In this day and age, there is no shortage of cost-effective, environmentally sound ways to keep our homes lit. Since the days of Thomas Edison, we have seen a constant stream of new innovative lighting technologies hitting the market, and there is little reason to think these developments will stop anytime soon. The greatest source of light, however, has been around long before Edison, and exists naturally in our world. Or, to be more specific, our solar system. I am talking, of course, about the sun.
Living in England, we can sometimes tend to forget that the sky can be a bright, opulent source of plentiful natural light, and really, who can blame us? With grey clouds roaming above us for months on end, finding proper sunlight can be elusive. Still, contrary to popular belief, we do some sunshine from time to time, and I think it’s important for people to optimise their homes in order to capitalise on this.
When talking about harnessing natural light these days, the vast majority of people will immediately think of solar energy, and for good reason – solar energy is important today, and will almost certainly become increasingly important in the coming decades. In areas without plentiful sunlight, however, solar panels are often seen as an expensive luxury, rather than a practical necessity.
Even in these areas, however, natural light can play a prominent role in our homes. In fact, it’s been playing a prominent role in homes for as long as homes have existed. I’m talking about windows, folks.
“Everybody has windows, Richard! Who cares!?”
The first point is certainly true, but not all windows are created equal. Ignoring aesthetics for a moment, the size, shape and location of windows can make a huge difference when it comes to the way a home is lit. For the purposes of this article, I would like to focus on the lantern, which I believe to be a great, but underutilised, light source in Stafford and the surrounding area.
Take, for example, this home my team and I recently worked on, at 29 Little Tixall Lane, pictured in the photographs accompanying this piece.
This job, which we obtained off a referral, was done for a lovely couple looking to update their house, and as you can see in the photos, we did quite a bit of work here. Our primary job was converting the area into more of an open plan, which we did by knocking through the rear wall and extending the home into the backyard. Additionally, we converted the garage into a study/office and added aluminium bifold doors to the rear off the kitchen.
But back to the light, so to speak.
My favourite addition we made to here was the lantern we installed in the kitchen. As you can see in the attached ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos, this really increases and improves the natural light in the kitchen area. This would have been even more pronounced if the weather had have cooperated a bit more, but nevertheless the positive benefits are still easily visible. A lantern is certainly something I would, and do, recommend people install in their residences.
In addition to the kitchen lantern, the property has the previously mentioned bifold doors, as well as other large windows, including one on the dormer roof upstairs (dormers also being a great source of light). Though the sunny days may be few and far between here, when the sun is shining the residents of 29 Little Tixall Lane will be sure to get their share of natural light.