Harvest the power of sunlight

December 06, 2008


As concern over energy consumption grows, so does interest in the use of natural light to illuminate your work and living spaces. Here are a few tips:

· Proper harvesting of daylight involves enhancing and controlling it at different times of day. To maximize the benefits of natural light in your home, select window fashions that are ideal for moderating light levels and penetration.

Window treatments designed with a mix of sheer fabric and operable vanes softly diffuse sunlight through the sheer fabric, and the vanes can be adjusted to direct and draw the light deeper into the room. These include Pirouette(r) window shadings, which is an innovative new window fashion from Hunter Douglas that features soft, adjustable horizontal fabric vanes attached to a single sheer backing.


Other options include Silhouette(r) window shadings, showcasing two sheer facings with rotating fabric vanes suspended between them; and Luminette(r) Privacy Sheers, with a soft fabric sheer backed by rotating vertically oriented fabric vanes.

· Daylight should enter the space from as high a point as possible to penetrate deeply into a room. Choose window treatments that open from the top and stack at the bottom, thus allowing light to stream into a room from the top of the window.

· Apply low-cost dimmers to electric lights and turn them down or off when natural daylight is at peak levels. Moreover, dressing skylights with a highly insulating window fashion like the new super-energy-efficient Duette(r) Architella(tm) honeycomb shades, which feature a patented honeycomb-within-a-honeycomb design, can protect against heat loss in winter while shading rooms from noonday sun.

· Integrate window fashions into your home's automation system, and time them to open when sunlight is desired to illuminate and/or heat the room and close them when it's not.

· The direction your windows face determines how much natural light and heat enter a room and the quality of that light.

For example, since northern light is the coolest, clearest and most constant, treat these windows with insulating shades. Eastern light may render a room overly warm, so cut down on glare with materials that diffuse light.

Strong western light can damage furnishings, so you may want to cover windows with light-diffusing UV-ray protection treatments. Due to changing angles of the sun, south-facing windows receive a great deal of sunlight in winter, so opening your window fashions can warm an interior.

For more information, contact Hunter Douglas at (800) 274-2985 or visit

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