Skylight / July 11, 2018 / Nicolas Charlebois
Skylights let natural light stream into your home bringing warmth and a feeling of spaciousness. When properly selected and used they can reduce your need for electric lighting and minimize your heating and cooling costs. There are also health benefits to this wonderful sunlight that shines on us. If you lack sufficient sunlight on your skin you will suffer health effects. Thats because the human body was designed to be exposed to sunlight on a frequent basis. We evolved after all under the natural sun not under fluorescent lighting. Our environment was one with plentiful sunlight. Skylights can provide up to 30% more natural light than vertical windows while making a small space seem bigger.
For example the optimum slope for a south-facing skylight in Columbus Ohio at 40º North latitude is 45º to 55º. Every skylight has a "shaft" which governs how much light is admitted into the room below. If all four sides are flared then the light is spread over a wide area. If your skylight has a shaft with perpendicular sides the light is focused straight below. If your skylights shaft is flared on only one or two sides then the light is sprayed in the flared direction. Ventilation If you wish you can have a skylight which also provides ventilation as well as light to your room. This allows you to release the hot air which collects at your ceiling.
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.