The days are definitely shorter, which has me thinking about natural light and how to get more of it. With studies showing that people “perform” better under natural light settings, I decided to make mention of a cool concept that’s starting to filter into residential applications—translucent polycarbonate wall systems to replace traditional walls in a home. These walls permit natural light into the home, but boast higher R-values than traditional windows or skylights and reduce glare and solar heat gain. They are also highly impact resistant. This is the same material used for skylighting and daylighting walls and roofs in malls and office buildings. I’ve seen a couple architect-designed homes featuring this material, and the visual impact on the home’s interior is quite astonishing. Don’t forget the energy savings—more natural light means less electricity used to artificially illuminate the home. I don’t think the system would work as well in a colder climate, as the R-value just cannot compare to traditional walls and windows, but for those who are building a home somewhere with relative warmth (and light!), this is worth checking out. Let there be light!