Shedding Some Light on Adding a Skylight to Your Home

Is there a room in your home that is a bit gloomy? That no amount of creative lighting or a cheerful paint colors will brighten up? You need a skylight!

A skylight is basically a window in your roof which offers both natural light and ventilation to make otherwise dark and dingy rooms bright and inviting. Skylights are perfect for bathrooms and kitchens as these rooms often only have limited wall space to install regular windows, and also provide excellent privacy for the homeowner.

There are three major advantages to adding a skylight to your home as oppose to a regular window:

  • Add Natural Light. Unlike windows in walls, skylights directly face the sky. Windows on walls usually have indirect access to sunlight, and so the sunlight entering is usually reflected from buildings, trees, fences and the ground
  • Energy Efficiency. Skylights will save you money on electricity as the abundance of natural light streaming through will decrease the need to turn lights on during the day.
  • Architectural Detail. Skylights can be cut into different shapes and sizes, and are designed to fit seamlessly into the roofscape

Ok, so we’ve decided a skylight is the way to go. Now what? When researching how a skylight could fit into your home, it is important to consider the location and the position. If you choose to face the skylight towards south or west, (i.e. in the direct sunlight), you are sure to have a sun filled room all day long. Plan on purchasing blinds or shades to help adjust the amount of light entering and keep the room from overheating in the summer. North facing skylights will give you soft, subtle sunlight throughout the day.

While skylights as we know them are considered to be a fairly modern architectural detail, the concept can be traced back to the Ancient Roman, where the most wonderful example can be found in the Pantheon dome. The oculus at the top of the dome provides the inside with light during the day and acts as a cooling and ventilation system for the hot Roman summer.

The next generation of skylights were constructed by steel, which eventually degraded over time and used single pane, wired glass for safety. Today’s modern skylights are made from powder coated, thermally broken aluminum which will weather exposure to the elements, and use energy efficient, insulated glass which is tempered or laminated for safety. Often, this glass has special low-emissive (Low-E) coating which allows sunlight to pass through and reflects excess heat, providing a cooler, energy efficient home.

So, think about adding a skylight to your home. As well as adding a beautiful design feature to your home, skylights add natural light and reduce your carbon footprint.