Let there be light
We intuitively understand that natural light enhances our productivity at work, but how often do we think about how the lighting in our home affects our health?
Research has found that access to daylight in schools can boost student test scores, reduce the time patients spend in hospital and even increase retail sales at the till.
Living in a home with plenty of natural light can have a positive influence on everything from our mood and mental health to our sight and sleep cycles.
Natural light is an important source of Vitamin D – an essential building block that helps the body absorb calcium and fight certain types of cancers, heart disease, depression and weight gain.
Access to natural light also lowers the risk of shortsightedness in children and young adults by encouraging the eye produce dopamine.
The amount of sunlight we get each day also affects the quality of our sleep. Direct sunlight, especially early in the morning for at least half an hour, is the best bet for good shuteye.
And natural light is also the best defence against a type of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder. Scientists believe that serotonin, or the ‘happy hormone’, increases when nights are short and days are long. Just 30 minutes a day in the sunshine can lift the spirits.
Tony Perrin lives in the Luminaire apartments in Adelaide’s Bowden development. Luminaire, and every other apartment within Bowden, has been designed to achieve a 5 Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.
Tony’s apartment is flooded with natural light, and he says this is one of the design elements that attracted him to his home.
“It’s a wide and shallow apartment with lots of floor to ceiling glazing that looks out onto a courtyard.”
Tony says Renewal SA’s masterplan ensured that each building has good access to natural light. And then his apartment has also been cleverly designed to make the most of nature’s assets.
“My apartment’s design means it doesn’t get ridiculously hot in summer, and is easy to heat in winter without spending a fortune on electricity.”
But Tony says Luminaire’s sustainable design isn’t just good for the environment.
“I feel my apartment offers a good quality of living. The natural light, together with the fact that I can walk everywhere and am in a community I love, gives me both physical and mental benefits. It’s just a great place to live.”