Harnessing from the Sun to brighten up your home | Long term savings

There are fixtures that you can take into consideration during renovation that can help to brighten up your home.

If your home is dim, then there are more long term costs that you would need to spend on lighting.

The following are 3 things we have implemented that really help to save cost on long term basis. And what’s better, maintenance would be via a free energy resource, ie the sun that is available to us. 

1. Transparent mosaic

When we build walls, we usually use bricks. However you replace certain areas which catches light with semi transparent mosaic like shown below:
These mosaics can be placed at higher areas that catches light. The mosaics  allow light to enter but is dense that details inside could not be seen (but silhouettes could still be seen).

2. Transparent roof tiles


The above has both the transparent ceiling tile, electric led light and solar light. The transparent ceiling panel helps to naturally brighten the corridor when there is sunlight. The solar light would light up at automatically at night. The electric light is used in case there is no sunlight.

Instead of having all tiles to be ceramic tiles, some homes would install transparent plastic roofing instead. And at the area where the transparent roofing is, the ceiling board consist of transparent sheet.

This enables the area to remain bright so long as there is sunlight. It is suited for installation along corridors or staircase of the home. In the picture below, the installation is done along a corridor where it overlooks a clear window into the dining room.


As the area can get hot as it catches direct sunlight, it is not advisable to install at the bedroom and bathroom (due to privacy purposes as well).

3. Solar light

Solar light is getting more popular as an environmentally friendly and energy saving resource. At our place, we have a few solar lights spotlight installed along the outer perimeters. And another solar powered light (non spotlight) at an internal corridor where the elderly may come out at night:

When purchasing a solar light, it is advisable to buy with the solar panel detached from the light. That means that both components can be separated but they are connected via a wire. This is to enable the panel to be installed at a higher place where it catches the maximum amount of sunlight. If the panel is next to the light, the sunlight absorbed may not be most optimum, rendering the light less bright.

In the case of a light we have in the corridor, we had a worker installed the solar panel on top of the roof and it connects via a wire to the indoor solar powered light.

Some solar lights come with a controller where it can be set to ‘Auto’, ie the light would come on automatically once it is dark. Most of these lights, after a full day’s charge can light an entire area for the whole night till the next morning.


The downside of a solar light is that it would not function if there is no strong sunlight such as on a cloudy and rainy day or during winter. You would then find the light to be very dim. Therefore you would still need electric lights just in case there are insufficient sunlight.

Another thing is the led light (in the solar light) may burn out after sometime due to long hours of use. Still, it usually last for a few months and the savings on electricity is mostly worth it. 

The above are some ideas that you may consider implementing in your home, office or store. There are many ways to create a brighter and well lit living and working area. I know of a beautiful home where tempered glass ceiling is build high up, allowing sunlight to pass through and enables an indoor garden to be set up right in the middle of the home. The ceilings are high enough that it is not hot or stuffy. This made the house constantly bright and the indoor garden is also therapeutic to its occupants.  

 

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