There are many different types of skylights along with many different skylight features available depending on the room and type of roof. The three main types of skylights are: tubular, fixed and ventilated skylights. Along with the type of skylight, you would also consider the materials, filters and features you want.
- Glass Skylights
- Dome Acrylic Skylights
- Fixed Skylights
- Venting Skylights
- Pyramid Skylights
- Green Skylights
- Custom Skylights
- Barrel Vault Skylights
- Tubular Skylights/Sun Tunnels
For any flat skylight the optimal material is glass. Most glass skylights will be composed of tempered safety glass or laminated safety glass or a combination of the two. Your local building codes will indicate what type of safety glass is required.
What is the difference between tempered glass and laminated glass?
Tempered glass is heat-strengthened glass like the glass in your shower doors and patio doors. It is very strong, but, if it breaks, it explodes into thousands of tiny pieces. The side windows of most cars are tempered. Laminated glass is glass with a plastic inter-layer which is designed to hold in place when it breaks. Building codes call for laminated glass as the interior piece of glass on any glass skylight, other than wired glass units. Laminated glass has the extra advantage in that it is a very effective block of ultraviolet light which is the leading cause of fading.
What is “Low-E” glass?
More and more skylights are being made of Low-E (for low emissivity) glass. Low-E glass was originally developed for energy efficiency, but it has the additional benefit of blocking heat gain as well as heat loss through a skylight. It provides a very comfortable light without darkening the skylight such as in the use of tinted glass. Either tempered glass or laminated glass can have a Low-E feature included. There is also Low-E2 (or Low-E squared) for even greater benefits. It is a denser version of Low-E which is slightly darker in appearance and was designed for even greater thermal efficiency.
Dome Acrylic Skylights
Dome skylights are designed to shut out inclement weather, are shaped to wash themselves in rain, can be insulated (double domes), will provide ventilation, access to the roof and even help fight fires. Due to their unique shape, residential dome skylights are immune to many of the potential problems caused by water pooling. Sometimes a skylight is the only way to bring natural daylight into a building. On a square foot basis, skylights admit far more light and distribute light much more evenly than a vertical window simply because they face directly towards the sky.
Skylights may also be used to advantage in building entrances to enhance foyers or spotlight attractive features such as sculptures, murals, paintings, planters, reflecting pools, etc. A whole room roofed over with skylights can add greatly to the atmosphere of a garden court or restaurant.
Dome Skylight Use
• For all commercial, industrial, institutional or residential buildings.
• With flat or sloping roofs, any construction.
• For new construction or renovation of existing structures.
• For conventional or unusual applications.
Dome Skylight General Features
• Wide range of standard types, dome colour and sizes to suit virtually any function or aesthetic requirement; also custom fabricated to any size or shape for unusual lighting effects.
• Free daylighting provides electric power saving and subsequent maintenance of artificial lighting.
• Fast installation of pre-assembled units minimizes on-site costs.
• Positive curb frame seal stops wind, rain, snow and dust; pliability of seal
permits free expansion of acrylic during atmospheric change; low conductivity of acrylic resists formation of condensation.
• Adds to apparent size of small rooms.
• Acrylic dome materials proven to resist discoloration, hazing and loss of strength in more than a half-century of successful outdoor use. Meets fire code requirements when tested in accordance with ASTM D-635
Fixed skylights provide an economical alternative in creating a spacious home that is filled with natural light. They capture abundant daylight for rooms in which maximum lighting is the only requirement and are perfect for visually expanding areas such as hallways, stairwells and other closed-in, dark spaces that can be transformed with light and sky views. Fixed skylights come quality constructed with selection of wooden frames, gaskets to drain any condensation to the outside, and a choice of tempered clear, Low-E and ComfortPlus Low-E, laminated insulated glass. Protective exterior cladding (available in aluminum or copper) offers protection and a streamlined, low-profile appearance.
A venting skylight enables any home to embrace the best of what nature has to offer. Opening for maximum fresh air, the manual venting skylight contributes to a home’s proper moisture balance and comfort level by allowing stale, humid air to be released creating a “passive air conditioner” or “chimney effect”. This effect releases hot air accumulating at the ceiling while bringing cooler, fresh air in through windows, in turn, reducing electrical needs for A/C and allowing fresh air to circulate through the home. Venting skylights, also known as operable skylights or retractable skylights can operate manually or by a motor as per the customers needs. Rain sensors and remote control options including thermostats can also be integrated into the skylight system.
Pyramid skylights work well on both modern and period structures as the uncomplicated non fussy design blends in with both new and old. Each pyramid skylight system consists of main aluminum rafters with horizontal purlins (as required). The glazing panels rest on a snap-in EPDM gaskets and are secured by extruded aluminum retaining bars on the main spanning rafters.
Horizontal joints are “butt glazed” with high modulus silicon sealants. Exterior fasteners on the retaining bars are covered with mating, snap on caps. Pyramid skylights have a system of serrated screw spline, integrated internal weep and drainage, internal purlin to rafter connection (no exposed fasteners), thus better aesthetics.
Green Skylights – Energy Star
Artificial lighting is one of the biggest sources of energy consumption in commercial and industrial applications. Typically artificial lighting accounts for an average of 40% of the building’s total energy. Utilizing the high amount of light visible through glass, skylights have been shown to reduce these energy costs by allowing artificial lighting to be turned on an average of 20% – 30% of the time. Proper design, installation and placement of a skylight results in a skylight-to-floor ratio (SFR) of between 4% – 6%. With proper design, the cost of a skylight is paid back in an average of less than two years.
Energy-efficient windows, doors or skylights will reduce your home energy costs by 7% – 15%, reduce or eliminate cold drafts, collect less condensation and reduce noise from outside. Lower energy consumption also reduces greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and shrinks a house’s carbon footprint.
Save time, money and energy.
Skylights are manufactured to work with certain types of roofs whether they are sloped or flat. In particular cases where the structure of a roof is unique, we can provide you with custom designed skylights and professional advice to ensure the materials and filters are right for your project. There are many skylight features to choose from including hurricane resistant glass, motorized venting systems, temperature controls and rain sensors.
Skylight Installers.ca can produce and deliver a custom skylight that will bring valuable core-lighting, and a touch of elegance into your residential or commercial building. We will include detailed blueprints and installation instructions to simplify the process for all parties.
Barrel Vault Skylights
Frequently used in non-residential structures, barrel vault skylights or arch-vault skylights are utilized for their ability to transmit natural light through building interiors, while increasing solar heat gain. When designed for use in hallways and corridors, barrel vault skylights create an airy and spacious feel.
We have built barrel vault skylights for use in numerous structures such as: passageways, canopies, parking shelters, mall arcades, medical and educational institutions, and industrial complexes. With design capabilities including low-rise, mid-rise, and quarter to half variations, our arch-vault skylights can be used as single units or multiple adjacent vaults for countless architectural tastes and styles.
The barrel vault system is one of the most versatile structures and applications are limited only by the imagination. The clean lines of the arch rafters are designed for economics and strength when glazed with polycarbonate, acrylic, or segmented glass in single or insulated units. Optional retractable vault systems are available in acrylic or polycarbonate glazing.
Tubular Skylights & Sun Tunnels
Tubular skylights, are an affordable, high-performance lighting solution that brings daylight into interior spaces where traditional skylights and windows simply can’t reach. Sometimes called “suntubes,” “sun tunnels,” “solar tubes,” and even “light tunnels,” tubular skylights have become the ideal solution for lighting interiors in a cost-effective, energy-efficient and eco-friendly way because they significantly reduce the need for electricity.
Sun tunnels are better suited for areas where fixed or ventilating skylights would be too large because they fit well into small spaces. A small clear collector dome on the roof allows sunlight to enter into a highly reflective light pipe that extends from the roof level to the ceiling level. The light pipe is coated with a silver finish mirror quality that allows the full spectrum of sunlight to be channeled and dispersed evenly into a room through the means of a diffuser located in the ceiling. The internal reflective light pipe is also adjustable so you can be assured that you are always receiving the ideal amount of sunlight.
Tubular skylights are modular and easy to connect to ceiling systems. And unlike traditional skylights, they are designed to control the problematic aspects of sunlight. They reduce glare and inconsistent light patterns. They also screen infrared rays that can overheat interiors as well as ultraviolet rays that can fade furniture and fabrics. Aside from their functionality, sun tunnels also promote creative architectural expression. They can be used to achieve specific lighting effects such as wall washes and soffit lighting. They can even provide illumination for special applications such as living walls and aquariums.
For projects requiring maximum energy efficiency in skylight design, we also manufacture a hybrid option that combines advanced Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) with our proven daylighting technology. LED Systems automatically blend ultra-energy efficient LED light with free natural light to provide illumination throughout the day and night while significantly cutting energy use.
Our sun tunnels use the best materials, the most advanced technologies, and the most progressive engineering to create products that deliver the highest quality daylight at the greatest output.
We believe everyone deserves to experience the benefits that bright, beautiful and free daylight has to offer. That’s why designing high-performing, cost-effective and affordable skylight systems that reduce electricity use and energy costs is not only our job, it’s our passion.