Types of Roof Lights

Last updated on September 23, 2023

Explore the fascinating world of roof lights as we delve into various types, enhancing your home’s aesthetics and functionality with natural illumination.

Are you considering adding some natural light to your home or workplace? Roof lights may be the perfect solution for you! Not only do they brighten up a space, but they also offer a unique design element. There are several types of roof lights available, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.

In this article, we’ll explore the different types of roof lights and help you determine which one is right for your needs. So sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s shed some light on this topic!

Fixed Skylight

types of roof lights

Fixed Skylight: A fixed skylight is a stationary window that allows natural light to enter your home or workplace. It’s an excellent option for areas where ventilation isn’t necessary, such as attics and stairwells.

Fixed skylights are available in various shapes and sizes, making them ideal for any room in your house.

One of the benefits of a fixed skylight is its energy efficiency. By allowing natural light into your space, you can reduce the need for artificial lighting during daylight hours, which can save you money on electricity bills.

Another advantage of fixed skylights is their ability to enhance the aesthetics of any room they’re installed in. They add an element of sophistication and elegance while also creating an illusion that makes rooms appear more spacious than they are.

When it comes to installation tips for fixed skylights, it’s essential to ensure proper sealing around the edges so that water doesn’t leak through during rainstorms or snowfall. Choosing high-quality materials will help prevent damage from hail storms or other weather events.

Ventilated Skylight

These types of skylights are designed to open and close, allowing fresh air to circulate throughout your home or workplace. Ventilated skylights come in various styles and sizes, including manual or electrically operated options.

One of the benefits of having a ventilated skylight is improved indoor air quality. It allows stale air to escape while bringing in fresh outdoor air into your space.

This can be especially beneficial during hot summer months when you want to cool down without relying on an energy-consuming AC unit.

Another advantage of ventilated roof lights is their ability to reduce moisture buildup inside your home or office building by increasing airflow circulation through the room’s ceiling area.

When it comes time for installation, make sure that you hire professionals who have experience with installing this type of roofing system as they require proper sealing around all edges and corners so that no water leaks occur during heavy rainfall periods.

Tubular Skylight

These small, tube-like structures are designed to capture sunlight from the roof and direct it down through a reflective tube and into your living space. They work particularly well in areas where traditional skylights aren’t feasible due to limited ceiling or roof space.

One of the benefits of tubular skylights is their energy efficiency. Since they don’t require electricity or additional heating/cooling systems like traditional lighting fixtures do, they can help reduce your energy bills while still providing ample illumination during daylight hours.

Another advantage is that they come in various sizes and shapes, making them versatile enough for any room design. Plus, with advancements in technology over recent years, many models now feature dimming options so you can adjust the amount of light entering a room as needed.

Custom Skylight

Custom skylights are designed to fit specific dimensions and shapes, allowing you to create an entirely bespoke look. These types of roof lights can be made from various materials such as glass, acrylic or polycarbonate.

One of the benefits of custom skylights is that they offer more flexibility than standard sizes and shapes. You can choose from different glazing options like clear glass or frosted glass depending on your preference.

Another advantage is that they allow for greater control over light levels in a room since you can specify the size and placement of each panel according to your needs.

However, it’s important to note that custom-made roof lights tend to cost more than pre-fabricated ones due to their uniqueness. Installation requires careful planning by professionals who will ensure proper fitting without compromising structural integrity.

Pyramid Skylight

These skylights are perfect for adding natural light to any room while also creating an eye-catching feature. Pyramid skylights come in various sizes and shapes, making them versatile enough to fit any space’s needs.

One of the benefits of pyramid skylights is their ability to provide ample natural light without taking up too much roof space. They are ideal for smaller rooms or areas where traditional windows may not be practical.

When it comes to materials, pyramid skylights can be made from glass or acrylic depending on your preference and budget. Glass provides better clarity but is more expensive than acrylic.

Installation of a pyramid-shaped roof light requires expertise as they need precise measurements during installation; otherwise, they won’t fit correctly into the opening created in the ceiling.

Dome Acrylic Skylight

These types of skylights are made from high-quality acrylic material, which is known for its strength and resistance to impact.

One of the benefits of choosing a dome acrylic skylight is that it can withstand harsh weather conditions such as hailstorms or heavy snowfall. They offer excellent insulation properties which help in reducing energy costs by keeping your home warm during winter months.

Another advantage of this type of roof light is its ability to diffuse sunlight evenly throughout your space without causing any glare or hot spots. This makes them ideal for rooms where natural lighting is essential but needs to be controlled.

When it comes to installation, dome acrylic skylights are relatively easy to install compared with other types like custom-made ones. They come in standard sizes making them readily available at most hardware stores; however, if you have specific requirements regarding size or shape customization options are also available.

Barrel Vault Skylight

This type of skylight features an arched design that adds visual interest and architectural appeal to any space. Barrel vault skylights are often used in commercial buildings such as museums, galleries, and retail spaces but can also be installed in residential homes.

One of the benefits of barrel vault skylights is their ability to provide ample natural light while maintaining privacy. The curved design allows for more sunlight than traditional flat glass windows without sacrificing privacy or security.

When it comes to materials, barrel vaults can be made from various options such as polycarbonate or acrylic glazing which offers excellent insulation properties making them energy efficient too! They come with different finishes like clear or tinted depending on your preference.

Installation may require professional help due to its complex structure; however once installed correctly they offer long-lasting durability with minimal maintenance required over time!.


The most common materials used in skylights include glass, acrylic, and polycarbonate. Glass is a popular choice due to its durability and clarity; however, it can be heavy and expensive.

Acrylic is lightweight and shatter-resistant but may scratch easily over time. Polycarbonate offers excellent insulation properties but may yellow or become brittle with age.

Another factor to consider when selecting a material for your roof light is energy efficiency. Some materials offer better insulation than others which can help reduce heating costs during colder months while keeping the space cooler in summer.

Ultimately, the type of material you choose will depend on various factors such as budget constraints, desired aesthetics or functionality requirements like soundproofing or UV protection.

Light Shafts

They are vertical channels that connect the roof opening to the ceiling below, allowing natural light to penetrate deep into a room. Light shafts can be customized in length and width, depending on your needs and preferences.

When designing a light shaft, it’s important to consider its shape and size carefully. A narrow or curved light shaft can create interesting patterns of sunlight throughout the day while also providing privacy from neighboring buildings or trees.

You’ll want to think about how much space you have available for your skylight installation. If there isn’t enough room for a traditional straight-line design with perpendicular walls between floors (such as in an attic), then angled walls may be necessary instead.

Skylight Energy Efficiency

Skylights can help reduce your reliance on artificial lighting and lower your energy bills by allowing natural light into the space. However, if not installed correctly or with the right materials, they can also contribute to heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer.

To ensure maximum energy efficiency from your skylight installation, you should choose high-quality glass that has low emissivity coatings (Low-E). These coatings reflect infrared radiation while still allowing visible light through.

Selecting double-paned glass will provide better insulation than single-pane options.

Proper installation of a skylight is also essential for optimal performance. A professional installer should seal any gaps between the roof and frame of the window using weather-stripping or caulking material.

Installation Tips

First and foremost, safety is paramount. Make sure you have the proper equipment and training before attempting any installation work on your own.

Next, consider the placement of your skylight carefully. The position of your roof light will affect how much natural light enters the room as well as its overall aesthetic appeal.

It’s also important to choose an appropriate size for your skylight based on the dimensions of the room below it. A larger skylight may provide more natural light but could also lead to increased heat loss during colder months.

Make sure that all flashing and sealing around your new roof light is done correctly by a professional roofer or contractor with experience in this area. Proper installation ensures that water won’t leak into your home during heavy rain or snowfall.

Skylight Considerations

First and foremost, you’ll want to consider the location of the skylight. Skylights placed on south-facing roofs will receive more sunlight than those on north-facing roofs.

You’ll want to think about how much natural light you’d like in your space and whether or not it’s necessary for ventilation.

Another important consideration is the size of the skylight. While larger skylights may provide more natural light, they can also increase heat loss during colder months and heat gain during warmer months if not properly insulated.

It’s also essential to choose a reputable installer who has experience with installing roof lights as improper installation can lead to leaks or other issues down the line.

Be sure that any local building codes are followed when installing a new roof light as some areas have specific regulations regarding their use.

Features of Skylights

They offer several features that make them an attractive option for many people. One of the most significant benefits of skylights is their ability to provide ample lighting without taking up any floor space, making them ideal for smaller rooms or areas with limited windows.

Another feature of skylights is their versatility in design and placement. Skylights come in various shapes and sizes, allowing you to choose one that complements your home’s architecture while also providing the desired amount of light.

Some skylight models can be opened manually or electronically, providing ventilation options when needed. This feature not only helps regulate temperature but also improves indoor air quality by allowing fresh air into the room.

Lastly, modern-day skylight technology has made it possible for homeowners to enjoy energy-efficient options that help reduce heating and cooling costs while still enjoying natural illumination throughout the day.

Vented Skylights

These skylights can be opened manually or with a remote control, allowing fresh air to circulate throughout the room. Vented Skylights come in various sizes and shapes, making them suitable for any type of roof.

One of the main benefits of vented skylights is that they help regulate temperature and reduce energy costs by providing natural ventilation. During hot summer months, opening your vented skylight will allow hot air to escape from your home while bringing in cool fresh air from outside.

Another advantage is that these types of skylights provide additional lighting without sacrificing privacy since they are installed on the roof rather than walls or windows facing neighbors’ homes.

When considering installing a vented skylight, it’s essential first to determine if it’s feasible based on your roofing structure and location. A professional roofer can assess whether there is enough space between rafters or trusses for installation without compromising structural integrity.

Single Hung Windows

They are similar in design to double-hung windows, but only the bottom sash is operable. This means that the top sash is fixed and cannot be opened.

Single hung windows can be an excellent option for rooms where ventilation isn’t a priority, such as attics or basements. They also tend to be more affordable than other types of windows, making them an attractive option for those on a budget.

When it comes to pairing single hung windows with skylights, they can work well together in certain situations. For example, if you have high ceilings and want additional natural light sources at different heights within your space.

However, it’s important to note that single hung window installation requires careful consideration of placement and sizing relative  to your skylight(s).

Window Screens

They help to keep out insects and debris while allowing fresh air to circulate through the space. When choosing a window screen, it’s important to consider the type of skylight you have installed.

Some screens are designed specifically for fixed skylights, while others work best with ventilated or tubular models.

One popular option is a retractable screen that can be pulled down when needed and retracted when not in use. These types of screens are perfect for homeowners who want the benefits of natural light without sacrificing their view or ventilation options.

Another consideration is the material used in constructing your window screen. Traditional metal mesh screens may not be suitable for all types of skylights as they can block some natural light from entering your home or office space.

Window Film

Window films are thin, transparent sheets that can be applied directly onto your existing windows. They come in various shades and tints, allowing you to control the amount of light that enters your home or office.

One significant advantage of window film is its ability to block harmful UV rays from entering your space while still allowing natural light in. This feature not only protects you and your furniture from sun damage but also helps reduce energy costs by keeping rooms cooler during hot summer months.

Another benefit of window film is its affordability compared with other types of skylights or windows replacement options. It’s an excellent alternative for those on a budget who still want the benefits that come with increased natural lighting.

However, it’s essential to note that not all window films are created equal; some may peel over time or become discolored due to exposure from sunlight and weather elements. Therefore it’s crucial always choosing high-quality products installed by professionals experienced in this type installation process.

Deck-Mounted Skylights

These types of skylights sit directly on the roof deck, making them easy to install and maintain. They come in various shapes and sizes, including rectangular, square, circular or oval.

One of the benefits of deck-mounted skylights is that they can be installed flush with your roofline for a sleek look that blends seamlessly into your home’s design. They offer excellent insulation properties which help regulate temperature inside your home while reducing energy costs.

When considering installing a deck-mounted skylight in your home or workplace there are several factors you should consider such as size requirements based on room dimensions; materials used (glass vs acrylic); whether it will be fixed or vented; how much natural light you need; what type of glazing options work best for different climates etc.

Curb-Mounted Skylights

These skylights sit on top of a raised curb, which is built up around the opening in the roof. This design allows for easy installation and maintenance, as well as improved energy efficiency.

One of the benefits of curb-mounted skylights is that they can be installed on almost any type of roofing material, including asphalt shingles, metal roofs or flat roofs. They also come in various shapes and sizes to fit your specific needs.

When it comes to choosing a curb-mounted skylight, there are several factors you should consider such as size and shape options available; materials used; energy efficiency ratings; ventilation options (if needed); ease-of-installation requirements (including whether or not you need professional help).

Types of Roof Skylight Glass

There are several types of skylight glass available, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Some popular options include tempered glass, laminated glass, insulated glazing units (IGUs), and polycarbonate.

Tempered Glass: This type of skylight glass is heat-treated to make it stronger than regular annealed or float-glass. It’s resistant to breakage but can shatter into small pieces if broken.

Laminated Glass: Laminated skylight glasses consist of two or more layers that are bonded together with a plastic interlayer in between them. They offer excellent sound insulation properties while also being highly durable.

Insulated Glazing Units (IGUs): IGU consists of two panes separated by a spacer bar filled with air or gas such as argon which provides better thermal insulation compared to single-pane windows.

Polycarbonate: Polycarbonate is lightweight yet strong material used in roofing applications due its durability against impact damage from hailstones etc., making it ideal for areas prone to extreme weather conditions like hurricanes tornadoes etc.

When choosing the right type of roof lightglass for your home or workplace consider factors such as energy efficiency requirements, budget constraints, location-specific weather patterns among others.

Glass Features

The type of glass you choose for your skylight will depend on several factors such as the climate in your area, the amount of sunlight you want to let in and how much insulation is required.

Low-E Glass: This type of glass has a special coating that reflects heat back into the room during winter months while keeping out unwanted heat during summer months. It helps reduce energy costs by maintaining a comfortable temperature inside.

Tempered Glass: Tempered glass is four times stronger than regular annealed (non-tempered) glass and shatters into small pieces when broken instead of large shards. This makes it safer for homes with children or pets.

Laminated Glass: Laminated glass consists two or more layers bonded together by an interlayer film which holds them together even if they break. It provides extra protection against UV rays and noise reduction from outside traffic.

Insulated Glass Units (IGUs): IGUs consist two panes separated by an air space filled with argon gas which reduces heat transfer between indoors and outdoors resulting in better insulation properties compared to single-pane windows.

Skylights and Hail Damage

Hailstones can cause cracks or even shatter the glass of a skylight, leaving your home exposed to the elements. If you live in an area prone to hailstorms, it’s important to choose skylights that are designed with impact-resistant materials.

One option is polycarbonate glazing which is much stronger than traditional glass and has been tested for resistance against impacts from large hailstones. Another option is tempered glass which undergoes a special heating process during manufacturing making it more resistant than regular annealed glass.

It’s also essential that you have proper installation of your skylight by professionals who understand how best  to protect them from potential damage caused by severe weather conditions such as heavy rain and strong winds.

Skylight Covers and Cages

Skylight covers come in different materials such as polycarbonate or aluminum and can be customized to fit any size of the skylight. They offer an extra layer of protection against harsh weather conditions while still allowing natural light into your space.

On the other hand, Skylight cages provide a more robust solution for security purposes. They are made with heavy-duty steel bars that prevent unauthorized access to your property through the roof opening while still allowing ventilation and natural light into space.

When choosing between a cover or cage for your skylights, consider factors like location, climate conditions in your area, budget constraints among others. It’s always advisable to consult with professionals who will guide you on which option is best suited for you based on their experience and expertise.

Roof Skylight Condensation

This occurs when warm, moist air inside your home rises and comes into contact with the cold surface of the skylight. The moisture in the air then condenses on the glass, causing water droplets to form.

While some amount of condensation is normal, excessive amounts can lead to problems such as mold growth or damage to surrounding materials. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to ensure proper ventilation in your home and around your skylight.

Choosing a double-paned or insulated glass for your skylight can help reduce heat loss and minimize condensation buildup. Regular maintenance checks are also recommended to catch any potential issues early on before they become bigger problems.

Roof Skylight Leaks

One common cause of roof skylight leaks is improper installation or flashing. If the flashing around the skylight is damaged or improperly sealed, water can seep in and cause damage to your roof and interior walls.

Another potential issue that may lead to leaking is condensation buildup on the glass surface during cold weather conditions. This occurs when warm air inside meets with cold surfaces outside causing moisture droplets on windows which eventually leads to leakage.

To prevent these issues from occurring, it’s important to have your skylights installed by professionals who understand how they work and what materials are needed for proper sealing. Regular maintenance checks should also be carried out periodically as part of routine housekeeping practices so that any signs of wear or tear can be detected early enough before major damages occur.

Do Skylights Increase Home Value?

According to a study by the National Association of Home Builders, adding skylights can increase a home’s value by up to 5%. This is because skylights enhance the aesthetics and functionality of any space while reducing energy costs.

Potential buyers often look for homes that have plenty of natural light. Skylights provide an excellent source of daylighting which has been shown in studies as having positive effects on mood and productivity.

However, it’s important to note that not all types or placements of skylights will necessarily add value. It depends on factors such as location within the house (e.g., kitchen vs bathroom), size relative to room dimensions, quality materials used in construction/installation process etc.

Overall though if you’re looking for ways improve both your living experience and resale potential then installing some well-placed roof lights could be just what you need!.


What are the names of roof lights?

Roof lights are referred to as Glass Skylights, Roof Lights, Lantern Lights, and Glass Domes, which all function to allow natural daylight into a room through an opening in the roof space.

What are the different types of skylights for roofs?

Answer: The different types of skylights for roofs include ventilating (roof windows), fixed, and tubular, with shapes such as flat, arched, domed, and pyramid, made from materials like plastic or glass.

What is the difference between a roof light and a skylight?

The difference between a roof light and a skylight is that there is no technical difference, only a preference in terminology, as they are the same product.

How do I know what kind of skylight I have?

To identify your skylight type, locate the data plate on the frame containing the product serial number, which indicates the model, glass type, and date of manufacture.

What are the benefits of installing roof lights in a building?

Answer: Installing roof lights in a building provides benefits such as increased natural light, enhanced aesthetics, energy savings, and improved ventilation.

How do the materials used in roof lights affect their function and energy efficiency?

The materials used in roof lights, such as glass and polycarbonate, directly influence their function and energy efficiency by affecting heat retention, thermal conductivity, and light transmission capabilities.

What are the maintenance requirements for various types of roof lights and skylights?

Maintenance requirements for various types of roof lights and skylights include regular cleaning, inspection for cracks or leaks, checking seals and flashing, and prompt repair or replacement of damaged components.