Skylight / July 12, 2018 / Odo Vaillancour
A skylight is like a window which has been placed in your roof. It has a frame specially designed to withstand rain and prevent leakage from rain and snow. To maximize a skylights use of natural light to illuminate a room or its passive solar heating potential you will want to take into consideration how a skylight is positioned. Facing north your skylight will provide fairly constant illumination but will not provide a lot of heat. Facing east it will provide the maximum amount of light and solar heat gain in the morning. Facing west your skylight provides afternoon sunlight as well as heat gain. A skylight facing south provides the greatest potential for winter passive solar heat gain than any other location but will often allow unwanted heat gain in the summer.
If the room you intend to illuminate with the skylight has an open ceiling with no attic space above you can install the skylight without needing to construct a light shaft. This is by far the simplest installation and it offers the maximum amount of light and a view of the sky. For ceilings with an attic space above a light shaft must be constructed that connects the skylight to the room. Skylight shafts take one of three forms: Straight in which the shaft drops vertically from the roof to the ceiling and is the same dimension as the skylight itself. This type is the easiest to construct but because of its offset angle relative to the skylight offers the least amount of light.
Skylights let in outdoor light cutting down on both heating and electricity costs. When a skylight is designed and installed properly it can light an entire room provide heat and improve the appearance of your home or business. These are just some of the basic benefits to using skylights; you could even look into utilizing the solar power from your skylights in different ways to live more eco-friendly. No matter what type of home or business ceiling thickness you have there is a skylight design that will work for you. For buildings with thick ceilings attics or multi-storied buildings often utilize tubular skylights. For the layperson the easiest way to describe tubular skylight design is a long tubular channel with a collector at the top and a diffuser at the bottom that will illuminate an area between 75 and 150 square feet per skylight.