How Many Skylights Should I Install?

When it comes to designing your ideal custom skylights and their placement in your home, you may be wondering just how many is appropriate for each size room. There is some scientific data to consider when it comes to skylight placement and the heating/cooling effects on your home. However, skylight placement and number of custom skylights will also come down to your own personal aesthetics. The general rule of thumb when it comes to placing skylights in your home is that they should never be more than 5% of the floor area when there are several other windows present. Adding more than this will make the room increasingly bright and likely too warm on a hot day. If you have a room that happens to have little to no windows present then you want to make sure that the skylights are never more than 15% of the floor area. A great example of this would be a darker dining space in your home that is roughly measuring 12ft x 14ft. In this instance you would want to add 2 skylights measuring roughly 4ft x 2ft each. This will allow for ample daylight in your space without overdoing it as it meets the 15% rule. If, for design considerations, you want more or larger skylights,  you should choose a glazing that is designed to reduce heat gain, for example, SIG Skylights’ Full Sun ™ skylights, which have a reflective coating that reduces heat and softens the light. 

The way the skylights are situated in relation to the sun matters as well. If you place your skylights north facing, you will have a constant but cool illumination to your room. If you place theme east facing, you will maximize the amount of light entering your home with a warm natural heat gain in the morning. If you place your skylights west facing, you will have afternoon sunlight with heavy heat gain which is something to consider for the summer. Similarly, a south facing skylight is ideal for winter as it offers optimal solar gain but would be unwanted warmth during the summer. In order to help prevent this unwanted heat it is helpful if you are able to place your skylight in the shade of a deciduous tree so that it is blocked by the tree in the summer and free of any obstruction during the winter as deciduous trees lose their leaves. 

It is important to add skylights to your home conservatively as they add ample amount of light. In fact, skylights will allow in as much as three times the amount of light as a vertical window will of the exact same size. If you are adding multiple skylights to brighten a large room, you want the distance between them to be 1.5 times the height that exists between the floor and roof.

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