November 17, 2016

Let There be Light: The Sky's the Limit

There are 2 good investments I keep my eye out for. 1, short term, is to find the darkest period houses. The Georgian gems and Victorian terraces that give you eye strain almost the moment you enter. The other is long term: find nice country houses with stunning views blighted by power lines and towers. They'll bury them eventually. I hope.

Nearly everyone sights 'lots of natural light' as a key requirement of a new home. Georgian homes are popular purely because they have high ceilings which house large windows and let light flooding in. Because we have built up and around, many of these buildings core have become very dark and dingy. The stairwells aren't large enough for a skylight to flood light down, and the can be listed, so including a light shaft or well all the way down can be problematic.

 

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-13-17-27But your humble sun tunnel is an effective solution. Filters can be added to control the amount light you'd like, it's often better not to go too bright, as you want light to seep into the whole area, not beam down light a spotlight. Diffusers can also be used to achieve this. Some companies produce sun tunnels which sit flush on the roof and are therefor OK for conservation areas or listed buildings. They also come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and can be on rigid or flexible hose so that you can work around roof beams and existing infrastructure.

 

They are also available in narrow shafts, which you can box in and send down to rooms right in the centre of the building, or even as far as the basement. It is also possible to buy horizontal reflectors, so that you can place them on the sides of buildings

 

We have recently installed a set in a bathroom and utility room in our Regent's Park project. The sun tunnels allow you to use the room in the daytime without turning on the light, and help with the transition from the skylight filled landing, which is super bright and the bathroom.

 

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-13-18-05
The original inspiration. An image from Velux. 

in Interior Design, Design In Depth

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