warm, moist air outside. Consider walk-in closets, too, because clothes can look completely different under different kinds of light, and it’s best to build an outfit under the natural stuff. Discuss your ideas with your builder and you may find other parts of the house that can be enhanced by skylights, too.

VELUX Fixed Skylights

Even outdoor spaces can be subject to dark corners. To brighten them up and the interior rooms adjacent, consider Fixed Skylights like these, which draw attention to the front entry, make it much more welcoming, and also contribute light to the interior indirectly.

Passive Light for Connected Exterior Spaces

Don’t overlook outdoor living spaces—especially if they connect directly to the main house! Extending the roof for everything from a simple covered porch to a full four-season room will cast the windows beneath in shadows. While this can be the goal in very hot climates, it isn’t necessary for the majority of us, and it will drastically reduce the amount of sunlight that can diffuse inside from a farther distance. Installing skylights in your patio roof allows adjacent interior rooms to borrow some of the natural light coming in through the skylights, in addition to brightening the patio space.

No matter the type of skylight(s) you have in mind, VELUX® can help! They offer everything from fixed to solar-powered skylights, Sun Tunnels, and even a variety of roof windows if you need another point of egress. Solar-powered products—including skylights, blinds, and a night light kit for Sun Tunnels—are eligible for a 26% federal solar tax credit on the product and installation through 2020, so now’s a great time to buy. Find a certified local installer to discuss the possibilities!

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