The Impact of Roof Design on Interior Lighting and Ambience

Brad Smith
Written By Brad Smith

Lighting has a part to play on how we all feel on a daily basis since it impacts mood and productivity a great deal. Roof design is hugely instrumental in affecting the quality of interior lighting and the ambience is dependent on the style of roof adopted. 

the impact of roof design on interior lighting and ambience

Why Is Interior Lighting Important?

No space can be considered artfully designed if it does not pay attention to the sources of light. A major component of interior lighting is how natural light is utilized and a large part of how sunlight streams into a space is through the roof. The roof design can be adapted to maximize the sunlight entering a home especially in sunny or tropical locations. Great interior lighting can improve mood and motivation levels and emphasize the décor pieces in any space like paintings or fine furniture. 

Partial Exposure 

Certain roof designs may choose a large portion of the house to be open to the sun through giant skylights or glass roofs. Glass roofs have evolved significantly in the last many years and they are quite weather and weight resistant although they are preferred for warmer areas with less incidence of rain, hail and snow. The glass can also be tempered to make it stronger and tinted so that sunlight slightly enters and does not in fact heat up the whole space. The idea is never to increase the need for air conditioners bit rather to enjoy the sunlight in a manageable fashion. 

In partial glass roofs, the rest might be reserved for solar paneling so that the power of the sun can be harvested. This step adds insulations to the buildings, lessening energy bills and providing free electricity. In a roof that is partially open to the sunlight, certain mechanisms may be installed to provide less exposure if needed such as a roof panel that covers up the glass when required. 

Style And Beauty

Roof designs that allow you to stare up at the sky at night or day are very stylish and can be a defining feature in modern, luxury homes. Roof design that is more unusual is often a staple in custom luxury homes because it allows both the interior and the exterior of the house to appear impressive and unique. 

Luxury lake houses for example use glass roofs and very tall windows to maximize on the view surrounding them which also lends itself to the value of the home. A roof that affects interior lighting and creates an ambiance of openness and refreshment will not soon be forgotten by guests and visitors, and houses like these tend to rank higher in curb appeal and market value. A Cape Coral roofing contractor can advise you on the type of roof that will work well for your style of house.

Light-Oriented Roof Design And Energy Savings

Having a roof design that contributes greatly to the availability of interior lighting means less energy has to be consumed in using artificial lights during the day. In sunny areas, the days tend to be longer so the energy savings will follow into the early evening hours. Not to mention how gorgeous the night sky looks at night especially if you are in your main living area or bedroom and enjoying a movie or book. 

Clerestory designs in houses also allow more light to enter the home and these designs involve windows being placed close to the roof. Apart from the energy savings, a well-lit environment usually has an uplifting effect and also one that corrects the natural circadian rhythm in the body. Our bodies are designed to respond to light and an abundance of sunlight can prompt us to be less depressed and to jump into a productive phase, doing tasks we might otherwise have been putting off. That’s why they say to open the curtains every morning and start your day off right! 

One With Nature 

An open roof design brings an opportunity to enjoy nature on a daily basis. The presence of trees and vegetation will bounce off the natural light entering the home and create pleasing and calming shadows. This influences the ambiance of the home especially if you are an enthusiast of greenery and plants and happen to keep indoor varieties as well. 

Open roof designs can create a feeling of harmony and being one with nature simply because you can see a lot more of it from inside the house and as the day goes on, the light of the sun will change creating new hues and shades from the foliage. This stunning effect can be paired with more Zen interior design concepts such as having neutral furniture and maybe an indoor fountain or pond to catch the light. If you have any particular landmarks near your property then an open roof design will let you appreciate it more! 

Using Task Lighting 

Task lighting is a concept used primarily in interior design and it means creating little spaces of awareness and illuminance so they stand out from the rest of the layout. Task lighting can be incorporated in your roof design with the use of strategically placed skylights so that only certain areas of your home light up and draw the eye. Task lighting can create an alluring ambiance by creating shadows in a space coupled with sharp bursts of light. Little reading nooks can be created where light is more abundant and day beds where shadows are created for napping during the day. 


Roof design affects how an entire house looks and feels as it moderates temperature, protects against the weather, looks beautiful inside out and has a host of other functions. The concept of interior lighting however is an interesting take on how roofs can be designed to let in more light and brighten up any space or multiple rooms. The choice of roof design towards this end depends on climate, location, personal preference, lifestyle, size of the house and many other considerations. Glass roofs and open roof designs are harder to maintain and keep clean and may even be unsuitable for certain areas where extremes of weather are commonly found. 

smith brad omni

Written by Brad Smith

CEO & Lead Interior Designer

Brad Smith is an experienced interior designer and the founder of With a Master's degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute and a passion for creating safe and healthy living spaces, Brad shares his expert insights and innovative design ideas with our readers. His work is driven by the belief that home is where every story begins.