Skylight / July 15, 2018 / Arnou Gabriaux
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.
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.
To make sure that glass skylights are protected these are made of tempered glass on the outside and have a laminated pane on the inside. Position: Where and how you place skylights within the home is equally important. Location plays a vital role in natural lighting and solar heating. When they are placed on the roof and facing the north you can expect consistent but cool lighting. Skylights that face the east provide maximum solar energy in the mornings while those facing the west will give maximum afternoon sunlight. If heat is a problem you may install skylights in the shade of a tree or have a shading device on top of the skylight. The slope at which skylights are placed also controls the amount of heat and light received. Before buying skylights for the home do a little research. Prices tend to vary from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Price climbs with the addition of features like shading devices remote control and special glazing.