Skylights can be found in many buildings. The types, shapes, and materials all affect the different purpose each skylight is designed for. Understanding these factors is the first step to choosing the ideal skylight.

The three main types of skylights each have their own purpose. Fixed skylights are mostly used for additional lighting, providing dramatic views, and designed for out-of-reach areas. Tubular skylights are designed for tight spaces and are ideal for enclosed spaces, pantries, foyers, and hallways. The vented, or ‘roof window’ skylight, like the fixed skylight, allows in additionally needed light, ventilation, and can be manually or automatically operated. These skylights, depending on the type, can also come in many shapes including, but not limited to, circles, rectangles, ovals, triangles, diamonds, tubular, and multi-sided.

Regardless of the shape and size, all skylights must have a special glaze. This glaze is typically made from glass or plastic. The plastic glaze, which is acrylic or polycarbonate based, is usually less expensive but becomes brittle and discolors over time. Glass glazing, which is higher in price, lasts longer since it’s more durable and doesn’t discolor.

All of these factors affect the purpose of each skylight. From open views to extra lighting to ventilation, or simply the consumers’ preferences, there are many factors to consider when choosing the proper skylight.