Welcome to our overview of residential skylights. This web page was written to provide a basic understanding of skylights, their applications, common terminology and basic features. Please move on to FAQ’s for SKYLIGHTS or VELUX Skylights -- Sizes & Shapes for more detailed information and specifications.
You may know that skylights were first used in Europe (invented by VELUX) almost seventy years ago. In Europe then and now it is rare to see a non-venting skylight. The very name VELUX is derived from VE -- ventilation and LUX – light. The concept of allowing fresh air and sunlight into a building proved to be very popular, thus the skylight industry was born.
Fixed Skylights Verses Venting Skylights
Skylights come in two types; Fixed and Venting.
VELUX Fixed Skylight VELUX Venting Skylight
There is absolutely no foundation for the misconception that one type leaks more than the other. In fact VELUX skylights, properly installed, do not leak and VELUX backs that up with its 10 year "No Leak" promise. We often tell our customers "Skylights don't leak, installations do", which is why VELUX developed the Five-Star Certification...to make certain customers can find a company that installs skylights properly. Houseworks Daylighting Solutions is one of the oldest and most experienced Five-Star Certified companies in the country.
VELUX now manufactures three models of venting skylights; one that operates manually and two others that operate electrically; one from household current and the other from solar energy. All three carry the VELUX 10 year warranty and each has benefits the others do not. For instance, the manually operated units are great in low-ceiling applications like bonus rooms over a garage or where the skylight is within easy reach. They cost much less than their electrical counterpart and are very simple to open and close.
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| Electrically Venting Skylight|| Solar Venting Skylight || Manually Venting Skylight|
The electrical and solar venting units are operated by a hand-held wireless remote that can control as many as ten skylights simultaneously. They can be set to close with a built-in timer and will automatically shut if the weather changes. The solar powered units do not require an electrical connection and are eligible for a 30% Federal Solar Energy Tax Credit. This makes them very affordable.
Our customers who have replaced manual skylights with electrical or solar units tell us they use these units much more than they ever used the manually venting skylights. Older individuals or people with balance problems also enjoy the ease of operation with solar or electrical skylights.
Curb-mounted verses Deck-mounted Skylights
Skylights are installed on a house in one of two ways. Deck-mounted units are preferred for new installations especially on pitched or sloped roofs. They install through the roof deck, have a slightly lower profile and trim out beautifully inside the light shaft or on a cathedral ceiling.
VELUX Deck-mounted Skylight VELUX Curb-mounted Skylight
Curb-mounted units are actually installed on a curb (usually wooden 2 X 4's or 2 X 6's) on the roof. They are the only skylight generally used on flat or low-sloped roofs but can also be used on long, steep roofs where heavy rain could cascade over a deck-mounted unit potentially causing leaks. Curb-mounted units can be installed vertically or horizontally and are often used to fit over existing openings from odd-sized skylights on flat or pitched roofs. Both deck and curb-mounted skylights come in fixed (non-venting) or manual and electrically venting models and blinds and shades are available for all models.
Deck-mounted Roof Windows
Originally a European product, VELUX roof windows offer the advantage of emergency escape...they open much wider than traditional skylights and are often used where fire codes require an auxiliary exit.
VELUX Roof Window VELUX Cabrio Roof Window
VELUX offer two unique models of roof windows in several different sizes.
Just when you thought you had it figured out we offer a third option, the “Pan-Flashed” skylight.
VELUX Pan-Flashed (self-flashed) Skylight
These skylights come with their own flashing system and do not require the EDL or ECL flashing kits necessary for deck and curb mounted skylights. Often used by commercial roofers, the pan-flashed units attach directly to the roof deck and require a commercial roofing sealant. The roofing contractor then shingles up to and around the base of the unit. Pan-flashed skylights are available in a limited number of sizes all of which are fixed (non-venting). Blinds and shades are available.
VELUX manufactures skylights with a number of glazing options. All VELUX glass skylights are built using energy efficient, LoE3, Argon gas injected between tempered glass panes.
VELUX Tempered Glass VELUX Laminated/Tempered Glass
Most residential applications in our area require either the standard tempered or the laminated/tempered glass skylights. The laminated units have a safety glass pane laminated inside the lower tempered glass panel making it safer in locations where heavy objects might fall. They are required where building code mandates laminated glass on venting units over a certain size. The lamination also significantly increases the Ultra-Violet (UV) light protection. High Impact, Miami-Dade, White laminated and Heavy snow-load glazings are all special-order options available on specific models. We try to never use acrylic or plastic bubble skylights on residential applications; they just don't provide the thermal insulation or the UV protection needed for a home.
Blinds & Shades
Velux offers a variety of blinds and shades however not all models of skylights can use every blind or shade. For instance, all venting skylight models must have the solar blackout blind or the solar light filtering shade. Most fixed (non-venting) models have the option of either manual or solar powered blinds including a manual venetian blind. And all VELUX electrically venting skylights now have electric blinds or shades that can be pre-installed at the factory.
VELUX blinds and shades are offered in these STANDARD colors. See Blinds and Accessories for more options.