Discover the benefits of Skylights. Is there any other glazing application that has quite the same impact as a Skylight? Whether it be for aesthetics, natural light, or energy savings, Skylights will contribute with a sense of elegance; a certain je ne sais quoi unrivalled by other glass fittings. In this piece, we’ll delve into the big four Skylight highlights, the things that make this particular form of roof application so desirable to homeowners, and how you can get the best out of yours.
Skylights. Named as they allow light to enter your home from the sky. Pretty simple when you think about it. According to one source, the first Skylights actually date back as far as ancient Rome, suggesting that we’re not the first civilisation of humans to enjoy receiving natural light whilst indoors. However, it wasn’t until 1941 that someone had the bright idea of putting a non-leaking window in the ceiling.
Since the turn of the century, Skylights have grown in popularity, now being commonplace in modern housing extensions up and down the country. But why? What about Skylights makes them a superb addition to the modern home? Allow us to explain…
SKYLIGHTS ALLOW IN A LOT OF NATURAL LIGHT
Skylights are a “vertical light source”. This is the primary and most obvious aspect of why Skylights are a prudent purchase. But do you know of all the benefits that this vertical natural light provides to us humans? There are a few…
It can wake you up. According to one source, exposing yourself to vertical light is one of the best things you can do to feel more awake early in the morning. This is because your light-receptor cells in your eyes are located towards the bottom of the eye, meaning that light from a high vantage point serves to stimulate these cells more effectively.
Having a skylight in your home allows you to receive this natural light! Making you feel more awake and ready to face the day.
It can help you sleep. Another benefit of this vertical natural light exposure is the impact it has on your circadian hormones, in particular melatonin. Receiving plentiful natural light from such a source throughout your day is good way to regulate your melatonin levels, and lead to a more restful slumber when this light subsides in the evening.
It can boost your mood. Another chemical shown in studies to be well-calibrated by natural light exposure is your mood-regulation hormone, Serotonin. So much so in fact, that one of the first ports-of-call for an individual suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is something that is referred to as “bright light therapy”, a process by which the individual is exposed to bright light in an attempt to boost serotonin production.
So, there you go. A consistent supply of light from the sky helps you flourish as a homosapien.
SKYLIGHTS GIVE YOUR HOME A MODERN AESTHETIC
“What does a modern aesthetic look like?” I hear you ask. It’s probably easier if we show you…
One big benefit of installing Skylights in your home is the heavenly visuals. On top of the large quantity of natural light that you’re now receiving and feeling the many benefits of (covered earlier), you’ve now also got a space that sparks intense envy deep in the souls of your house guests.
Having a skylight or two in your home can really transform the look and feel of your space, somehow making it look bigger and fresher.
Skylights help to create a positive vibe in a room. With that luxurious spacious feel, coupled with plentiful sunlight entry, your “Skylight room” is likely to be one where you and the rest of your home’s inhabitants feel good in, simply a place where you’ll enjoy being.
This is good too, because if it ever comes to the point of selling up, modern glazing applications such as Skylights, Bifold Doors and Lantern Roofs will quite possibly add to the resale value of your home!
WITH THE RIGHT GLASS, SKYLIGHTS CAN SAVE YOU MONEY
Let’s talk facts for a moment. Whenever we write about any area of glazing application, we always like to tell you about the things to look for i.e. features and statistics that will make your new glazing application perform at its peak.
There are certain things a glass needs at its core for a glazing application, like a Skylight, to be worth the time, money and construction it may require to own it. You don’t just want a Skylight that’s all about the aesthetics and doesn’t perform. It’d be like having a car with no engine.
So, what should you look for in a Skylight? Well, the first thing you’ll want is a glass with a good level of light transmission so that not too much light is reflected away from your room, helping you create a bright, airy space that your family will love. A glass with a light transmission of around 45-75% will do just fine, and will also allow some other effective statistics.
Secondly, Solar gain. Similar to light transmission, a glass unit also has a heat transmission statistic. The name given to this is a “g-value”. A low g-value indicates that more heat is reflected away from the glass, e.g. a g-value of 0.2 allows 20% of the heat directed at the window by the sun to pass through, reflecting the remaining 80%.
Most of the time, particularly for a roof application like a skylight, it is superior to have a unit with a low g-value. This is so that, in those hot British Summer months, most of the heat is reflected away from your home, helping prevent an internal overheating problem. Anything below a g-value of 0.3 will work well in keeping your room cooler in the summertime.
And last, but definitely not least, insulation statistics. It is so important for roof applications to have solid heat retention stats; you don’t want your “Skylight room” to be somewhere that’s basically off-limits from November to March for nippy-ness reasons.
The thing about heat is that it rises (as I’m sure you already knew), this is why it’s vital that a Skylight has the ability to reflect a high proportion of this heat back into your home, and not simply allow it to pass through and leave you cold.
A Skylight with a low “U-value” is what you need, perhaps in the range of 0.9-1.4. This level of insulation will most likely save you money on your energy bills when compared to a glass with a higher U-value. A lower U-value traps that heat right where you want it in the height of winter: inside.
So, to summarise: with the right glass, your Skylight can help you create a room that not only looks great and receives loads of sunlight, but a room that is protected by performance, creating a comfortable space for you and your family to enjoy all year round. Remember: light transmission, solar gain and insulation. These are the three key statistics that make or break your Skylight room.
SKYLIGHTS CAN BE A GREAT SOURCE OF FRESH AIR
Ok let’s be clear, SOME Skylights are a great source of fresh air, some are not. This is purely a benefit of Skylights that open as a roof window, many Skylights do not do this and are instead a permanent, “still” fixture in your roof.
For those of you with Skylights that do open, you’ve got a sneaky fourth benefit. The open-up-ability of your Skylight allows you to fill your space with birdsong, fresh air, and even more natural light than before. All this combines to create an airy room that is less prone to overheating in the Summer.
CONCLUSION: SKYLIGHT HIGHLIGHTS
So those are the four big Skylight highlights. Skylights give you stunning, modern aesthetics and great views, as well as providing a source of vertical natural light. They help wake you up, cheer up and tire out. Skylights with a high-performance glass solution help to create a space you can feel comfortable in all year round, as well as contributing to cheaper energy bills. And if you’re lucky enough to own an opening Skylight you’ve got an endless supply of fresh air to top it all off.