We Know: All About Ceiling Skylights

About Ceiling Skylights

Skylights allow natural sunlight to filter into a room and minimize the need for artificial lighting. In addition, a skylight can create a dramatic look in a room and add value to the house. Skylights are also used in greenhouses and enclosed patios. Most skylights are fixed in place which means they don't open, or they're ventilated which means they can be opened and closed.

When skylights are installed into a house it must be done carefully to ensure that no leaks are introduced that could lead to damage of the roof or the house's interior. Flashing must be used and depending on the thickness of the roof, the curb may need to be built-up. Cutting into the roof may also affect the structural engineering of the house. For these reasons, most homeowners choose to hire a certified professional to install their skylights.

Skylight Features

When shopping for skylights, look for the following features:

  • Window screens. For skylights that open, install window screens to keep out insects.
  • Easy to open and close. If the skylight can be opened, make sure that you'll be able to easily access the handle. Some will require use of a telescopic extension pole when they're too high for ladder access. They can also be operated by remote control, through a wall switch, or by the use of a temperature sensor. Fixed skylights don't open at all.
  • Insulated glass. To prevent losing heat in winter and overheating in summer, the glass should be thermally insulated.
  • Shading. Shades help to keep the sun out. Shades can be operated manually or be remotely controlled.
  • Window tinting. Tinting can help to diffuse direct sunlight, and to subtly change the shade of light coming through the skylight.

Skylight Models

There are many skylights available and designs vary to accommodate house styles and roof construction:

  1. Velux Umber Gray Venting Deck Mounted Skylight (Model# VS 106 0075): Measures 21.5" x 46-3/8". Costs about $338.
  2. EC Series Aluminum Skylight with Bronze Frame and Dome (Model# EC2852TBBH): Measures 24" x 48". Costs about $120.
  3. CDA Series Polycarbonate Skylight, Bronze (Model# CDA2246H): Measures 24" x 48". Costs about $190.
  4. Velux Fixed Self Flashed Skylight Model# QFS 150 0074): Measures 23-5/16" X 23-1/2". Costs about $175.

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