Bay Area Skylight Installation Has Its Benefits
Long before electric lamps were available, skylights were used for centuries in public and industrial buildings. A beautiful example is the famous drawing (drafting) room of the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland, where the Titanic was designed. In this 1911 picture, you can see lots of windows and skylights, but only three lamps!
With the advent of electric lamps, skylights often gave way to huge arrays of light fixtures. But daylighting, the use of natural light in buildings, is once again a major focus in architectural design. Skylights are more effective than windows bringing daylight in. And recent developments in glazing and in skylight design make skylights practical in a greater array of applications than ever before. Skylights have so much going for them that it’s worthwhile considering how they might work for you. Here are some of the reasons we recommend skylights.
Daylighting for Visibility
Artificial lighting is getting cheaper and better, but for clarity and comfort, it can’t hold a candle to daylight. Skylights add to the overall light in any room, but are especially useful at lighting the core of a building. And innovations are making things even brighter, with lenses, mirrors, and sun-tracking devices to increase the amount of light that reaches the interior. Even when the roof is well above the ceiling, tubular skylights, or solar tubes, can channel light to where it is needed at a low cost.
The emotional and psychological benefits of sunlight are well known. Studies confirm that sunlight increases levels of serotonin, the body’s natural antidepressant. Skylights help to bring that light in, improving our mood and potentially our overall mental health. There are physical benefits as well, including better quality of sleep. A 2013 study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that workers who had sunlight in the work space slept an average of 46 minutes more per night than those who worked in windowless offices.
The right skylight can greatly improve a building’s energy efficiency. With a variety of glazing, insulation, and design options, including such features as low-emissivity (low-e) coatings and argon gas between panes, skylights are now quite versatile in their conduction of light and heat, with particular qualities to match your climate. Increasingly, skylights are used for passive solar heating, and they make a good fit with the steeper angles of much residential roofing. On south-facing roofs, they gather winter sunlight with resulting heat gain. During the summer, when the sun angle has changed to the north, less sunlight reaches the south side; window coverings can also be added to shield the skylight at times when the added heat isn’t wanted. (Another option is to place the skylight where a deciduous tree will shade it in summer.) And the energy efficiency doesn’t come only from lighting and heating; roof windows are openable skylights that allow ventilation at the roof level, where it is most useful for letting heat out.
Finally, a properly installed skylight dramatically improves the ambiance of a living or working space. A view of the sky makes a world of difference in any room.
Consult With Your Bay Area Roofing Contractor!
Contact Ben’s Roofing at (510) 690-8570 to see how skylights can improve your home, commercial or office building, and your quality of life. We work with some of the best brands in the skylight and solar tube industry, including Velux, Solatube, Wasco, O’Keeffe’s, and Skylights.com. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation!