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Sunny Lighting Solutions for Your Home

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers®

Electricity is expensive, and we all could do a little more to preserve the environment. If you’d like to cut your bills and help make a positive impact, why not invest in some natural lighting measures? You might be surprised by the range of options available—and the fact that many offer federal tax credits to significantly offset their cost. Here are some of our favorite ways to reduce your dependence on electricity and add a little natural sunshine into your home!

VELUX Solar Powered "Fresh Air" Skylights

Solar Powered “Fresh Air” Skylights make a great energy-efficient choice and require no wiring. A small, integrated solar panel keeps the battery charged so you can open and close the skylight remotely, and it even has a rain sensor to close automatically when the weather turns.

The Skylight

Skylights have come a long way. They aren’t just fixed overhead windows you can’t reach anyhow; you’ll find several that open with manual, electric motor, and solar-powered operation these days, so they can help with ventilation, too. If you don’t want harsh direct sunlight to affect how you use your space, you can also add blinds to diffuse it to a glow or completely block it out at your leisure. With all of the possibilities, today’s skylights cater to your needs more than ever before—consider all the features and you’ll see they make a great addition to every room. Just imagine being able to quickly air out the kitchen after a mishap, or waking up naturally with the sun every morning.

VELUX Skylights on Flat Ceiling

With a lightwell, even a room with a flat ceiling can reap the benefits of skylights. The breadth of the skylights shown here really brighten the space and make it that much more inviting.

Although most often found in vaulted living spaces, skylights can actually be installed on flat ceilings as well. The skylight installs on the roof over the target room and a lightwell is created in the attic to redirect light down. So, don’t count yourself out if your home doesn’t have all that open volume—you can still capture natural sunlight with maximized square footage!


Exceptional in execution, the VELUX CABRIO® Balcony Roof Window closes flush against the roof, but creates a balcony when fully opened. It provides the whole package—tons of sunlight, fresh air, and panoramic views.

The Roof Window

Sometimes you need more than what a regular skylight can provide, and that’s where the roof window comes in. Ideal for attics and lofts, roof windows open wide enough to let you through, meaning they count as a point of egress and can help bring a conversion up to code. They can open from hinges on the top or side, or even pivot from the middle. Consider views and any possible interference from trees or furniture before deciding which kind to install.

The pitch of your roof might also affect your decision, especially if you intend to use the window as a regular exit with an outdoor living space outside. Check out specialized roof windows as well—they can deliver extra functionality you’ve never considered before. As with regular skylights, you can add blinds to control how light comes into your space. This is especially ideal for loft spaces that flood with sunlight given their exposure and the pitch of the roof.


Don’t be fooled—these aren’t recessed electric lights! The VELUX SUN TUNNEL™ is a special kind of skylight that directs sun from the roof to your ceiling. Mirrors reflect 99% of the sunlight inside, and the system can be installed almost anywhere in a lot less time than you think!

The Sun Tunnel

If a large skylight isn’t your style or just won’t work where you want it, take advantage of something known as a sun tunnel or tubular skylight. These nifty little skylights take light from the roof and reflect it through a tunnel so it makes it down to your interior. Versatility is the name of the game with sun tunnels, because they come in rigid and flexible varieties to address all sorts of installation situations. And you can choose how you want them to look—leave them simple for the effect of recessed lighting, or finish them with the ceiling light fixtures of your choice to dress them up. Sun tunnels are ideal for practically anywhere in your home, but they are often employed in hallways, stairwells, closets, and other areas prone to dark corners because they’re shielded from windows by walls.

If you’re looking to invite natural light into your home, check out VELUX® for all your skylight needs. They offer all kinds of skylights—fixed, manual, electric, and solar—with blinds in over 100 colors and patterns. Want blackout or light-filtering? It’s your choice! VELUX® also has rigid and flexible sun tunnels, roof windows that open all ways, modular skylights for super dramatic applications, plenty of options for new and replacement projects, and even smart home automation that takes the guess work out of creating a healthy indoor climate. Start the conversation with a local installer today!