Skylight / July 12, 2018 / Odo Vaillancour
To maximize the energy efficiency of skylight windows you must choose the material carefully. Both glass and plastic skylights have their unique benefits and disadvantages. Glass is more durable but there are limitations in shape. It is also quite expensive. On the other hand plastic is flexible and can easily be bent or stretched to different shapes. It is inexpensive too. But plastic glazing has a tendency to change color after a while. More importantly irregular shapes lead to more heat loss as larger surface areas are exposed. Windows VS Skylights: It is wrong to believe that skylights can replace or take the place of windows.
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.
Glass and acrylic or plastic skylights are available. Tubular skylights are relatively new on the scene. The small size allows them it to be used in spaces where full-sized skylights cannot. Hallways bathrooms even closets can accommodate a tubular skylight. They provide a lot of light in spite of their small size. The concept and installation process are basically the same as for a regular skylight except they have an enclosed tunnel of reflective material to reflect the light. They are available in many sizes. The small ones are 10 to 12 inch diameter and the large ones are 24 inches. Flat glass skylights come mounted in a wood or integrated rubber and metal framework and require no additional curb construction.