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Tailor Your Skylights with Shades

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers®

Skylights add so much value by allowing natural light inside, but depending on the situation, there are times when some people wish they could turn them off. Whether you’re concerned about intense light—in certain seasons or at particular times of day—or you want to block it all out at will, there is a solution! Invest in skylight shades and you can control the natural light in your interior to your liking. Here’s what you should know about them!

VELUX Shades Install

When not in use, skylight shades are contained in a cartridge—what you see being retrofitted here—so you don’t see them at all. VELUX® offers factory-installed shades, but they can also be added to existing skylights later.

How Skylight Shades Work

Unlike window treatments, shades for VELUX® skylights are made by the manufacturer to fit the exact product. Given the unique sizes of many skylights and that they’re installed on the ceiling, their shades aren’t quite the same as a window’s. First, they are concealed within a cartridge so they disappear when you want the skylight fully clear. When you want to control the light, you can bring the shades down partially or fully; they travel down a side track that keeps them parallel to the glass at all times. Manual and powered shades both exist—you can opt for manual operation if the skylight is within reach, but otherwise, you’ll use a remote control and/or an app on a smart device. Skylight shades can even operate themselves on a timer or in response to conditions—you can learn more about that in our articles How Automated Skylights Improve Your Home and Why You’ll Love Solar-Powered Skylights & Blinds.

VELUX Solar Blackout Blind

This Solar Blackout Shade completely blocks sunlight when needed. The pitch-black color and the flat style also complement the design of this workspace beautifully.

You Have Options

Skylight shades are also made to add to your interior design—there is no one-size-fits-all solution! Start by selecting the type of shade that works best for the space; many people go for room-darkening or blackout shades for bedrooms to make it easier to sleep, and then use light-filtering shades in other spaces to cut heat and glare while still allowing light inside. In either case, check out some color options that give you the chance to extend your interior design to the ceiling. The color of your shades contributes to the overall picture more than many assume!

Did you know that including shades on your skylights also improves energy performance? They effectively create a pocket of air between the glass and the shade when closed, which adds an insulative effect. A single-pleated light-filtering shade can improve a skylight’s thermal efficiency up to 39% while a double-pleated room-darkening shade improves it up to 45%. If you want to maximize the energy performance of your home, skylights with shades make a great investment.

VELUX Solar Single-Pleated Blind

With a warm wood-toned color, the light-filtering Solar Single-Pleated Shade in this kitchen stands out among the deep, cool hues used around the room.

The Effects Are Amazing

VELUX Light Diffused KitchenWhen it all comes together, rooms that have skylights with shades give you so much to appreciate! You can enjoy them like any other skylight—completely clear to maximize natural lighting—and with operable models, you can also reap the benefits of natural ventilation whether the shade is up or down. A simple touch of a button can adjust any part of the equation, or you can take a hands-off approach and let an automated system optimize your interior for you. Skylights with shades cover all the bases—free light, natural climate control, improved efficiency—to help you get the most out of your ceiling.

VELUX Darkened BedroomStill not sold? Take a look around this gallery of before and after images to see how a skylight affects and improves the feel of the whole room. If anything seems too bright, imagine what the right shade could do to diffuse or block it all out so you can enjoy the sun on your terms. If you want to test options and explore the possibilities in your own home, the VELUX® Skylights AR visualize app allows you to configure skylights in augmented reality to see the effects in a matter of moments! The app guides you through the process and lets you try on different shades, of course. This is a great way to see what works for you!

Check out the variety of options available from the VELUX® Blind Shop if you’d like to customize your skylights with shades! They offer room-darkening and light-filtering shades with manual and solar-powered operation. With over 50 color options running the gamut from light to dark and in neutral, warm, and cool hues, your skylights can add to your décor, too. Not sure what to choose? Reach out to a representative for recommendations!