There’s no question about it: skylights are seen as being beneficial to any home because of their ability to bring in natural light. But you may not realize that they can have some serious negative impacts on a space or a whole building for a variety of reasons.
Benefit #1: Extra Daylight
One of the most positive aspects of having a skylight is that it brings extra daylight into a room, particularly during the winter months when days are shorter, there are fewer hours of sunlight, and the sun is at a lower angle than during the summer.
Benefit #2: Energy Savings
Because of this increase in natural light from skylights, the use of artificial lighting and electricity can be reduced, and during the colder months, skylights can contribute to the heat gain of a space and reduce the need for heating. Aside from the positive environmental impact that comes with using less electricity, the use of skylights has the potential to even reduce electric bills.
Benefit #3: Design Options
Another asset of skylights is their flexibility and range of design options, which can vary in location, size, shape, and angle so that they take advantage of local conditions. A skylight can be designed to capture early morning sunlight to help heat a space, but also so that it misses the strong afternoon sun that might make a room too warm. Some skylights come with shades or coatings to prevent overheating.
Benefit #4: Design Impact
Finally, skylights have the potential to either dramatically enhance a design or act as the main design feature in a space. Traditionally, they've been placed in spaces that were otherwise unable to have access to natural light through traditional windows, like the top of a staircase. However, they can also have the bonus effect of creating dramatic lighting and a sense of upward ascension that can still inspire designers today.
Drawback #1: Overheating and Over-Lighting
Though this abundance of rays can be a lifesaver in some spaces, it can also lead to potential problems related to bringing too much light and heat into your space. Make sure you keep this in mind when it comes time to decide on placement, size, direction, climate control, and how you'll be using the space.