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Integrity

The Best Places to Include Skylights

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers

Skylights have so much to offer a household. They bring in natural light and help cut energy costs because you won’t be reaching for the power switch during the day. They can even open to release stagnant air and improve your indoor air quality. With mood-, budget-, and health-boosting benefits, we understand if you feel overwhelmed trying to decide where to install your skylights! So, here are some of the most common rooms to include skylights, and why each one makes a great choice.

VELUX Solar Powered "Fresh Air" Skylights

Solar Powered “Fresh Air” Skylights naturally brighten this great room and the screened porch adjacent to ensure nothing feels dark in the daytime. Don’t overlook outdoor living spaces—they have a direct effect on the windows they share with the interior!

Living Spaces

If skylights are only used in one place in the house, it’s usually the main living area. As the room where families spend most of their daytime hours, it makes sense to take advantage of free light and cut out as much electricity as possible. Skylights in your living space will make an even bigger impact if you have an open-concept great room; their effect will be seen across more square footage, including the kitchen and dining area, to further reduce the need for artificial lighting. Have a traditional, closed-off living room instead? If you spend a lot of time there, adding skylights will still be worth it!

VELUX Solar Powered "Fresh Air" Skylights

In the absence of a ventilation hood, skylights that open can fill that necessary niche. They’re especially adept at removing cooking smells compared to windows because the smells tend to rise up to the ceiling with heat.

Kitchen

The kitchen is another major area that can benefit from skylights, and especially those that can open to release hot air, steam, and smoke, when necessary. Some people may shy away from introducing direct light that can cause glare off of all the reflective surfaces here, but you don’t have to worry about it if you install skylights with shades. Light-diffusing shades make the perfect choice in this case, so the whole space will be filled with softened daylight even when they’re completely closed.

VELUX Center-Pivot Roof Windows

If the ceiling is within reach, install a roof window that brightens like a skylight and opens manually to provide a point of egress. Center-Pivot Roof Windows have a top control bar you can pull out to bring in fresh filtered air without opening the whole window!

Bedrooms

Anybody who goes camping knows how just a couple days off the grid can completely reset your circadian rhythm—you’ll be sleeping comfortably at sundown and wide awake at the break of dawn. Our internal clock is tied to sunlight, but modern life has disrupted the natural cycle with bright screens and full light on demand. Toning down your electronic usage in the evening can help, and so can exposure to morning sunlight. Placing skylights in the bedroom will allow you to rise with the sun as it slowly illuminates the sky—an all-around better experience than the jolt of an alarm clock. If you want to block the light so you can sleep in or take a midday nap, invest in room-darkening shades. You don’t have to give up all modern conveniences!

VELUX Solar Powered "Fresh Air" Skylights

With light-filtering shades, these bathroom skylights can help illuminate the space even as they cut glare from direct sun. Of course, they’ll also improve the room by venting hot, damp air out, which will help reduce condensation and potential mold growth.

Bathrooms

Similar to the kitchen, bathrooms make a great place to include skylights that open. A damp bathroom not only feels uncomfortable, but it can be a health hazard if that moisture encourages mold. So, open a skylight to release steam when you shower—it’s more effective than many of today’s bathroom fans, and it doesn’t have to draw on electricity to work! Of course, you’ll also improve the feel of the space with the added light alone; everybody knows how small and cramped bathrooms can be, and how much any size or kind of window can help. Well, natural light from above does even better.

VELUX Sun Tunnels

Imagine this mudroom without Sun Tunnel skylights! Rooms like this can be tricky, but Sun Tunnels get around obstacles to bring sunlight down from the roof through the attic. They’re a favorite for many small and interior rooms.

Anywhere Else

Whether it’s a foyer, mudroom, laundry room, closet, study, or bonus, you really can’t go wrong! It all depends on how and where you spend time in your house and what you expect to get from skylights. For example, if you spend most of your days out and about, you won’t appreciate skylights in your living space as much as a homebody would. Put them in the bedroom to reap their benefits there instead. Perhaps you work from home and your office could use a boost? More daylight will add energy. Have trouble putting together an outfit under harsh artificial light? Fill your wardrobe with the whole natural spectrum! Most houses with skylights only include them in a couple of rooms whether determined by choice or limitations in the blueprints, so don’t go crazy—plan with intention!

Check out VELUX® if you’re in the market for any kind of ceiling lighting solution from traditional skylights, to Sun Tunnels, to roof windows. They offer skylights in a variety of shapes and sizes, and you can customize them with shades to suit your needs from an aesthetic and functional standpoint. Ask for a recommendation online or find a local installer who can help you choose the perfect skylights for each room!