Skylights are something that people often don’t give enough thought to. Sure, they’re appreciated in a lot of cases and depending on their implementation, they can add a real atmosphere to a space. But, it’s time to explore when they’re really helpful, when not to use them, and the ups and downs of the concept.
We’ll also look at the different types of skylights, and the difference between skylights and roof windows – there is a difference worth noting there. We’re by no means going to discourage the use of a skylight or roof window in most cases, but we do think everyone should be well-prepared for the downsides of these things, going in.
First, let’s learn what the difference between a skylight and a roof window are. They have a lot in common and share a lot of the same potential problems, but they are, as we said, not one in the same.
Sky Light vs. Roof Window
A skylight does not open. Yes, the panel can be removed for repair or replacement, but these openings are never intended to causally open up. They often incorporate ventilation and various shading attributes but are windows only in the sense of transparency.
Conversely, a woof window actually opens. It may swing out or slide up. A lot of the same architecture may be involved in placing them as with a skylight, but allowances for it opening must also be made, and different frames and types of glass must often be used as well.
Let’s take a moment to discuss some other terms which go along with these two, or are alternatives to them.
First, a light shaft. This is also sometimes called a chase, and it is a horizontal cut into a ceiling or wall, allowing a roof-angled skylight to let light in. These are most common in single-story structures and are a common part of skylights which people picture when thinking of them.
A tube light is an alternative to a skylight and is a more affordable, but less appealing implementation. This involves a vertical tube leading from the roof down through the ceiling, with domed bubbles on both ends. During the brighter part of the day, they look almost like soft electrical ceiling lights.
Tube lights let less light in and have a tendency to develop seal and integrity problems faster than other skylight implementations due to their low-cost nature cylindrical design.
Advantages of Skylights
So, let’s look at the advantage of skylights, of which there are several.
- Skylights can allow a lot of natural light into a space. This is good for plants, healthier for people, and very cost-effective.
- Skylights give a modern, personality-rich feel to residential spaces.
- Skylights can make the difference between a veritable cavern, versus a well-lit space in slanted-roof top floors or attic spaces.
Disadvantages of Skylights
We’d be remiss if we didn’t touch on the disadvantages to these, and some do exist.
- Unless you have some kind of blind system, you can’t stop light from coming in, and you may want to on specific occasions.
- It adds more glass to have to clean.
- Leaks can form with these, which is a roofing nightmare if it gets out of hand.
- Less-efficient skylights can contribute to some heat or cooling leakage through the glass.
- They can make roofing repair or replacement jobs more challenging.
There’s actually a lot more to skylights, such as the different implementations, the additional limitations they’re bound by and much more. To learn these and other window facts, fill out our contact form right now!