9 Ways to Increase Natural Lighting in a Home

Increasing natural lighting in your home provides numerous benefits. More natural light improves mood, reduces eyestrain, and makes spaces feel more open and inviting. With some simple changes and additions, you can significantly boost the amount of natural light that enters your home. Here are 9 highly effective ways to increase natural lighting throughout your house.

Install Skylights

Skylights are an excellent way to introduce more natural light from above. These window-like installations in the roof allow sunlight to stream into the rooms below. Skylights come in many shapes, sizes, and styles to suit your needs.

When installing skylights:

  • Strategically place them above rooms and spaces that could use more brightness like hallways, staircases, and interior rooms.
  • Opt for tubular skylights or skylights with light shafts to distribute the light deeper into the room.
  • Use solar-powered skylights to provide natural lighting even on overcast days.
  • Install skylights on the north-facing side of the roof to get soft, even daylighting.

Properly installed, high-quality skylights can significantly boost the natural light in a room without excessive heat or UV ray penetration.

Upgrade Existing Windows

Replacing old or inefficient windows with new energy-efficient models allows more natural light to enter your home. When upgrading your windows:

  • Select windows with Low-E coatings that reduce UV and heat penetration while allowing light to pass through.
  • Choose windows made with high-visibility glass that does not distort or alter incoming light.
  • Opt for large window panes instead of dividers and mullions that obstruct light passage.
  • Install windows that extend all the way to the ceiling to maximize light entry.

Upgrading to the right windows can potentially double the amount of natural light entering through them.

Add More Windows

One of the simplest ways to usher in more natural light is by adding extra windows to your home. When planning new windows:

  • Determine which rooms get the least amount of sunlight during the day and could benefit from more windows.
  • Install windows on multiple sides of the room to allow light from different angles.
  • Place windows high on the walls to let in sunshine even when the sun is lower on the horizon.
  • Use wide windows, bay windows, or window walls to maximize light passage.

Strategically placing new windows in the right locations can significantly boost natural illumination.

Enlarge Existing Window Openings

Making existing window openings bigger is an effective way to allow more daylight into your home without the need to add new windows. When enlarging window openings:

  • Consult a structural engineer to ensure walls can accommodate larger openings.
  • Opt for expanding windows to the ceiling to maximize light entry from above.
  • Remove walls around windows to create window walls or bay windows.
  • Consider converting small windows into French doors or sliding glass doors.

Even modest enlargements of just a few inches around existing windows can make a noticeable difference in the amount of natural light that enters.

Install Translucent Window Treatments

Window treatments made of translucent fabric are a simple solution to allow light into a room while preserving privacy. Consider installing:

  • Sheer curtains made from lightweight fabrics like silk, linen, or voile.
  • Roller shades or Roman shades in illumination enhancing fabrics.
  • Soft white roller blinds that diffuse light effectively.
  • Natural bamboo shades that let filtered light through.

Properly selected window treatments can soften and distribute natural light evenly across rooms.

Use Mirrors to Reflect Light

Strategically placed mirrors can effectively bounce and reflect natural light to brighten up darker corners of rooms. When using mirrors to reflect light:

  • Position mirrors opposite windows to amplify incoming light.
  • Angle mirrors to direct reflected light to specific areas that need brightness.
  • Use large mirrors or groups of mirrors together to maximize reflective surface area.
  • Place mirrors along staircases, hallways, and entryways to distribute light.

Mirrors work best as a lighting strategy when they can directly catch and reflect sunlight shining in through windows.

Paint Interior Walls White or Light Colors

The color of your interior walls dramatically impacts the perception of brightness in a room. White or very light colors will make the most out of available natural light. When selecting wall colors:

  • Stick to soft whites, off-whites, or very light grays or beiges.
  • Avoid medium to dark paint colors that will absorb and dampen natural light.
  • Use matte or eggshell finishes rather than glossy paints that can create glare.
  • Repaint rooms with limited natural lighting first, then extend to other areas.

The increased reflectivity of pale wall colors will noticeably amplify and distribute natural light.

Remove Obstructions Near Windows

Sometimes all it takes to get better daylighting is removing objects, furniture, or overgrown vegetation obstructing outside light near windows. To maximize light entry:

  • Clear window sills and the surrounding areas of unnecessary decor and objects.
  • Move furniture away from windows to allow light to penetrate deeper into rooms.
  • Trim back bushes, trees, or overhangs outside that partially block or shade windows.
  • Replace room dividing screens or partitions that impede light flow with more open alternatives.

Keeping window areas clear and unobstructed on both sides will enable the maximum amount of natural light to come into your home.

Add Interior Skylight Domes or Tubes

In rooms without roof access, interior skylight domes or light tubes can mimic the effect of skylights by channeling natural light in through the roof or attic. To illuminate interior spaces using this technique:

  • Install a weatherproof skylight dome on the roof to capture sunlight from above.
  • Run reflective tubing between the roof dome through the attic to the desired interior ceiling location.
  • Diffuse the incoming light at the ceiling with an interior dome fixture.

Though not as effective as real skylights, these inexpensive light tunnel systems can significantly improve natural lighting in rooms without windows or roof access.

In Conclusion

The benefits of ample natural lighting for both physical and mental health are substantial. With creativity and smart home improvements, you can drastically increase the daylighting in your living spaces. Start with high impact upgrades like new skylights and windows, and supplement with reflectors, mirrors, and removing obstructions. With the nine tips above, you can make every room in your house brighter, more inviting, and filled with healthy, mood-lifting natural light.

Frequently Asked Questions About Increasing Natural Lighting at Home

How much more natural light will new windows add?

New energy efficient windows can potentially double the amount of natural light entering a room compared to old existing windows. Select windows with high-visibility glass, large pane sizes, and minimal dividers.

Where should I install skylights to maximize daylighting?

Install skylights above interior hallways, staircases, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and any dark isolated rooms. Optimal placement depends on roof direction – south facing roofs capture the most daylight.

Should I remove window blinds and shades to let in more light?

Not necessarily. Opt for translucent shades and blinds in light colors that diffuse and distribute natural light deeper into rooms while preserving privacy.

How often should I clean skylights and rooflights?

Clean skylights at least twice per year. Dust, debris, and buildup on the glass will reduce light transmission significantly over time. Be careful when cleaning skylights yourself or hire professionals.

How much space should I allow around windows when arranging furniture?

Allow at least 12-18 inches of clear space around all sides of windows for light to enter and reflect deeper into rooms. More space is better.

Should I install solar tubes or skylights in bathrooms?

Yes, solar tubes or skylights with humidity-resistant glass and proper ventilation can substantially increase natural light in bathrooms. Place them high on walls or ceilings.

Where should I position mirrors to reflect light from windows?

Place mirrors directly opposite windows, particularly on interior or partition walls that do not have windows. Angle slightly to bounce light into desired areas.

Will pale wall paint make a big difference in maximizing daylight?

Yes, white or off-white paint will substantially amplify and distribute natural light versus medium to dark colored walls. A soft white or beige is ideal.

How often should I trim vegetation blocking my windows?

Trim trees, bushes, and plants outside windows at least 2-3 times per year during the growing season. Even minor overgrowth can obstruct natural light passage over time.


Making small yet strategic upgrades to your home to increase natural lighting provides a wide range of benefits. Brighter, more inviting living spaces, improved energy efficiency, and better health and wellbeing are just some of the positives. Evaluate each room to determine where daylight is lacking, and implement the most appropriate solutions. With smart planning and design, your home can feel sun-filled, vibrant, and naturally bright all day long.