Introducing natural sunlight to your house is a simple method to make it feel bigger and brighter. It can provide a wide range of benefits, including reducing your energy bill and making your living space feel more cozy and welcoming. Apart from that, it is also good for your health.
Undoubtedly, you want to maximize the amount of natural light that you can bring into your home. However, it isn’t always an easy task to accomplish – you can’t just have every room facing the same direction.
If you have a room with a flat roof, then your best solution is to install flat roof windows. Here’s everything that you need to know about the benefits of having them and how they can help you let more natural light in.
How to Get the Best Natural Sunlight With Flat Roof Windows
Ideally, you should plan the rooms in your home so that the living room is on the sunny side and has lots of windows – like traditional French doors. However, this isn’t always possible. Sometimes you have to work with what you’ve got – even if that means you have to be a little creative.
And so, when designing your rooms, it’s essential to make sure that you take advantage of all your natural light options. This is why flat roof windows are such a great idea, as they allow lots of natural daylight in and can be fitted almost anywhere on the roof.
But, if you want to make some upgrades while renovating your house, you can still install flat rooflights. It will require certain modifications to your existing roof, but the result will be worth it.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind if you want to get the best natural sunlight with flat roof windows:
Choose the Right Roof Section
This is probably the most important part. You need to make sure that you choose the right section of your roof for your flat roof window. To do so, you need to consider the following factors:
- How much heat do you want to let in – in colder climate areas, you’ll want to make sure that your flat roof window is positioned in a spot with lots of sunlight. This way, it will help heat up your house. In warmer areas, the opposite is true.
- The amount of light that you need – in general, you want as much as possible, but there are some exceptions. For example, if you want to use your flat rooflight as a type of nightlight, then it’s best not to put it in the middle of a room.
- The size and shape of your roof – this will have an effect on where you can put your flat roof extension. If any beams or trusses are in the way, then it’s best not to try to force anything in that spot. Instead, installing smaller roof windows throughout the area is probably a better option.
- The direction of your roof – if you want to maximize the amount of sunlight that comes in, you need to make sure your skylight is facing the right way – provided your roof is pitched. You’ll also want to check how much shade there is at different times during the day so that you can plan accordingly.
Research Roof Window Types
Now, before you get too excited about installing a flat roof window, you need to do your research. This is because there are actually several types of flat roof windows – each one with its own benefits and drawbacks.
Fixed Flat Roof Windows
This is probably the type of roof window that most people think about when they see one. It’s a window that you can’t open and which doesn’t have any type of ventilation. The biggest advantage is that it’s cheap, making it a great option for those on a budget.
Browse Fixed Flat Glass Roof Windows
Electric-Hinged Flat Roof Windows
Hinged flat rooflights allow you to open them, making it easy for you to let fresh air in and improve your home’s ventilation. With an electric motor, you can open and close them automatically, making them easy to control.
Browse Electric-Hinged Flat Roof Windows
Access Flat Roof Windows
Unlike regular hinged skylights which typically open up to 15-30 degrees, access windows can be opened all the way up to about 90 degrees making it easier for you to access the roof. Needless to say, such roof lights are the best for ventilating your home.
Browse Access Flat Roof Windows
Although rare, there are some types of vertical windows that you can actually walk on. This type is ideal for those who want to use their roof as a patio or an outdoor living space.
Browse Walk-On Skylights
Solar-Powered Flat Roof Windows
If you are up for an upgrade and want to reduce your energy bill, then solar-powered skylights are the way to go. They have a solar panel that uses light from the outside and converts it into electrical energy, without the need for external panels.
Pick the Right Glazing
If you want to maximize the amount of natural light that comes in, then you need to pick glazing that offers high transparency and low reflectivity. Usually, this means installing double-glazed windows filled with krypton or argon gas.
You may still find single-glazed windows listed on some sites, but they aren’t that effective at keeping heat and noise in or out. They also don’t block as much UV light as double-glazed windows, so they aren’t ideal for rooms where you want to protect furniture or paintings from fading.
Consider Sun Tunnels
Sun tunnels are a great way to bring in some more natural light to shadowy places in your home. Think about them as a type of roof window that is connected to a reflective tunnel allowing you to get some extra light into a room where you don’t have space for another skylight or window.
The only downside is that they require some extra space, meaning that you may have to make some modifications to the walls before they can be installed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Roof Lights Let In More Light Than Windows?
There are two ways to approach this question. Installing roof lights increases the overall amount of light that enters a room, making it appear brighter.
On top of that, roof windows are exposed to more direct sunlight throughout the day than windows set lower on walls as they are not blocked by buildings or trees – or the direction of the sun as it changes throughout the day.
On the other hand, considering the fact that the position of the sun changes throughout the year, there is no definitive answer. In the summer months when the sun is high in the sky, more natural light will enter through roof lights than wall windows, and the opposite is true in the winter months when the sun is lower in the sky.
How Do I Get More Light From My Skylight?
To get more light from your skylight, you should make sure it stays clean and clear. Keep the glass free of dust, dirt, cobwebs, and other debris to ensure it’s not obstructing any sunlight from entering your home through the skylight.
As such, your skylight will be much more exposed to direct rain, snow, and leaves than a regular window, so it’s important to clear any debris from the outer surface too. This, apart from choosing the right location and glazing during the installation process, will ensure you get the most light from your skylight.
Can You Put Skylights on a Flat Roof?
Technically, yes. There isn’t anything stopping you from installing a skylight on a flat roof. However, it’s not recommended as the watertight seal around skylights is typically designed for pitched roofs. This means there is a greater chance of leaks occurring on flat roofs, so it’s best to avoid them if possible.
On top of that, center-hinged skylights will be more difficult to open and close, as although the weight is distributed evenly, it relies on gravity to close correctly, which will be more challenging on a flat roof.
Can You Put a Sun Tunnel on a Flat Roof?
As mentioned above, sun tunnels are a great way to lead more natural light into a room that doesn’t have an external wall, such as an internal bathroom, or one that has limited windows. This is why you may want to have it catch as much sunlight as possible.
Arguably, a sun tunnel with flat roof windows should provide more sunlight than one installed on a pitched roof as they will be more exposed to direct sunlight throughout the day. However, this greatly depends on the environment of your house – if it is surrounded by tall trees, it will affect the amount of sunlight that gets in.
Can You Put a Velux Window on a Flat Roof?
Velux offers a wide range of skylights and roof windows for both pitched and flat roofs. So if you want to install one of their products on your flat roof, it shouldn’t be a problem – as long as you purchase the correct model.
For instance, you can go for an electric curved glass rooflight fitted with 100cm x 100cm glazing, which is ideal for domestic and commercial properties. Such a skylight will allow plenty of light to enter your home and provide a panoramic view.
Are Roof Lanterns Worth It?
Roof lanterns are a great way to add more natural light and style to your home. They are highly efficient, and they provide a clear view of the sky while also allowing natural light to enter your home.
So, the question of whether or not they are worth it really depends on how you intend to use them. Are you looking for a way to brighten up your home? Do you want to improve the look of your property and add value to it at the same time? If so, roof lanterns are definitely worth it.
What Are the Downsides of Rooflights?
Flat roof windows generally require a more comprehensive installation process to ensure the seal is watertight. Failing to do so could result in leaks, which would not only be costly to repair but could cause serious damage to your property. This is why a flat roof extension is recommended if you want a roof window.
Another downside is that flat roof windows are typically more expensive than regular windows because of the extra material required for installation and the complexities involved.
That being said, you will almost certainly recoup the cost in savings on your energy bills and the added value of your property.
Do Flat Roof Windows Make the Room Hotter?
Roof windows typically make a room hotter as they let in more sunlight. This is because the sun’s rays radiate heat, so adding more windows will make your home feel warmer than it would if there were fewer.
However, the difference is negligible if you choose the right windows. The most energy efficient windows will ensure that temperature is not lost through the glass, so you won’t have to worry about your room becoming uncomfortably hot.
How Much Heat Is Lost Through a Skylight?
As mentioned above, modern windows – including flat roof windows and skylights – are designed to be extremely energy efficient. This means they will not let heat out of your home as easily as older windows, so you won’t have to worry about your skylight making your room feel uncomfortably hot.
Of course, it’s impossible to give an exact number as the amount of heat lost will depend on a variety of factors. It is safe to say, though, that a skylight won’t make your room feel any colder than a regular window under the same conditions.
How Do You Amplify the Sun?
Sometimes, having roof windows may still not be enough to provide sufficient light into your home. In such a case, you may need to look into amplifying the sun, which can be done in a few ways.
Firstly, you could install a sun tunnel, which is a long, curved tube that leads natural light from an external wall or roof into your home. Secondly, you could install light fixtures that reflect and amplify the sun, such as a skylight with an internal mirror.
How Do You Simulate Sunlight Indoors?
The natural benefits of sunlight are essential for physical and mental wellbeing, so it’s important to do what you can to make sure there is enough of it inside your home.
There are a few ways to simulate sunlight indoors:
Complement Roof Windows with Mirrors
Placing a mirror opposite your skylight can reflect and amplify the amount of light that enters through it. This will help to make small rooms appear bigger, brighter, and more spacious than they are.
Use Glossy or Light-Coloured Paint on Walls & Ceilings
Glossy paint or light colours will reflect more natural light than dark shades, making your home appear brighter and airier.
Install Warm Light Fixtures
Fitting warm light bulbs in your lamps and overhead lights will help to create a more natural feel inside the home. This is because they emit a yellowish-orange glow, which is similar to sunlight.