Why light is the key to making the most of your roof space

BY Allconnect Inc | Sun Jan 11, 2015
Need for abundant light in the home
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Roof conversions are a great way to enhance your new home, whether you’re thinking about adding that little bit of extra space to make family life less confined, a whole new bedroom when siblings have outgrown the bunk beds, a quiet office space away from the hustle and bustle, or finally getting that home gym you have always dreamed of.

Once you have made the decision to go ahead, it’s vital to start planning how you will you will go about lighting the space; no matter how big or small, how ambitious or simple, considered use of light – both natural and artificial – is the make or break when it comes to making the most of a roof space.

There are many reasons to prioritize the need for abundant light in the home, particularly in converted lofts that may struggle to receive enough.

A well-lit room can reveal the true potential of a space, creating a welcoming and attractive area that contributes to the overall value of the property. You’ll find individuals and families will gravitate away from darker rooms in favor of pleasantly bright spaces; the installation of a larger roof window could transform a wasted and underused part of the house into a new hub. It’s also the most effective way to create the illusion of a bigger, more spacious room.

Read on for tips on how to successfully light your roof space to maximum effect.

Natural light

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There is a whole host of scientific evidence that proves the health benefits of higher levels of exposure to natural light. It improves a child’s concentration and academic performance, encourages our bodies to produce Vitamin D, strengthening our immune systems  and a lack of it can even lead to a clinically diagnosed condition that leaves people feeling ill or depressed.

The good news is that a window on a pitched roof can let in up to 50% more light than a standard window. A general rule for roof lights is to cover no more than 20% of the roof space floor to avoid them dominating the look of your roof from outside.

A brilliant choice for loft conversions is dormer windows.  These are vertical windows with a roof of their own, positioned, at least in part, within the slope of the roof. They increase head room and floor space, and let in a huge amount of light, as well as adding another architectural element and therefore some interest to the view of the house from outside.
You can even choose to turn your dormer window into a Juliette balcony, adding a real touch of luxury to your loft conversion and enabling you to let in masses of light via glass doors.

Artificial light

Once you’re happy you have got the most out of any available natural light, it’s time to move on to artificial light. Whether or not you feel this is required during the day, despite your best efforts to install plenty of windows, artificial lighting will become the focus come night time. The more unusual shapes and layouts of loft spaces mean that well thought-out placement of warm, cosy lights can make your room really special, casting shadows and creating comfy nooks.

Floor and desk lamps work well for spots where you need focused-task lighting, like on a desk, beside a bed or above a snug chair to make it a perfect reading nook. You may find you’re slightly restricted when shopping for free-standing lamps if the sides of your room are significantly slanted or low.

Halogen spotlights are modern and attractive and are known for their brilliant brightness that mimics daylight, and spotlights are also ideal when you would prefer to free up space for other features. Recessed LED fixtures are another ideal option, their best selling point being they stay cooler than other types of lighting so you don’t have to worry about the room becoming too warm. Mix things up and line them along the floor for a creative alternative.

Further tips

When deciding on a color scheme, stick to creams, peaches and icy blues; paler shades help to maintain the illusion of a bigger area. They are more reflective, which really capitalizes on all the natural light you have managed to lure into the room, and help generate a sensation of openness.

Think about fixing up a mirror or two. Mirrors are wonders when it comes to light reflection and are masters of deception when it comes to faking a bigger space.

Try not to overcrowd your windows with heavy curtains or bold accessories, keeping the walls less cluttered and allowing as much light to enter through them as possible.

There are so many options for a converted loft space. Get inspired, make it your own, and never forget the golden rule: light is key.

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