Let Natural Light into your Home with the use of Skylights

By Mark J. Donovan

One of the most important aspects to consider when designing a home or home addition is lighting. There are two basic types of lighting to choose from, electrical appliance lighting and natural lighting. Whenever possible the use of both is preferable, except possibly in the case of a home theater design.

Though appliance lighting can provide aesthetics and night lighting benefits to a home design, natural lighting should be integrated into the design wherever possible.

Natural lighting inherently involves the use of strategically placed windows to best address the needs of a home or room.

One type of window that especially addresses natural lighting is skylights. Skylights allow sun rays to both brighten and warm a room. When installed in vaulted ceilings such as possibly in an attic, skylights can also provide landscape views and cooling. Skylights also can make a room feel larger by letting in the natural surroundings, and of course, skylights also provide nighttime views of the stars and heavens.

Besides supplying natural light, skylights also help with home energy bills. During hot summer months ventilated skylights can vent warm air out of the home keeping the house more comfortable. In the wintertime skylights can provide warmth to your home by letting in low angled southwest sunlight.

Skylight Window Options

Skylight options are quite diverse today. Skylights are available in many materials, sizes and styles and can be operational or fixed. Some also come with integrated screens to provide shade during the day if desired.

Originally skylight windows were only available in single pane glasses. Today skylights are available in multi-pane Low-E glasses and tinted coatings to reflect ultra-violet radiation back into the atmosphere, thus keeping the home cooler.

Ventilated skylights are operational. Via hand cranks, switch controlled motors, or even automatically temperature sense controlled motors they can open up to allow warm air to be vented out of a room. They also are available with insect screens.

Like all windows, skylights come in a variety of ultra-violet ratings (U-values) and insulation R-value options. Typically better quality skylights have higher U-values and R-values and consequently higher price tags. However they are worth the investment due to their inherent home energy savings.

Skylights come in many shapes and sizes. Some are designed to fit between 16 and 24 inch roof rafter spacing’s. Others sizes may require the modification of roof rafter construction if the skylights are being retro-fitted into a home.

Let Natural Light into your Home with the use of Skylights

Skylights are a great natural lighting option, and accent piece, to a new home or home addition design. They can also be easily retrofitted into a home. So when considering home lighting take a closer look at skylight windows. They can save you money on home energy bills and provide aesthetics to a home that are hard to match.

For more information on Installing Replacement Windows and Interior Window Trim

  • See the Installing a New Window Ebook from  The Installing a New Window Ebook provides easy to understand, step-by-step instructions, on how to remove an old window and install a new one. Pictures are included for every key step in the process.
  • See the Installing Interior Window Trim Ebook from  The Installing Interior Window Trim Ebook provides easy to understand, step-by-step instructions, on how to install interior window trim around a window. Pictures are included for every key step in the process.

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