Who left the light on?
Does that sound familiar? It does in my house, I could spend hours walking from room to room as one of my children has invariably forgotten to turn the light off when they leave a room. But its not just evenings and night-time this happens, I’m always surprised how often we all use light switches in the daytime, to boost a dull morning or a grey sky.
But turning off the lights is a growing movement, given much press in recent weeks as individuals, businesses and cities in over 180 countries and territories spoke up for nature and inspire urgent action for the environment.
If we are all to use less electricity and encourage consumers to turn off the lights, then we need to look at ways to bring more natural light into our homes. This is something that the fenestration industry knows well, exciting glass and glazing innovation has produced some world class buildings from The Louvre in Paris to The Shard in London. Just about every city in the world embraces glass structures for their striking design and the natural light that floods into the building.
But if we look back in the history books, we can see that it took some time for our ancestors to use windows in their homes. From caves, to huts, to round houses, nothing more than a hole as an entrance existed. The ancient romans began using glass in their Italian villas over 2000 years ago and by the 17th century the UK saw orangeries inspired by Italian renaissance gardens. Their original use to house citrus fruits but later as a symbol of wealth and examples can still be seen at;
The Orangery at Kensington Palace (1704)
The Orangery at the Royal Botanic Garden in Kew (1761)
The Orangery at Margam Park in Wales (1787-1793)
Ham House (1670)
Image: Kew Gardens
Sun rooms, greenhouses, solarium or conservatories whatever way we describe the use of glass in a building the effects can be stunning. Look no further than;
Crystal Palace, built for London’s Great Exhibition of 1851 by Sir Joseph Paxton
Technically, a conservatory differs from an orangery in having more than 75% of its roof surface made from glass. By the 1980’s most home owners looked to add a conservatory to their property, but their was a problem, often too cold in winter and too hot in summer, it became a cheap way to add an extra room to a house but was not integrated well into the rest of the home.
Thankfully most consumers understand the value of architect led designs and are much more likely to use a professional design service before making a costly home improvement mistakes. If your at the design stage of your project consider adding an Aspire Rooflight into your extension, not only will is look modern and stylish you will also be flooding your home with natural light and maybe you might not need to turn those lights on quite so often.