What Are the Different Types of Skylights?

SkylightIf you’re considering doing some home renovations, you may want to look into the different types of skylights. Usually, skylights are installed in your attic or one of your top-floor rooms, but if you have a living room with a high ceiling that goes all the way to the roof, you can add natural lighting to it as well.

With skylights, you have a choice of fixed, ventilating or tubular designs. Fixed skylights are simply rectangular window panes installed in your roof; they don’t open or tilt at all. Ventilating skylights allow you to open them somewhat or all the way. Within the ventilating category, there are several subcategories, including tilt and escape skylights, which can be waterproofed to prevent leaks. Tubular skylights are a new concept, and they allow you to install a sort of light tunnel from your roof to rooms on the bottom floor. They’re a great way to light your home and save money on electricity.

Adding Skylights to an Attic or Top-Floor Rooms

The basic option is to install a fixed skylight in your roof to simply allow light into a top-level room, according to the Do It Yourself Network. These types of skylights must be installed from the outside because, unlike tilting skylights, they provide no way to open the window. In order to install a fixed or ventilating skylight in your roof, you will most likely have to remove part of one of the rafters and reinforce it with a trimmer and false rafter. The exception to this rule comes when you’re adding a very small skylight that fits in your roof between the rafters.

Fixed skylights can have a variety of shapes, tinting and diffusion, so you can control the amount of light that enters your home, to an extent. They aren’t able to diffuse sunlight nearly as well as tubular skylights, because they lack the optical tubes needed to reflect and soften light. With a fixed skylight, you will have a permanent window in your roof, so achieving complete darkness during the daytime will be a challenge. There are blinds available for skylights, but you will probably need a remote control to operate them.

Ventilating and Tubular Skylights

According to Networx, ventilating skylights are a great option for rooms that usually trap a lot of moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms. They allow air to circulate in the room through small or wide openings in the skylight, although you may need a remote control to operate this type of opening as well. Ventilating skylights include tilt windows, which open only a small amount, and escape windows, which open all the way. Tilt windows may be a good idea if you want to prevent accidents caused by people climbing onto your roof, and escape windows are a good choice in rooms that are relatively far away from other fire exits.

The new trend of installing tubular skylights throughout the home allows owners to collect light through a specially designed window in the roof and distribute it to other places using optical tubing. These installations tend to be expensive, but they carry the most energy- and cost-saving potential.

Related Resource: Difference Between Bay Windows and Bow Windows

Skylights are one of the most elegant and appealing additions you can make to any room. When planning your next home improvement project, consider the different types of skylights available to install throughout your home.