Let the sunshine in—and fresh air too! Skylights are more than just a luxury item, but provide homes with natural light and ventilation. We’ll take a closer look at different types of skylights, along with the benefits and downsides to help you determine if skylights are right for you.

Skylights in Roof

What are Skylights?

Essentially, a skylight is a window installed on your roof. While the definition might be simple, the installation process is more complex than installing a window on a wall. Though, unlike regular windows, skylights offer much more natural light to not only brighten up any dark room in your home but also make smaller rooms appear larger while increasing ventilation.


But let’s not forget, a skylight can make a huge stylistic statement and enhance the ambiance of your home. Whether you want a skylight in your bedroom to gaze at the night sky or one in your bathroom to create the ultimate sanctuary space for relaxation, skylights can easily transform the look and feel of your home—while simultaneously increasing your home’s value

Skylights in Bathroom

Types of Skylights

Choosing a suitable skylight for your home is crucial as there are various options to consider, including their size, shape, and location. Here are the three most common types of skylights:


Ventilating Skylights

Ventilating skylights can be opened and closed manually or by electrical control—thus allowing increased ventilation. These types of skylights are fantastic for rooms where moisture or excess humidity is a concern, such as bathrooms and kitchens. As a safety precaution, a ventilating skylight can also double as an emergency exit!


Fixed Skylights

Unlike ventilating skylights, a fixed skylight typically doesn’t open—therefore they don’t provide any humidity control. But these skylight types still supply your home with a great deal of natural light, along with a beautiful view of the sky above. Fixed skylights are great for high ceilings.


Tubular Skylights

As one of the more recent developments in skylight design, tubular skylights differ from traditional skylights since a long tube-shaped device is utilized instead of a window. Through a rooftop lens and reflective-lined tube, a tubular skylight catches and reflects sunlight into the home—working best in smaller spaces, such as closets or hallways.


These types of skylights are also less labor-intensive to install and more affordable compared to conventional skylights, though tubular skylights don’t provide a view or ventilation.


While these are the most common skylights, there are plenty more options on the market, including:


  • Center-pivot skylights
  • Metal-framed skylights
  • Deck-mounted skylights
  • Curb-mounted skylights
  • Domed skylights
Skylights in Foyer

Advantages of Skylights

Installing skylights is certainly a bright idea for some homeowners, with brilliant benefits like:

#1 Increased Natural Light

One of the biggest perks of skylights is the extra daylight they bring into any room. Skylights are particularly beneficial during the long winter months when daylight hours are shorter and the angle of the sun is lower—allowing more light into your home than regular windows. Additionally, more exposure to sunlight can also boost your mood and improve cognitive performance.

#2 Energy Savings

With greater natural light comes greater energy savings as the need for artificial lights and electricity becomes less necessary during the day with skylights.


During the winter months, they can even contribute to the heat gain of a room, thereby reducing your need to use the heater. Since you’d be using less electricity with skylights, you could potentially reduce your energy bill and environmental impact at the same time!

#3 Added Home Value

Skylights can add value to your home due to their dramatic design impact and practical function as a light source with potential energy-saving costs. For many homebuyers, skylights can be a huge selling point for these reasons, along with the added mental health benefits.

Disadvantages of Skylights

Skylights won’t always brighten your day though. Here are some downsides to consider as well:


Overheating and Overlighting

Unfortunately, we can’t control the sun. While exposure to natural light can do wonders for your mental health, it’s also possible to bring too much light or heat into a room. Make sure to keep this in mind when the time comes to decide on the size, placement, and shape of your skylight.


Heat Loss

While it’s possible to overheat a room with skylights, you can also lose heat too—especially during the colder winter months as glass allows heat from inside a home to escape outside. However, you can combat this potential heat loss issue by installing insulated glass skylights with thermal breaks so there’s no piece of hardware or trim connecting the outside to the inside.


Skylight Installation Issues

A properly installed skylight must be correctly insulated and sealed. Otherwise, you’ll have some big problems on your hands, including leaks that could not only dip below but also cause costly water damage to your ceiling, walls, and other parts of your roof.