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8 Types of Skylights (With Pictures)


Skylights are built into the roof that allows natural light to reach inside the room. Skylights provide a clear and unobstructed view of the sky or other scenery, which is an excellent way to make any room seem much larger and more spacious. Skylights, especially those that are grand, can add a lot of architectural quality and improve the home’s overall look. Depending on the style of the skylight you choose to incorporate into your home, you could achieve a much more luxurious look while adding more air circulation throughout the house.

Before you make that big step of installing a skylight, it may be wiser to consult a licensed expert about which type of skylight is best for your specific room.

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The 8 Types of Skylights

1. Fixed Skylight

Fixed Skylight
Image Credit: Ocskay Mark, Shutterstock

Fixed skylights are the most common types of skylights, loved by many homeowners and business owners. This skylight is explicitly made for hard-to-reach areas, such as rooms with high ceilings, stairwells, or attics. They are tightly fixed to the roof, meaning they cannot open to provide ventilation or humidity control of the room, so be careful when choosing this type of skylight. Nevertheless, these skylights offer a clear, unobstructed view of the sky, bringing an elegant and soothing atmosphere into the home. The windows on fixed skylights are glass, and the frames are made of timber, steel, or aluminum.

  • They provide an obstructed view of the sky or other scenery
  • Perfect for high ceilings and hard-to-reach places
  • Come in a variety of sizes and materials
  • Tightly sealed and cannot open
  • They don’t provide air circulation

2. Pyramid Skylight

Pyramid Skylight
Image Credit: Douglas Cliff, Shutterstock

Pyramid skylights are unique in form and shape and sealed to the rooftop. These skylights’ names come from their specific shape, resembling a pyramid. They come in various sizes depending on their purpose and location. They are usually installed in lobbies with high ceilings, large entryways, and commercial or business buildings. Nevertheless, you can install these skylights in residential lots and larger homes by customizing them depending on their specific requirements and features.

  • Suitable for hard-to-reach areas
  • Convenient for large spaces
  • Come in various sizes
  • Adds architectural quality to the space
  • Fixed to the ceiling
  • Typically too large for residential areas

3. Tubular Skylight

Tubular Skylight
Image Credit: alexander-nowak, Unsplash

Tubular skylights are entirely different from traditional skylights. They are also called solar skylights because they catch sunlight and reflect it into your home. Tubular skylights differ from standard skylights because they don’t offer a view outside, providing maximum room privacy. They are perfect for bathrooms, closets, and hallways. Even though these skylights are fixed to the rooftop, they come with various features such as exhaust fans, UV filters, and light dimmers.

  • Provide privacy
  • Energy-efficient
  • Ideal for smaller rooms
  • Easy to install
  • Don’t provide a view of the outside
  • Unsuitable for larger rooms

4. Barrel Vault Skylight

Barrel Vault Skylight
Image Credit: Elena_Alex_Ferns, Shutterstock

Barrel vault skylights are stunning and grandiose constructions that aren’t as fitting for residential lots. These large skylights are perfect for large spaces such as malls, industrial complexes, hospitals, and educational institutions. The barrel vault skylight will give any room a feeling of a much larger space while providing a lot of natural sunlight. These skylights are fixed to the roof, meaning they don’t provide air ventilation. Once this skylight is installed, it will take up more than 80% of the rooftop, which doesn’t offer much privacy in homes.

  • Provides the room with a stunning look
  • Convenient for any larger space
  • It gives a lot of natural light
  • Unsuitable for small rooms
  • Don’t offer a lot of privacy in residential areas
  • Fixed to the roof without allowing any air circulation

5. Vented Skylight

Vented Skylight
Image Credit: Ben Schonewille, Shutterstock

Vented skylights are almost entirely similar to fixed skylights, with the most crucial difference being the window—which you can manually open and close. They are suitable for areas that are easier to reach unless the window opens by electronic control. Vented skylights would be ideal in those areas where you are looking to add a skylight but also for a bit more air ventilation. These skylights are very popular for rooms such as bathrooms, kitchens, and washrooms since these places tend to accumulate a lot of humidity.

  • Unsuitable for small rooms
  • Don’t offer a lot of privacy in residential areas
  • Fixed to the roof without allowing any air circulation
  • Higher price compared to fixed skylights
  • Higher risk of leaking during bad weather

6. Dome Skylight

Dome Skylight
Image Credit: MemoryCatcher, Shutterstock

Dome skylights are another impressive construction that gives any larger space a more elegant look. The primary purpose of dome skylights is to provide natural sunlight that will scatter around the entire area instead of directly penetrating. These skylights must be made with firm materials that can hold weight, such as a strong and flexible plastic in two protective layers. You can commonly find dome skylights in large buildings, providing natural light that reflects and emphasizes the appearance of sculptures, planters, murals, paintings, and such. While these skylights are more common in commercial and cultural buildings, they can also serve as stunning constructions in residential buildings. Nevertheless, hiring a professional and licensed constructor is essential when installing a dome skylight.

  • Suitable for residential and non-residential buildings
  • Stable and secure
  • Provide a lot of sunlight that scatters around the room
  • They have to be installed by a professional

7. Curb-Mounted Skylight

Curb-Mounted Skylight
Image Credit: Radovan1, Shutterstock

Curb-mounted skylights may be the most popular type of skylight on the market because they are affordable and practical. You can install this skylight in any room, no matter the size. The term curb-mounted refers to a raised frame that houses the skylight. This design is very simple yet effective. Since curb-mounted skylights are so simple in design, anyone with some experience can install them. Hiring a professional when installing this skylight is unnecessary and this project isn’t time-consuming.

  • Practical
  • Affordable
  • Easy to install
  • Decreased energy efficiency

8. Deck-Mounted Skylight

Deck-Mounted Skylight
Image Credit: Gabor Tinz, Shutterstock

Deck-mounted skylights are a step beyond curb-mounted ones. They have become more popular in recent years, especially because they are more energy efficient. The deck-mounted skylight is thought to be much more appealing than other types of skylights, particularly because of its simple yet elegant design. Even though they may be a bit harder to install, these skylights add a sleeker look to your home. You can install it in any room in your home, in large or small spaces.

  • Elegant and simple design
  • Energy-efficient
  • Suitable for any room
  • More challenging to install than curb-mounted skylights

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How to Choose the Right Skylight for Your Home

When searching for the ideal skylight for your home, it is essential to look at a few crucial factors. You may need to consider the size of the space first, which will determine the type of skylight you need. Not all skylights are suitable for every room, so think of the room you want to improve.

If you plan to add natural sunlight to your living room or kitchen, you may need two or more small skylights or one large skylight. If you want to add a skylight that will be the room’s focal point, you may need to provide a bigger budget as these large skylights tend to cost more. If you want to install a functional and energy-efficient skylight in your bathroom, a tubular skylight may be a perfect choice.

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After learning about the different options of skylights that you can install in your home, you can finally continue to the next step, which would be installing the skylight. Once you choose the ideal skylight, you will add charm and appeal to your home!

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Featured Image Credit: alexey-suslyakov, Unsplash


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