How to create a light-filled home

Whether it is a renovation, an extension or a complete new-build, creating a finished home filled with natural light starts with the design. Edward Stobart of IDSystems explains more

We know that bright, light-filled spaces within a home are appealing – but why? It is only in the past couple of generations that artificial light has become the predominant source of lighting in our homes. For almost all of the evolution of the human body, our ancestors relied on natural light and our bodies are programmed to be drawn to natural light as a result.

Exposure to sunlight prompts our bodies to produce vitamin D and serotonin. Vitamin D can impact our emotional balance, reduce fatigue and boost our physical health, while serotonin is a hormone associated with wellbeing.

With the British climate as it is, maximising the amount of natural light that enters our home all year around is crucial – especially during the winter months when it can feel like it barely gets light at all – so designing living spaces that draw light both into and through the home is a key design consideration.

How do I draw more light into my home?

Glazed doors 

With narrow profiles and large panes of glass, aluminium-framed sliding doors have become a hugely popular option over the past decade.  Not only do the doors draw light into the home, they also allow for almost uninterrupted views out – breaking down the boundaries between inside and out.

Bifold doors are ideal for those who want to completely open up an aperture and step out into the garden on warm sunny days. With wider frames and smaller panes of glass they let in slightly less light in comparison to sliding doors but their ability to extend your living space out onto the patio has proven a huge draw for those planning a project.

Slide & turn doors provide narrow frames like sliding doors, but with the ability to stack the panels completely to one end like bifolds and have become a hugely popular option for those wanting the best of both systems.


When we think of windows it is typically the traditional casement window split into sections with one (or more) opening sashes, but window design has come on so far that larger and larger openings can be catered for. 

Fixed frame picture windows are perfect for drawing more light into a home, particularly on extension and renovation projects, and can be ideally suited for loft conversions, allowing views out over the rooftops while increasing the amount of light that enters the new attic rooms.

Glass roofs, rooflights & lanterns

Particularly important for extension projects, glass roofs, rooflights and lanterns are great at drawing light further into a home.

One thing to consider when planning an extension is not creating a bright, contemporary new living space, but leaving the rooms on the existing structure darker and less inviting now that they are further from the exterior of the home.

Adding rooflights, lanterns or a glass roof to an extension design pulls light deeper into a structure, enabling every room in the house to be filled with natural light – wherever it is in the house.

Internal glazing

Having designed your doors, windows and glass roofing to maximise the amount of light, one of the key glazing options that is often overlooked is how to draw the light throughout the home.

Internal glazed doors or glass partitions are an ingenious idea because they allow the light to spill through the house while still creating an effective divide between rooms.

Internal glazed doors offer a permanent solution whereas glass partitions can be designed to slide into place when needed but be moved back when not – ideal for dividing up open-plan living spaces if you want to create individual areas within your new home. 

Front doors

Often overlooked when it comes to drawing light into a house, glazed front doors (or front doors with glazed elements or sidelight windows) can be a great solution for creating light-filled hallways and entrances – ideal for a real wow-factor first impression for visitors.

For those concerned about privacy, satin or obscured glass is an option because it lets light in without allowing passers-by to see into your home.

Will large amounts of glass not overheat my house?

As glass and glazing technology has developed, so the size and quantity of glazing that is designed into homes has increased. Where once the back of a house would have been windows and perhaps a set of French doors, more recently, the whole ground floor elevation has been designed as glazing. 

This has led to fears that houses could overheat with temperatures expected to rise over coming decades, so Building Regulations for new build homes have been updated to include Part O which covers the mitigation of overheating.

Even for those planning an extension or renovation, fitting windows and doors on south-facing elevations with solar control glass is something to consider. Solar control glass features a special coating that is designed to reduce the amount of heat that passes through the glass by reflecting and absorbing some of the sun’s rays. 

Edward Stobart is sales manager at IDSystems