Skylight / July 16, 2018 / Delphine Demers
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.
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.
The shape of the skylights installed in your home will impact the design and look of the room. In the past skylights were prone to vapor build-up during the cold season. This vapor would then trickle down as water droplets into the room. However these days it is possible to buy skylights with channels that collect water vapor. More expensive skylights are less vulnerable to condensation related problems. Material: The kind of material used on skylights at home has a direct impact on their look and efficiency. Glass and plastic are the most popular materials used for glazing the skylights. Plastic skylights are less expensive and do not break easily. However plastic glazing may become discolored over time and may even have scratches. Glass on the other hand is scratch proof and does not fade. But it is more expensive and is usually found in commercial structures.