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Why You'll Love Solar-Powered Skylights & Blinds

By Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers®

Skylights have the power to completely transform your interior, so make sure to invest in products that upgrade your home and how you experience it. You can’t go wrong with an energy-efficient choice, either. The advantages of solar-powered skylights have today’s homeowners reconsidering what they think they know about outfitting their ceilings for natural lighting—here’s why these products could make an awesome addition to your space!


Looking for a smart skylight solution? Solar Powered “Fresh Air” Skylights are compatible with VELUX ACTIVE, a system that operates them to optimize your indoor environment based on air quality data from sensors in the house as well as the local weather forecast. Of course, it also gives you app control!

Fresh Air & Light Regulation

Fixed skylights naturally light your home, but operational ones can do that and more. Open them up to vent the house and refresh your air—you might be surprised by just how much you can feel the difference! Dust and pollution build up inside and interior air quality is usually measurably worse than outdoor conditions. In fact, we should vent our homes daily, but hardly anybody does. Using operational skylights in your home helps facilitate the process because they work with open windows to create the stack effect; warm air naturally rises and escapes from the skylights, while cool air is drawn in through the windows. And solar-powered models make it easy—just open them at the touch of a button!

When it comes to blinds, yes, they are also made for skylights and can be powered by the sun and controlled remotely. Integrated blinds are a huge step up—use them when you want to sleep in, to cut glare at midday, and to reduce solar heat gain to keep your home cooler in the summer. With a variety of types to choose from, you have the opportunity to outfit each space to your liking. Consider blackout shades in the bedroom to keep it dark and cozy, and light-filtering shades in living spaces so they’re bright and welcoming. Skylights don’t have to always be “on”—outfit them to make your home comfortable as you see it.

VELUX Solar Powered "Fresh Air" Skylight

Each of these skylights has a solar cell to power itself as well as a rain sensor that prompts the system to close at the first sign of precipitation. Feel free to open the skylights for fresh air—they won’t draw power or let your interior get wet!

Inherent Efficiency

The beauty of solar-powered skylights is that they operate without having to be wired to the house, making them perfect and simple for new construction and retrofits alike. Each skylight has its own self-contained solar cell to charge its internal battery, and the average rooftop receives more than enough sun to keep the system charged even with frequent use. So, you get the convenience of functional skylights without drawing any power from the grid, and without adding anything to your electricity bill, of course.

Having skylights reduces the need for electrical lighting as well, so add some if you want to reduce your carbon footprint! Look for skylights with great energy performance, because you don’t want heat transfer between inside and outside conditions to work against your HVAC and result in a higher bill there. Newer models are significantly more efficient than those from decades past thanks to improved glass coatings and construction, and blinds can add even more insulation and help block heat. Solar-powered skylights and blinds also qualify for federal tax credits, saving money on the cost of the product and installation. Be sure to act quickly if you’re interested, because you can save 30% through 2019, 26% through 2020, and 22% through 2021 with the current program.

VELUX Integra Blinds

Complete your skylights with blinds that add more function! This bedroom has a calm vibe thanks to its blue-gray color scheme, and the skylights match perfectly! These are flat blackout blinds—you can also get pleated blackout blinds and flat or pleated light-filtering blinds that operate on demand with solar power.

Reliable Construction

The benefits of operational over fixed skylights have been covered, but what about other kinds of operation? Solar-powered models offer the best solution because they don’t draw any electricity—you won’t lose function during power outages with a battery-powered remote control—and because they are smart enough to work on their own. If the weather turns, they can close themselves up and you don’t have to worry about giving the order or cranking them shut manually. That kind of self-sufficiency is exactly what most of us want and need.

Solar-powered skylights are designed for reliability through and through. While you might be wowed by the bells and whistles, don’t forget to look at the overall construction of the product. VELUX® skylights come with a No Leak Promise and a 10-year warranty on the product and installation, whether you choose deck or curb mounted models. Three layers of protection between the skylight and the roof ensure a weathertight seal and better peace of mind, so don’t be afraid to add some sun to your interior! Check out the process here if you want to see how it’s done. You’ll feel better in a home flooded with natural light and fresh air, so definitely look into these reliable solar-powered skylights while you can sweeten the deal with that federal tax credit!