It is very common to weigh the pros and cons of skylights before committing to this medium-sized project and investment. Whether you are working with home remodeling contractors to install residential skylights or you are exploring your options for commercial skylights for your business property, today’s skylights have come a long way in tipping the balance more clearly toward their benefits.
One of the biggest benefits of skylights is their potential to reduce your electricity bill. While there have been significant advances in reducing the energy usage of artificial lighting with the advent of CFLs and LEDs, nothing beats the low, low price of natural light. And with the new technology in skylights, their cost-effectiveness has only increased.
In the early days of skylights, they often presented the pesky problem of condensation buildup on the interior of the skylight dome. This not only led to inconvenient water drips, but also it dimmed the radiance of natural light into the inside of the building. The best modern skylights, however, are better insulated to prevent the formation of condensation in the first place and are also equipped with improved condensation wicking systems. Together these advancements mean the skylight lets natural light in unobstructed and the electric light fixtures need not be used to compensate for dull skylights.
If the space that would benefit from natural light is not conveniently located beneath an appropriate spot in the roof, skylights were once thought to be out of the question and electric lights the only solution. But with tunnel skylights, there are more ways to bring natural light into a variety of interior spaces. Like with conventional skylights, tunnel skylights are installed into the roof, but instead of stopping there, a tube extends to reach the ceiling of the appointed room where an aperture is cut and covered with a light-diffusing material. Tunnel skylights can direct natural light through attics, dropped ceilings, and can even employ mirrors where the tube needs to be angled.
Solar tracking skylights
Solar tracking skylights are on the cutting edge of skylight technology and boast an impressive percentage of daylight harvested. These skylights are outfitted with a set of mirrors that hang from a wire frame that arches above the interior skylight glazing and is enclosed in an exterior acrylic dome. The frame and mirrors rotate to follow the movement of the sun, reflecting its rays indoors from every angle until it sets. On top of that, solar tracking skylights need no source of external power to operate as they are controlled by a photocell. These skylights have the potential to light up a home or building with natural light for more hours than older skylight models and can produce the equivalent of 800 watts of florescent lighting.