Tips For A Successful Skylight Installation

Why install a skylight?

The number one reason to install a skylight is to bring more natural daytime light into a dark interior space. This is not limited to a living room, bedroom or kitchen, we have installed skylights in all rooms of a house as well as in hallways that need brightening with more daytime light. Skylights allow passive solar heat to enter your home on sunny days year round. Skylights can also be used to add style and personality to a space or room in the home.

Here are the major considerations that need to be addressed before installing a Skylight.

Talk with your roofing contractor

Before installing a skylight, there are many things you need to think about. The homeowner must consider the following things when installing a skylight: placement, energy efficiency, and many other factors. It is important to ensure that the roof is properly installed and resistant to water damage. Talk to your contractor about the potential effects of a skylight on a space. When designing a skylight, it is important to choose an experienced skylight installation contractor.

Take the Sun’s position into consideration

Skylight installation is a decision that involves determining the best place for the skylight in relation to the exact location of the sun in the sky during all seasons of the year, especially in New England when the winter sun angle is low and the days are short.

Natural lighting:

Skylights that face north provide cool, constant illumination.

Free, passive solar heating:

To get the most sunlight and solar heat, those facing east will be the best.

The best afternoon sun:

An installation facing west will bring afternoon sunshine and warmth.

Winter heat gain:

South-facing skylights are the best for solar heat gain in winter, but they can also trap heat in summer. An optional shade is usually installed with a south facing skylight. Another option is to install the skylight under trees that shed their leaves in the fall.


Solar heat gain is affected by the angle or slope of your skylight. This information should be considered when you install your skylight. Low slopes are not recommended as they allow in more solar heat during the summer than winter. Your geographic latitude plus 5-15 degrees is the ideal slope calculation.

Glazing and Insulation

Plastic and glass are the most common materials to glaze a skylight. Plastic is cheaper and less likely to crack than other types of glazing. A plexiglass skylight can scratch easily and let in ultraviolet (UV) rays that are extremely harmful to furniture and people. While glass is the more expensive option, it is more durable because it is usually tempered and laminated. To reduce winter heat loss and summertime solar heat gain, new glazing technologies have evolved that are now available.

Solar powered skylights

A solar-powered skylights can reduce your home’s electricity consumption and make it more efficient. These skylights can also be eligible for tax credits.

Energy efficiency

Because they can be powered by solar energy, solar-powered skylights offer a viable alternative to electric ones. They are also self-sufficient and can still be operated during power outages. You don’t need to wire the house because a solar powered skylight has its own solar cell and an internal battery.

Solar Power Tax Credits

Skylights that are powered by solar energy are usually eligible for a federal tax credit which is calculated on the purchase and installation cost of the product. As federal tax credits for solar are declining, check with an accountant or tax professional to see if federal or state credits are still in effect or not.