Skylights and Tubular Skylights Buying Guide

Skylights and Tubular Skylights

Getting Started

Providing sunlight and ventilation into darker spaces in a home can be accomplished by installing skylights. Free sunlight will illuminate, and add a feeling of comfort in spaces that may not be appropriate for a window or north facing so sunlight does not reach windows. Hallways, walk-in closets, bathrooms, kitchens or family rooms all will benefit from increased sunlight and even fresh air. Once considered an opportunity for ruining a roof, improved units come with flashing to integrate the roof shingles or tiles to eliminate leaking.

What to Consider




Flat pane - glass or plastic panes are flat in the skylight frame.

Dome - Usually plastic panes are shaped into high domes to collect more of the sun’s rays to direct into the unit.

Angled - Glass or plastic panes molded to direct the natural light.

Pyramid - Plastic or glass that is created into a pyramid shape projecting from the frame. Mostly used on flat roofs to collect the sun’s rays from several angles.

Barrel - Usually plastic formed into a high dome for providing a larger area to collect the natural light.


Price Considerations

Size - Larger units will cost more than smaller skylights.

Glazing - Glass skylights cost more than plastic panes.

Venting - Add about 40 percent more to the cost. Motorized or Automatic venting will increase the cost.

Energy - Efficient Units will cost more due to the increased materials involved in construction in creating double-pane skylights. Add argon glass, laminate film, Low-E glass and the prices will continue to go up.

Installation - Consider the location of the unit on the roof, the need for flashing and chase construction through an attic.

Features - Blinds or shades will increase the price.

Tubular Daylighting Device Considerations

Tubular Daylighting Device Features

Adjustable - TDDs with metal chases that angle or adjust to fit around pipes or electrical installations.

Diffuser - The panel from the chase that attaches to the ceiling of the room. Diffusers take the natural light and spread it across the area and reduce the amount of damaging UV rays.

Electric Lights - Available from some manufacturers, electrical lights may be included to provide added visibility at night or when natural light is not available.

Vents - For installation in bathrooms, laundry rooms, or anywhere moisture is a consideration, vents can be added to the TDD.

Dimmers - Used to control the amount of natural light into the room.

Tubular Daylighting Device Price Considerations

Size - Larger units will cost more than smaller Tdds.

Chase Systems - The longer the chase as well as the amount of angled units will add to the cost.

Features - Adding vents, dinners and electric light kits will reflect in the price.

Installation - Usually cost effective when compared to other types of skylights or windows.