<h2 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt"><font size="3" color="#990000">Designing with natural light: Good for your health and your wallet</font></h2><p><span style="line-height: 200%; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif’; letter-spacing: 1pt; font-size: 10pt">(ARA) – Nowhere does the green movement and uplifting design meet and marry better than in the concept of "daylighting" – bringing natural light into a space to both brighten it and reduce dependence on electric lighting. Decorating and designing with natural light is not only energy efficient, but psychologically beneficial as well.</span></p><span style="line-height: 200%; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif’; letter-spacing: 1pt; font-size: 10pt"><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">A number of studies have linked ample exposure to daylight to multiple emotional and physical health benefits, including improved learning in students, reduced Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in adults, and improved cognitive and motor skills in older people. And by using less electric lighting in favor of more natural light, you can cut energy bills and reduce your home’s impact on the environment.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">If you’re into the idea of daylighting, be sure to consider how any design or decorating change you make will affect the quantity and quality of natural light entering your home. You can increase the amount of natural light your home receives in a number of ways. Some are as simple as replacing heavy, light-blocking drapes with lighter sheer curtains that allow in more light. </p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">When it comes to providing all the benefits of natural light – in terms of both energy and design – it’s hard to beat the impact of energy efficient skylights.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">"I love the drama of skylights," says Priscilla Ulmann, founder of the New York design firm Scott-Ulmann Inc. "There’s nothing like walking into a room drenched in natural light with a view to the sky."</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">While it’s possible to do an adequate job of naturally lighting your home through ample, well-placed doors and windows, "if you really want to add beauty, style and better lighting to your home, lift your spirits and visually expand your rooms, consider the additional natural light that skylights can provide," advises Joe Patrick, senior product manager for VELUX America, makers of Energy Star-qualified skylights.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><strong>Consider these advantages of skylights:</strong></p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">* They provide abundant natural light. Because skylights channel sunlight from above, they are unobstructed by trees or other buildings. You get the full effect of natural light flooding a room – but at your complete discretion. Accessories like built-in blinds or shades make it possible to control exactly how much natural light enters through your skylight.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">* They solve a number of design problems, like how to get more natural light into a bath or bedroom – two spots in the house where you want both light and privacy. If you’re finishing an attic to improve your home value or give your family more space, adding a skylight or roof window to the existing roof is more cost-effective than adding a dormer to accommodate windows. In kitchens, venting skylights not only brighten the mood of the room, they are a great way to naturally vent cooking odors, heat and moisture from the room. Finally, skylights allow you to naturally light a room without sacrificing any space that you may need for storage units, furniture or fixtures.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">* Skylights can be a healthy, cost-effective alternative to electric light. Not only do they provide the benefits of natural light, once installed they cost little if anything to operate. Venting skylights are an energy efficient alternative to venting fans for removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs), odors and humidity from rooms. </p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"> </p><div style="text-align: center"><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,29,0" width="425" height="282"><param name="movie" value="../images/banners/8c.swf" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="menu" value="false" /><param name="wmode" value="" /><embed src="../images/banners/8c.swf" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="282"></embed></object></div>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Now it’s possible to reap all the benefits of having skylights in your home without the worry of leaks. "Quality units offer matched, pre-engineered flashing kits for shingles, tile or metal roofing materials," says VELUX’s Patrick. "They are designed and engineered to prevent leaks over the full life of the roof and, properly installed, simply don’t leak." In fact, VELUX markets an Energy Star-qualified product line dubbed the "No Leak Skylight."<span>  </span></p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">You can learn more about the benefits of natural light and how to select the right skylight for your needs at <a href="http://www.veluxusa.com/">www.veluxusa.com</a> . Or call (800) 283-2831. For government information on window and skylight energy efficiency, visit <a href="http://www.energystar.gov/">www.energystar.gov</a> , and for independent agency information visit <a href="http://www.nfrc.org/">www.nfrc.org</a>  or <a href="http://www.efficientwindows.org/">www.efficientwindows.org</a> .</p>  <p><span style="line-height: 200%; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif’; letter-spacing: 1pt; font-size: 10pt">Courtesy of ARAcontent</span></p></span>