Which Backyard Sun Exposure Is Best For You?

October 12, 2023

Which Backyard Sun Exposure Is Best For You? - Featured Image

When it comes to your backyard, the sun is your best friend. Knowing which backyard sun exposure is best for you is important when it comes to selecting a lot for your new home and it’s a great starting point for any garden project. To get started, you’ll need to create a sun map of your garden space. This will help you determine the position of the sun in relation to your location and the time zone you’re in. 

The sun and garden map will also help you figure out how many plants you can fit in your garden beds, as well as the best times to plant them. For example, in the northern hemisphere, late winter and early summer are the best times to plant vegetables. If you’re in the southern hemisphere, late summer and early winter are the best times. Additionally, you can use the sun map to plan your crop rotation and decide which plants should be planted in the same family.

Keep reading to learn more about backyard sun exposure and what it means for your new home. 

Sun Maps: What You Need to Know

When it comes to gardening, the sun is your best friend. Knowing the position of the sun in relation to your garden is a great starting point for planning your vegetable garden. A sun map is a great tool to help you determine the best location for your garden beds and how many plants you can fit in the given space. 

The sun map will also help you determine the best time of day for your garden. Depending on your location and the time of year, the sun rises and sets at different times. Knowing the time of sunrise and sunset, as well as the times of nautical, astronomical and civil twilight, will help you plan your garden for the best sun exposure.

This is especially important during the summertime when the sun is at its highest point in the sky. So you get the earliest sunrise and latest sunset times of the year, maximizing the exposure on your garden beds.

The sun map is also useful for planning crop rotation. Knowing the sun’s position in relation to your garden will help you determine which plants should be planted in the same family in one season and which plants should be rotated in the late winter. Additionally, if you’re considering installing solar panels, the sun map will help you determine the best location for them. 

The sun map is a great tool to help you plan your garden and get the most out of your backyard. It is a great starting point for understanding the position of the sun in relation to your given location and how to best use the sun to your advantage.

Backyard Shade

What Direction Does Your Yard Face?

In order to create your sun map, you’ll need to determine which direction your yard is facing. This will help you better understand the angle of the sun in relation to your garden space.

A North-facing yard, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, tends to be cooler and shaded for most of the day. The sun’s arc from east to west is predominantly in the southern half of the sky, rendering the northern areas less exposed to direct sunlight. So if you want your new home to be shaded, this is great options. These areas, however, do receive indirect or diffused light, creating an environment suitable for shade-tolerant plants. 

On the other hand, a South-facing yard receives the most abundant sunlight throughout the day. As the sun’s arc travels from east to west, it stays primarily in the southern half of the sky, ensuring that South-facing gardens are bathed in direct sunlight for most of the day. With this option, the sun will be beaming into your home for the majority of the day. This high exposure to sunlight makes these areas ideal for sun-loving plants and crops, as well as for the installation of solar panels.

Backyard Greenhouse

An East-facing yard benefits from the sun’s warming rays early in the day. As the sun rises in the east, this area is drenched in direct sunlight during the morning hours, making it an excellent locale for plant species that thrive on morning sunlight and cooler, afternoon shade. The sun’s intensity is less harsh in the mornings, affording delicate plants protection from the potentially damaging heat of the afternoon sun. The bright morning sunlight and cooler afternoon conditions make East-facing gardens an ideal setting for plants such as primroses, irises, and ferns, which require moderate sunlight and well-drained soil.

A West-facing yard is exposed to the warmth of the afternoon and evening sun. Afternoon sunlight is more intense and can be harsh, especially during the peak summer months. This makes west-facing gardens suitable for plants that can withstand strong, direct sunlight and heat. Such plants include lavender, rosemary, and sunflowers, which thrive under these conditions. The late-day sunlight can provide a beautiful backdrop for outdoor activities in the yard. However, property owners must consider that these areas may require more watering and maintenance to prevent plants from wilting under the intense afternoon sun.

Sunny Backyard

How Does Sun Exposure Affect Your Home?

Backyard sun exposure significantly impacts your home in several ways. From a temperature standpoint, a sun-exposed backyard can help to naturally warm your home during the cooler months, potentially reducing heating costs. However, during the hotter months, this same exposure can lead to an increase in cooling needs, thereby increasing energy consumption. The sunlight exposure in the backyard can also affect the longevity and maintenance of your outdoor spaces. Prolonged sun exposure can cause decks, patios, and outdoor furniture to fade over time. 

From an energy efficiency perspective, the backyard sun exposure can be leveraged to improve your home’s passive solar design. This involves using building materials and architectural design to harness solar energy for heating and cooling purposes. For example, large windows on the southern side of your home allow for maximum sunlight infiltration during winter, naturally warming your home and reducing your heating costs. On the other hand, shading from trees or proper window placement can help reduce cooling costs during summer by preventing unwanted heat gain.

In addition to saving energy and reducing costs, utilizing natural sunlight can also have positive effects on mental and physical well-being. Exposure to natural light has been linked to improved mood, increased productivity, and better sleep patterns. So not only does a sun-exposed backyard benefit the environment and your wallet, but it can also have a positive impact on your overall health.

Understanding the sun’s trajectory and your yard’s orientation is crucial whether you’re planning a garden or installing solar panels. Your garden’s success largely depends on the amount of sun exposure your plants receive, with different plants thriving under different light conditions. Similarly, the efficiency of solar panels is directly tied to the amount of sunlight they can capture throughout the day.

By taking into account factors such as the position of your yard, the presence of trees, and the intensity of the afternoon sun, you can optimize your backyard to meet your needs, whether it’s growing a lush garden or generating renewable energy. Harnessing the power of the sun effectively can lead not only to personal satisfaction and cost savings but also contribute significantly towards a more sustainable future. If you’re looking for a home with a particular yard orientation, give us a call today to see which of our homes is best for you!


Click to download How to Buy a House: What You Need to Know now

Do I Need A Home Inspection On A New Build? - Featured Image
When you're investing in a new home, it's natural to feel excited and perhaps a bit overwhelmed. You might believe Read more
How Do Mortgage Rates in Canada Affect Your Home Purchase in Edmonton? - Featured Image
Buying a home is one of the most significant financial decisions you'll ever make. This decision becomes even more critical Read more
How To Get A Mortgage With Low Income In Canada - Featured Image
Navigating the real estate market and securing a mortgage on a low-income in Canada can seem daunting. This article aims Read more
When embarking on the exciting journey of building your dream home, understanding your financing options is critical. In Canada, you'll Read more
Edmonton vs. Winnipeg: Where Should I Choose To Live? - Featured Image
Are you trying to decide between Edmonton and Winnipeg for your new home in Canada? Not sure which city has Read more
The Top Home Models For Real Estate Investors - Featured Image
When it comes to real estate investment, Canada is seeing an increasing number of people who are opting to invest Read more

About the Author:

At Sterling Homes, our mission is to provide the opportunity for affordable homeownership without compromise. Over the last 70 years, Sterling Edmonton has quickly become one of Edmonton’s most popular builders. We bring more than seven decades worth of exceptional customer service, superior design and unparalleled craftsmanship to the greater Edmonton area. As a member of the Qualico Group, Sterling Homes focuses on greater Edmonton’s finest family communities, while being able to offer some of the region’s most family friendly prices thanks to volume purchasing power for materials, trades and land. This has not only made Sterling one of Edmonton’s bestselling, move-up builders, but also one of the industry’s most respected home providers. It is through our uncompromising commitment to our customers that we proudly deliver the Sterling Advantage – that’s why each and every home we build includes a 10-year home warranty, a completion guarantee and new home warranty excellence rating. Our Advantage is our pledge that, when you build your dream home with Sterling, we will deliver a timely, well-built home you’re sure to enjoy for years to come.

Learn more about:
Sterling Homes - Home Builder in Edmonton

Start The Home Buying Process Now

For all your mortgage needs, trust Sterling Homes

When do you plan to purchase your home?
Are you first-time home buyer?
Purchase price of the new home
Estimated Down Payment
Your Credit Profile
First Name
Last Name
Phone Number
Email Address
In which province are you looking to purchase?

Thank you for your interest in our Mortgate! One of our agents will be in touch with you shortly.

Get Your Rate!