Natural Light Day or Night
Skylights have always received bad press. They leak. They are making the room cold. The sun only comes through in one spot on the floor. They fade furniture. All of these complaints are valid of skylights that have been either incorrectly installed, or poorly laid out.
You will notice the picture above of a galley style bathroom that looks like the seen of a luxury hotel. It looks will lit because it is... with natural light. The sky lite brings in natural light in the bathroom that other wise wouldn't be there. Also, the skylight may open, either manually or by remote offering ventilation from a new angle to help cool the bathroom.
So how is this a green product? It allows you to have light in your home all the time without turning on the lights thus saving energy. At night, there is usually still light from the moon. This can serve as a great source of light if you need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night or if you are just getting home and need extra light to find the light switch. By utilizing skylights in the main living areas of a home, you can cut down on your electrical usage by as much as 60%.
Fixed vs. Operational Skylights
First off, it is a good practice if you are going to have a skylight in a bathroom to allow it to open. This eliminates the need for a fan vent and provides light while taking a shower. Fixed skylights are good for high ceiling areas. Some skylights have vents that can be opened to allow air movement in the space they are installed. These can be opened or closed with a pole tool that comes with the skylights.
In general, fixed skylights are more efficient. Because they have no moving parts, unwanted air infiltration is not an issue. However, I tend to like operational skylights in every room simply for the ventilation aspect. It allows a much more natural flow of air through a space. In the summer time, it is feasible to control room temperature with a quality ceiling fan, an open skylight or two, and the windows open. Plus, the air conditioning won't be running saving you hundreds of dollars.
Most skylight manufacturers have models with convenience features built onto them. Some of these are listed below:
Retractable Blinds Many skylights now come with retractable blinds to block the sun at certain times of the day. They are also helpful to avoid heat loss on cool nights. Some models come with a remote control for ultimate convenience.
Operational (Open and Close) Besides coming with a pole for opening and closing skylights, some models come with remotes that perform this operation with the touch of a button.
Solar Skylights Some skylights come with solar panels on them to hep generate electricity for small electrical needs. New technology is being testing for windows will generate enough electricity to power your home completely.
Skylights are relatively inexpensive to install and bring any room to life. The average cost per skylight is between $400 and $1,000 for skylights 48" long or shorter. Please remember that this product should always be installed by a qualified contractor. Improper installation of this product will cause serious problems that are not only time wasting, but also expensive.