Designing a More Light-filled Space
Are you planning for a room renovation or addition in the future—or building a new home? Skylight installation is an often-overlooked element that adds real design impact.
Skylights bring the ceiling into the overall design of your interior room, as well as add interest to structure of your roof on the outside. If you’d like to bring the power of light and openness to your home, while staying on par with the current design trends of bringing the outdoors in, read on.
Skylights Add Beauty and Practicality
Aside from their obvious “wow” factor as a design element in a home, skylights have practical benefits as well.
Does your home have a small space that feels dark and cramped with little natural light? Opening the room up with a skylight will expand the room with light and make for a more welcoming space. In terms of ambience, there is nothing that changes the feeling in a room more than adding a skylight.
In a room without space for windows, venting from the roof with a skylight can provide necessary airflow and ventilation. In addition to light, ventilation adds another layer of openness to the room—creating a more enjoyable space for you in your home.
Energy efficient skylights can help minimize your heating and lighting costs. With careful selection and installation, skylights are not just value in terms of beauty, but for practical reasons as well.
Light Up Your Rooms with Skylights
Bathrooms are perfect places for skylights because you get natural light without having to worry about privacy issues. The bonus for bathrooms is that you can add ventilating skylights (choose electric if the ceiling is high) to keep down the moisture content in the air without having to install a fan.
Worried about rain with a ventilating skylight? Some skylights come with a rain sensor that closes with the first sign of rain.
What better place to enjoy the sky view a skylight provides than on your back in bed? Imagine stargazing at night and watching the clouds roll by in the morning.
Having a bedroom infused with natural light creates a restful atmosphere with plenty of daylight and the privacy you want in your bedroom. If you like to sleep in, consider adding blackout blinds to your skylight, which can be closed with a remote control.
Converting your attic to living space adds more to your resale while adding more enjoyment for you, but these spaces can seem stuffy and cramped with slanted walls and little natural light. Adding skylights can make your space feel like a rooftop patio, wide open and full of air and light.
Whether you are making your space into a bedroom, home office, or playroom for the kids, adding skylights will soon make it the favorite room in the house.
Family room/Living room
Skylights in your family room or living room can make the room in your home where everyone gathers to hang out cozy and inviting—anytime of the day, whatever your activity. For taking a nap on the couch or watching TV, skylights with blinds can help you adjust the amount of light in the room. Blinds also let you adjust them depending on the amount of light and heat you need for the time of year—and can help save on your energy bill. For extra savings, consider a solar-powered skylight.
Skylights in the kitchen soak the room in natural light, providing plenty to see for tasks involved in meal preparation. Above any room in the house, the kitchen is often the place we need the brightest light to see what we are doing and to make sure our surfaces are clean.
If you are designing your kitchen, consider the wall space that is saved when you add skylights in place of more windows. The extra space can be used for cabinets or shelving for more storage.
Another reason skylights are so functional in the kitchen is because they ventilate from above, pulling out the cooking odors so they don’t linger for days. For skylights that release smoke and odors the quickest, opt for a ventilating skylight with remote control.
A sunroom is an obvious place for adding skylights so you can truly feel like you are living outdoors while remaining under cover. With a sunroom flooded in the warm rays of the sun, you can get that sunbathing feeling while staying protected from UV rays—some skylights can be coated to filter almost 100% of the sun’s UV rays. If you are a cat owner, there is a good chance your cats will enjoy naps in your sunroom, too.
Planning a Successful Skylight Installation
Before any holes are cut in the ceiling, some prior planning will ensure beautiful and cost-effective results in your home.
One consideration is the difference between windows and skylights: skylights will catch the high-angled glare of the sun, resulting in a different type of light in the room than a window. Also, the sun moves throughout the day, so looking at what direction the skylight will be facing will help to determine what type of light you will have throughout the day: intense Southern light or more diffused Northern exposure. Gray or bronze tinted glass can help with overheating, as can the addition of shades.
Another consideration when adding a skylight is to spend a little extra for a bigger size, for more impact, because most of the cost is in the installation. A skylight that’s too small can end up with an underwhelming effect on the room—a lot of effort for little benefit.
When choosing size, consider different types, like small tubular skylights for a bathroom. Pay attention to the quality of the skylights you are looking at to buy. Good quality skylights will have less risk of leaking later.
One last thing that is important is to look at the overall design of your house from the outside. Consider how the addition of a skylight will change how your house looks—putting a front-facing skylight on a traditional home may not be a good idea for curb appeal. Consider placing skylights on rear-facing rooms, and consult a home designer when in doubt.