What is natural light in interior design

natural light


Let’s understand the types of lighting and lighting standards for living spaces.

In this article, we will talk about an interesting topic – discuss natural and artificial lighting. We’ll break down the rules and regulations that should be followed when developing a lighting design. You will learn how much light you need for comfortable living in an apartment.

What is natural light

Natural light – the rays of the sun penetrating into the room. Such streams are comfortable for the eyes and fill rooms with an atmosphere of coziness. 

To “let” more light into the rooms, professionals study the design features of buildings and try to take into account all factors. It is important to know how to divide natural light systems. Conventionally, we can distinguish three types:

  • Top: sunlight streams into the rooms from openings in the roof. However, this option is only possible for single-storey buildings. 
  • Lateral: streams enter the rooms through openings in the walls of the building, that is, through windows. This is the most common way to light the rooms.
  • Combined: the rays fall both from above and from the side. Optimal variant of light, but implemented only in single-storey buildings or on the upper floors of multi-storey buildings.

The level of natural light can vary considerably even during the day. It is ideal if the windows in the room are on two opposite walls. In this case, there is a chance to catch more sunlight, even if external factors interfere.

Natural light for comfortable living

Human health and mood are directly dependent on the quality of lighting. Everything plays a role: the direction of light, color rendering, the amount of light flux. Therefore, professionals have provided a few rules that builders of modern buildings rely on. Basic requirements:

  • The distance between windows should not exceed one and a half meters.
  • Rooms should be designed so that all rooms receive direct sunlight for at least 2.5 hours a day.
  • The optimum size of a single window is 1/5 of the room area.
  • The higher the ceilings in the building, the higher from the floor the windows should be placed.

If there are several rooms in a house or apartment, at least 60% of them should be well lit. Depending on the level of natural light, it is necessary to think about the purpose of the rooms. The higher the attendance, the more light should be available.

The advantages of natural light over artificial light

You already know what natural light is in a room. What remains to be figured out is what its advantages are over artificial lighting. Here are a few factors:

  • Sunlight doesn’t produce flicker, so it doesn’t add to the strain on your vision. 
  • Efficient use of natural light can reduce energy costs by 60-80%.
  • Natural streams are perceived without color distortion.

However, you can not do without artificial light sources, because the sun’s rays disappear in the evening. In the afternoon the rooms will be brighter thanks to properly chosen lamps. 

The concept and basic types of artificial lighting

Artificial room lighting is achieved with the help of lighting devices: chandeliers, floor lamps, lamps, sconces and many others. To create a comfortable atmosphere in the room, experts carefully plan the layout of the elements. There are three types of lighting:

  • General (top, central): lighting devices are placed along the perimeter of the ceiling. Artificial rays are evenly dispersed throughout the room. 
  • Local (zonal, working): additional light sources are placed in areas where increased illumination is needed. For example, near the kitchen or work table.
  • Decorative: interior objects are emphasized by light in order to present them in a better position.

Typically, the living space is organized combined lighting – a combination of general and local. This scheme allows you to concentrate light streams in all corners of the room.

What is called combined lighting

Many people wonder what a combination of natural and artificial light is called. It is called “combined lighting”.

The system means that the lack of natural light will be made up for by artificial light. Such a scheme is necessary in wide high-rise and single-story buildings, the windows of which receive little sunlight. 

Decorative interior light

Decorative lighting is not particularly functional, but creates a unique atmosphere in the room. Options for implementing the idea:

  • Retro-lamps – light fixtures designed in original glass flasks with an “antique” design. They can be placed both on the ceiling and on the walls. Especially effective looks suspended “bouquet” of such lamps.
  • LED strip – a decorative lighting element, which is often used for contour lighting of objects and structures. You can choose a certain shade of glow and adjust the brightness of the streams.
  • Garlands – a design of small bulbs that emit monochrome or colored streams. Many people are accustomed to using such devices as holiday decorations, but they may well take a permanent place in the interior.
  • Neon elements – light compositions made of curved tubes filled with gas. Such decor looks stunning against the background of dark wall decoration.
  • LED lighting for mirrors and paintings – special fixtures that are attached directly to the elements of the decor. They emit soft streams, due to which the accessories stand out in the interior.

If you think carefully about the composition, creative lighting will add a highlight to the interior of the rooms. You can turn into reality the idea of creating light elements with their own hands. You will get a unique design, which is sure to be no one else.

natural light

How to calculate the rate of artificial lighting in the room

It is also necessary to calculate the indicator of luminous flux, which is measured in lumens. To get the number, you can use the formula: A * B * C. Deciphering:

  • A – the norm of illumination of the room.
  • B – area of the room in square meters.
  • C – the coefficient of ceiling height.

Let’s deal with the summand C. If the ceiling height to 2.7 m, the coefficient is 1.0. At 2.7-3.0 m – 1.2. At 3.0-3.5 m – 1.5. If the ceiling height is greater than 3.5 m, the number 2.0 should be included in the formula.

Working on the organization of the optimal level of lighting – a complex and ambiguous task. However, it must be solved independently or with the help of specialists. But then you can enjoy the comfort without fear of spending evenings in semi-darkness.