Types of Ceiling Skylights [Ultimate Guide]
Skylights are a great way to bring natural light into your home, and there are a variety of different types of skylights available on the market today. From traditional rectangular skylights to more unique options like domed or pyramid skylights, there's sure to be a style that suits your needs.
Ceiling skylights are a good and economical choice to provide air circulation and a bright and breezy feeling to the space below. It’s easy to be confused about which ceiling skylight to purchase – so we’ve put together a guide to make things easier.
This guide will help you figure out which type of ceiling skylight is best for your room. We will also explain the differences between the most popular types of ceiling skylights.
Let’s dive in!
Source: Photographic Dirk Van Overwalle
Types of Skylights
Homeowners looking to add fresh air and extra light to their homes have a few different options when it comes to skylights:
- Deck-mounted skylights are the most popular type and can be installed on any type of roof.
- Curb-mounted skylights are also a popular option, and they offer a wider range of sizes and styles.
Ultimately, there are three major types of skylights: fixed, ventilating, and tubular. Fixed skylights are the most common type. They're sealed, energy-efficient, and low-maintenance. Ventilating skylights can be opened to allow fresh air into the home. They're ideal for kitchens and bathrooms or below the living room.
Tubular skylights, or sun tunnels, are the most energy-efficient option. They use a reflective tube to direct sunlight into the home. Homeowners can choose from a variety of skylight sizes, shapes, and styles to find the perfect fit for their homes.
Fixed skylights are a type of skylight that is permanently affixed in place and cannot be opened. They are typically made of glass and can be either flat ceiling skylights or roof skylight windows. These skylights are ideal for rooms that do not need ventilation, such as closets, storage areas, or garages.
The most common type of fixed skylight is the glass skylight, which is a pane of glass that is framed and sealed to create an airtight barrier. Then there is the flat roof skylight, which is mounted on a metal frame that is bolted to the roof deck. Flat roof skylights are less common than glass skylights, but they are more durable and have a longer lifespan.
The main limitation of fixed skylights is that they don't open, so they cannot be used for ventilation.
Tubular skylights are home improvement products that allow more sunlight into your home. They are made of a clear, domed lens at the top of a long, tube-like shaft. The shaft is usually reflective to magnify and direct the sunlight down the tube and into your home.
Like most skylights, tubular skylights are ideal for rooms that do not have windows or other sources of natural light. They are also good for home offices, laundry rooms, walk-in closets, and other small spaces.
There are two types of tubular skylights: rigid and flexible.
- Rigid tubular skylights are made of aluminum and have a lens at the top.
- Flexible tubular skylights are made of acrylic and do not have a lens.
Both types of tubular skylights come in a variety of sizes to fit your needs.
Similarly, like the fixed skylights, the main limitation of tubular skylights is that they do not provide ventilation. So, naturally, they are a good option for rooms that need that extra light but do not require ventilation.
Skylights that can be opened are called vented skylights; they have a part that you can open to let in some fresh air. The most common type of vented skylight is the deck-mounted skylight, which is installed on top of the roofline via a frame that is bolted to the roof deck.
The main advantage of vented skylights is that they provide ventilation in addition to light, so they are an excellent choice for rooms that need both, such as kitchens and bathrooms.
Skylights can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including roof skylights windows, vaulted ceiling skylights, roof hatch skylights, and flat ceiling skylights.
While vented skylights have many great benefits, a downside is that they require a special frame to be installed on the roof.
Velux Skylights vs Normal Skylights
There are two major types of skylights: Velux skylights and normal skylights. Here, normal skylights refer to those that are not Velux skylights.
The main difference between these two types of skylights is in the way they let sunlight in. With a Velux skylight, UV rays are filtered out, so only sunlight comes in. This is beneficial because ultraviolet rays can cause damage to furniture and flooring.
Normal skylights do not have this quality, thus letting UV rays and sunlight in indiscriminately. In addition, most self-flashed skylights come with a light shaft that helps to distribute light more evenly throughout the room.
Velux skylights are available in solar, electric, and manual versions.
- Solar skylights are the most energy-efficient option, as they use the sun's energy to operate.
- Electric skylights are convenient because they can be operated with remote control, but they will add to your energy bill.
- Manual skylights are the most economical option, but they require you to physically open and close them.
The style you choose will depend entirely upon your preferences and the factors you are most concerned about. Manual and solar skylights are more energy and economically efficient; however, electric skylights do give you more control over the lighting that comes through.
Why Install Ceiling Skylights?
As a roof window that allows natural light to enter the room below, the reasons for installing skylights are mostly aesthetic and functional; however, skylights can also help improve ventilation and reduce energy costs.
Skylights are available in a variety of sizes and shapes to suit the needs of any space, and they can be installed during new construction or as a retrofit to an existing roof.
These roof windows have several benefits beyond simply bringing light into a room:
- They can help improve ventilation by providing a way for hot air to escape from the top of a room.
- They can reduce energy costs by cutting down on the need for artificial lighting.
- They can provide an emergency exit in the event of a fire or other emergency.
When choosing a new skylight installation, it is important to select the one with the best warranty, that is the appropriate size and shape for the space, and that has been properly installed to avoid leaks.
Most homes are not designed to take advantage of natural ventilation, relying instead on heating and cooling systems to regulate temperature. However, this can lead to problems with air quality, as stale, polluted air becomes trapped indoors.
Ceiling skylights can help to address this problem by allowing warm air to rise and escape through the roof. The resulting health benefits are well worth the investment in skylights, making them an ideal addition to any home.
The installation of a skylight brings with it a number of financial benefits. Perhaps most significantly, it increases the energy efficacy of the entire house and reduces electrical consumption.
This is due to the fact that skylights allow natural light to enter the home, reducing the need for artificial lighting. In addition, skylights can also provide a cooling effect, helping to reduce the cost of air conditioning.
Finally, skylights can add value to a home, making it more attractive to potential buyers. Consequently, those who are considering installing a skylight should be aware of the significant financial benefits that can be gained from doing so.
Ceiling Skylights Installation Tips
Whether you're looking to add a touch of natural light to your home or simply want to create a more open and airy feel, installing ceiling skylights is a great option. While the installation process may seem daunting, it's actually fairly straightforward – as long as you follow a few key tips.
Considering room size
The first thing to consider when installing is the size of the room and the size of the skylight. It is important to make sure that it is not too big or too small for the room. It should be proportional to the size of the room.
If the skylight is too small, it will not provide enough light. If it is too big, it will be overwhelming. It is also important to make sure that the skylight is installed in an area where it will get the most sunlight.
Reducing the presence of moisture
The next thing to consider is the presence of moisture. When installing a skylight, it is crucial to make sure that the area is well-ventilated. This will help to reduce the presence of moisture.
It is also a good idea to install a skylight in an area that is not prone to condensation. This will help to keep the skylight from getting wet and becoming a breeding ground for mold.
Choosing curb- or flush-mounted skylights
Curb-mounted skylights are more popular because they are easier to install and tend to be less expensive. However, flush-mounted skylights have a more finished look.
When choosing between the two, it is important to consider the look of the skylight and the installation process.
Flashing for some skylights
Flashing is a material that is used to seal around the skylight which helps to prevent water from leaking into the house. Most skylights come with a flashing kit, but it is important to make sure that the kit is compatible with the skylight.
If the skylight does not come with a flashing kit, you’ll need to purchase one that is compatible. It is also a good idea to have a professional install the flashing. This will help to ensure that it is installed correctly and will help to prevent any problems in the future.
Your skylight should ideally be installed in an area where it will not be exposed to too much moisture, as doing so will help reduce the condensation that builds up on the skylight. Installing a dehumidifier in the room can help to significantly reduce the amount of moisture in the air.
By taking these steps, you can help reduce the condensation that builds up on the skylight and prevents it from working properly.
Considering motorized venting skylights
Motorized venting skylights are a great option for those who want the benefits of a skylight but do not want the hassle of opening and closing it manually. These skylights have a motor that opens and closes the skylight automatically.
They are more expensive than manual skylights, but they are a good option for those who do not want to worry about opening and closing the skylight.
Ceiling skylights are a popular and environmentally-friendly way to bring the natural light into your home. No matter the style of your home – whether it’s contemporary, minimalist, traditional, or rustic – a ceiling skylight can be installed to suit.