Wondering how much sun your balcony gets?
It is understandable that many people want to make sure they are getting the most out of the little space they have, and that means finding out how much sun it gets.
For optimal sun exposure during each season of the year, balconies are designed facing south. East and west facing balconies will generally get less sun depending on the time of the day.
Since the amount of sunlight your balcony gets will vary based on the direction it faces, you will have to consider the positioning of your furniture, or plants, and other objects to maximize the amount of light you are able to get on your balcony.
Nearby buildings, tall trees, and the weather can also play a role.
Read More: Small Trees for Balconies
Sufficient sun exposure will allow you to enjoy the outdoors year round.
This guide will help you determine how much sun is on your balcony and the factors that affect it.
Related: How to Get More Sunlight on Balcony
The importance of sunlight
Roughly 40-50% of the sun’s rays are blocked by the atmosphere, which means the rest of them need to pass through it before they can reach Earth.
This is why in some places during wintertime, days can be so cold and overcast — there is not enough sunlight reaching ground level to raise the temperature and bring light to the area.
Because of this, many people think that their home does not receive enough sunlight.
It’s easy to see that some areas do not get much sun at all, like the interior of a city.
In some cases, these areas have to rely on artificial light to get anything like natural sunlight during the winter.
However, it is important to note that those parts of the Earth which are sunnier, and especially tropical areas, can receive all the light they need, even when the days are shorter in winter.
Generally speaking, we need sunlight for our health — both physically and mentally.
And if your home has a balcony, it can be a big help in this respect, as it is a source of natural sunlight which you can use to brighten up your room.
Better still, because a balcony is outdoors, it’s more likely to get more sun than an interior room.
What is a good amount of sunlight?
Climatologists have already done a lot of research regarding the amount of sunlight received on different areas of the Earth.
They have already done some research regarding what is a good amount of sunlight for your home to get.
According to the World Health Organization, the ideal amount of sunlight for humans is between 5 and 30 minutes per day.
As such, the average human requires approximately 10 to 20 minutes’ worth of midday sunlight each day for a fair complexion and to get enough vitamin D.
Sunlight is essential for human health, especially during winter months.
It helps regulate our circadian rhythms, which affects sleep patterns and moods.
The amount of sunlight we receive each day has a direct effect on our overall health and wellness.
In addition, the main reason people want to get more sunlight is to help them see better in their home. If a person can’t see clearly, they will have difficulty cooking, cleaning or even assisting others.
Furthermore, the eyes are extremely susceptible to oxidative conditions caused by direct sunlight.
Too much UV radiation from the sun can damage skin cells, causing premature aging and wrinkles. It can also trigger skin cancer.
How much sun do balconies get?
Generally speaking, it is true that balconies can get enough sunlight if they are positioned in the right way — usually, at the southern or southeastern corner of the building (in certain parts of the world).
What are some pros and cons of facing south?
While it’s true that you get abundance of light for the majority of the day, this can also ruin artwork and furniture. You might have to change the cushions which are on the couch or keep the curtains drawn to protect the furniture.
However, if you are keen on a balcony, the east or west is probably not ideal either. Many people have to suffer from the absence of the early-morning or the late afternoon sun.
If you have nothing to do during the day, it can be very hard to cope with this for too long of a period of time, especially when you have to spend a lot of time indoors.
On the other hand, going south or north means that your balcony will actually get some shade from the sun.
For visibility reasons, a balcony would be a good place for you to get more sunlight coming through to your indoor space.
The average size of a balcony is 4 feet-by-9 feet, which makes it relatively easy to get natural light into your home — especially if you set up a skylight in your house or consider installing a solarium.
Furthermore, if your home has a balcony, this generally means it is located outside or on the façade of the main building.
So not only will you get more sunlight in general, but you will also be able to enjoy it without having to worry about the extra light being a nuisance.
How much sun balconies get depends a lot on the following factors:
- Time of the day
- The orientation of your balcony
- Any obstructions like buildings, structures or trees nearby
- The color of your balcony walls and ceiling
- The presence of privacy screen or balcony cover like faux ivy panels and boxwood hedges.
- The type of glass used in your windows
- Drying clothes on the balcony
Assess the amount of sunshine your balcony receives!
Evaluating how much sunlight your balcony gets should be an important part of planning your outdoor living area.
This will allow you to decide whether or not you need to install additional fixtures, accessories or just make changes to your current setup.
You may find that you’re getting plenty of natural light already, so there isn’t really any need to invest in expensive equipment.
However, if your balcony doesn’t receive enough sunlight, then you should definitely think about adding something to help bring in more light.
There are many ways to achieve this, including installing a solar lamp, installing a skylight or removing awnings.
In addition, you can also use artificial lighting to supplement what the sun provides.