Skylight is a term that refers to a part of a roof made of clear glass, such that it allows us to look up into the sky and the surrounding scenery beyond the house during the day or at night. Skylight roofs are of many different types and their categorization depends on what they are used for as well as the material they are constructed with. It can be a little overwhelming when you first see the huge variety of skylights. However, we will help you understand the different types so you can choose the best option for yourself.
It is often said that looking at the stars is like looking back into the past. One reason for this is that it takes about 8 minutes for a beam of light to travel from the stars and reach our line of vision. In fact, the further away the star is, the more time it would take for us to be able to see its light. Nonetheless, humans have always enjoyed the simple act of looking up at the stars and beyond.
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First, Let us consider the types of skylight according to their use.
While a skylight is great for gazing up at the stars at night, this is not its only purpose. Skylights are also inserted into roofs to allow more light to enter during the day and illuminate darker spaces. This is why a lot of offices and shopping malls insert skylights these days.
Cr. glassskylight / solarskylight
If you want to insert a skylight for bringing more light into your building during the day, certain types of skylights would be more suitable than others. For instance, Roof Lanterns are appropriate for rectangular roof recesses and Pyramid skylights are suitable for square roof recesses.
Sun Tubes would be better suited for roofs that have interior ceilings which are not attached to the roof surface, to act as a light guide. It acts like a duct that allows light to flow into the space. This kind of skylight is also a good choice for underground car parks which tend to be dark spaces.
For someone who enjoys stargazing at night, there are other types of skylights that would be more suitable. If you want to insert a stargazing skylight at home, consider the following:
1. Flat or Oculus
A flat or oculus skylight is two-dimensional. This type of skylight is built on the same plane as the deck. It may also have a curb that prevents water leakage. This skylight can either be fixed or ventilated. The fixed skylight cannot be opened or closed once it is inserted. The ventilated skylight can be opened or closed as wanted. Rooms that have good ventilation and high ceilings would be better suited for fixed skylights since the only purpose would be to lie down and look at the sky beyond. Ventilated skylights would be a much better choice for rooms that have insufficient airflow and low roofs. The opening and closing feature can be made such that they are manually handled or electrically operated.
If the skylight is rectangular in shape, it is called a flat skylight. If it is round in shape, it is called an oculus skylight.
A domed skylight like the one in this picture also offers a much more romantic experience while stargazing. It allows you to look at the stars from every point in the roof and makes you feel like you are stargazing at a planetarium.
Dome skylights are a common feature in museums as well as European homes that have flat roofs. Inserting a dome skylight into the roof allows better light diffusion into the room as compared to flat skylights. When the arc radius of the skylight is not too big, glass is used. However, for dome skylights that have more curvature, materials like acrylic or plastic are used. This is because such materials are easier to mold and allow you to achieve the desired shape.
Custom skylights are another type of skylight to consider and one that most people prefer since they allow a customized design. The skylight can be designed according to your aesthetic preference and inserted accordingly. The materials used for the skylight have to be chosen so that it can withstand any season or climate. A custom skylight can be used for building a glass room on your rooftop and this will give you a magical stargazing space every night.
Choosing materials for the skylight:
For roof skylights, the glass used should be heat resistant. Since the skylight will receive a lot of direct heat during the day, the material of the skylight needs to be resistant to heat. The material should also be the type that keeps the residents in the house safe from broken glass.
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For instance, tempered glass is a good choice for roof skylights. It is also called safety glass since it can withstand shocks, air pressure as well as water pressure about 3-5 times more efficiently than ordinary glass of the same thickness. Tempered glass also withstands heat quite well. When this glass is broken, it shatters into pellets similar to corn kernels. These bits of glass have rounded edges and are thus a much safer alternative to regular glass which can be quite dangerous when it breaks.
Laminated glass is also a good option. It is made of two sheets of tempered glass and has PVB or EVA film in between, which has tough and strong adhesive properties. Laminated glass also has a dimming feature that reduces the amount of heat passing through and will protect your home from UV rays. If this glass breaks, it crumbles and gives the appearance of spider webs without fragments of glass falling down.
Insulated glass is also made of two sheets of glass. A glass frame allows compressed Argon gas (Ar) to be held between the two glass panels. This feature allows better temperature control within the house, reduces thermal conductivity and saves energy.
Low Emissivity (Low E) glass is a tempered glass that is insulated on the glass surface. It has properties similar to insulating glass but better at reducing the temperature. It is suitable for rooms where a skylight is installed in the west or south.
Consideration in choosing skylight:
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