As pretty as that first snowfall is, we can all agree that sometimes, winter seems too long and too dreary. If you live in the northern climates, chances are you’re familiar with the way your mood dips due to lack of sunlight. Staying indoors can also have an effect on your mood, and cold weather isn’t exactly welcoming for outdoor activities.
No matter how much you love winter sports, a good chunk of your winter life is spent inside. So the best thing to do is find ways to add some sunlight indoors. With these seven tips, you can maximize your sunlight exposure, even in the harshest winter months!
Take the Screens Off Your Windows
Taking the screens off your windows will increase the sunlight coming in by about 30%. Screens are great for keeping bugs out in the summer, but they don’t do much to keep the heat in, so you may as well remove them, and enjoy the sunlight you can get.
Screens can crack or damage in winter, so be sure to store them safely away from the weather. Taking window treatments down is also a great way to maximise sun exposure. Just make sure you’re not exposing yourself along with it! Get some blinds instead, to maximise light exposure without compromising privacy.
Go Lighter In Winter
Though you’ll want to cover up with heavy blankets and wool rugs, you should choose lighter colour schemes in winter. White walls and window treatments reflect more natural light. Blonde woods for your floors and furniture will do the same. Choose light colour schemes if you live in a colder climate, and you’ll maximize light even on your darkest days.
Keep Your Windows Clean
This is an easy one. Smudged glass reflects less light than clean glass, which means less light gets inside to brighten things up, or steal whatever warmth can be found outside. You’ve heard of spring cleaning, as it turns out, keeping things gleaming inside will help with your winter blahs, too.
Swap Your Bulbs
Replacing incandescent light with LEDs is not only better for the environment. Since LEDs mimic natural sunlight, they’re perfect for treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder, and great for winter in general. Choose a bulb rated 3500-4100K to get the natural effect of sunlight, without compromising your sleep cycle.
Use a Mirror To Bounce Light
Mirrors are great accessories for a lot of reasons. They can make a small room look larger. They’re also good for bouncing natural light. Angle mirrors so they reflect the light coming in from windows, and you can instantly double the amount of natural light in any room.
Trim Back Branches and Bushes
You might love that gorgeous old oak in front of your bedroom, window, but the foliage is costing you valuable sunlight. Even in the winter with the leaves off, the branches cut down on the amount of sunlight and warmth that comes in through your window. Regular winter pruning can help you maximize your light, without compromising on the health of your trees.
Use Reflective Surfaces
Your kitchen and bathroom are often the brightest rooms in your home. Make sure they absorb the most light, with a reflective backsplash. Glass or glossy ceramic are a great material for reflecting light. White subway tiles are another great option for backsplash material. It will reflect a lot more light than concrete or pallet wood.
We have a complicated relationship with winter. No matter how much you love winter sports, hot cocoa, and snuggling by the fire, it doesn’t make those long winter days, and nights any easier. During the darker months of the year, it can be hard to get enough sunlight to stay healthy.
It can disrupt sleep patterns, cause mood disorders, and even long-term health problems. But there are simple, inexpensive solutions to maximize the sunlight exposure in your home. By following these tips, you’re sure to drastically increase the sunlight, and the warmth, in your home, all year round.