How to Choose the Right Skylight for Your Home

Natural light is brighter and more lifelike than what’s produced by a lightbulb. Just compare the sunshine streaming through your kitchen window to what’s produced when you flip the light switch. Plus, natural light doesn’t run up your energy bill. A skylight is a great way to add more natural light to your home, but how do you choose the right option?

Fixed or Vented

First, you’ll need to decide on the style. You have two primary options: fixed and vented. Fixed skylights are, well, fixed in place. They don’t open. Vented skylights can be opened using a remote control or manual opening device so that you can allow fresh air into the home. 

While vented skylights have more moving parts and are more susceptible to problems, particularly those with electric motors, that venting ability is a mark in their favor. If you just want more light and don’t want to worry about dealing with potential motor repairs, a fixed skylight might be better.


If you’re using a skylight for illumination purposes, you’ll need to size it correctly. If the room has plenty of other windows (or other skylights), you should go with a skylight that’s about 5% of the floor size. If the room has few or no windows at all, a skylight that’s 15% of the floor size will admit enough illumination.


Another consideration when shopping for a skylight is the material it’s made from. You have two parts to consider – the frame and the window itself. Frames can be made from vinyl, wood, plastic, or a combination of these materials. Wood has the shortest lifespan and can be expensive. Metal lasts much longer but can also be pricey. Vinyl offers a midpoint in terms of price and longevity.

The window can be made from glass, tempered glass, or plastic. If you have heavy snowfalls or are worried about impacts to the glass from falling branches or debris, tempered glass is the better option. Standard glass is affordable and relatively long-lived, too. Plastic is the most affordable option but may yellow over time.

Skylights can bring the beauty of sunlight into any room. They can also reduce your energy use by eliminating the need to use electric lighting during daylight hours. Beautiful, durable, and available in any style to suit your preferences, there has never been a better time to add a skylight to your home. Contact Rusco Windows and Doors to learn more!

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