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11 Different Types of Skylights

Collage photo of skylights in different varieties.

Quicklist: Types of Skylights

  1. Ventilating Skylight
  2. Fixed Skylight
  3. Tubular Skylight
  4. Tilt-Window Skylight
  5. Curb-Mounted Skylight
  6. Deck-Mounted Skylight
  7. Electric Opening Ventilating Skylight
  8. Manual Control Rod
  9. Insect Screen
  10. Solar-Powered Ventilating Skylight
  11. Impact Glazing

Skylights are a lovely way to let natural lighting flood through your home interior.

Former US President Thomas Jefferson was so fascinated by skylights that he incorporated 13 of them, including an oculus, into his home in Virginia.

The world’s longest skylight can be found in one of Canada’s shopping malls, the Core Shopping Mall. The skylight has dimensions of 85 feet by 656 feet and includes 1,740 pieces of glass.

Types of Skylights

Ventilating Skylights

Ventilating skylightsSource: Home Depot

Ventilating skylights can provide a significant amount of light to any room — essentially, it’s like adding a new window onto the roof of your house. 

They are often installed in bathrooms, kitchens, and washrooms, the interior spaces most in need of airing out. Excess moisture in these areas needs a place to escape and ventilating skylights can do the job. 

These skylights are really popular for bathrooms because they can help to provide a really nice atmosphere. Being able to open the window for ventilation allows people to take a bath while enjoying the feeling of the night. Gazing up at the stars and enjoying the vibe that you have created in your home is going to make installing this skylight feel like it was worth it. A skylight like this can definitely add some appeal to your home.

Fixed Skylights

Velux Fsa062005 Fixed Deck Mount Skylight, Temp. Glass, 14-1/2"W X 45-3/4"H

Source: Amazon

Fixed skylights are similar to ventilating skylights however they do not open and cannot provide any control over humidity. This option is especially suitable for hard-to-reach areas, such as rooms with high ceilings.

If you don’t necessarily need ventilation in the room where you want to add some lighting, then looking into a fixed skylight would be smart. There are those who prefer the fixed skylight option simply because these are perfect for installing in hard-to-reach areas.

If the ceilings in your home are quite high, then you could easily have one of these installed to provide some dramatic lighting. Being able to enjoy looking up at the night sky is going to feel really nice if you get one of these installed. They work well even on cathedral ceilings, so you will certainly be able to make use of a fixed skylight. The view will look great and the amount of light it will bring into the room is significant.

These types of skylights are also available with durable plastic domes that go over the outside of it. These aren’t entirely necessary, as when you install these skylights properly they are sealed very well. The joints always need to be tightly sealed to ensure that moisture doesn’t get inside and cause any problems. Some people like to install the durable plastic domes just for the sake of having the extra peace of mind.

It’s always recommended to get these fixed skylights installed by a professional who knows what they are doing. If you are quite handy and you wish to install this skylight yourself, then just remember to do things properly. You want to make sure that the sealing is done tightly and that everything lines up just right. You’ll be able to find many excellent fixed skylights at hardware stores and major online retailers.

Tubular Skylights

Natural Light Energy Systems 10-Inch Tubular Skylight

Source: Amazon

Tubular skylights redirect natural sunlight down through a shaft using optical techniques. This option has a lot of advantages in rooms with limited space, such as pantries, closets, foyers and hallways.

The negative aspect of the tubular skylight is that it doesn’t provide you with a beautiful view like the fixed or ventilated options. You won’t be able to enjoy looking up to the night sky. If the reasons for your wanting a skylight are aesthetic or romantic, then this tubular skylight isn’t going to be your best option. This is a practical skylight that is meant for getting natural light into particular spots of your home.


Tilt-Window Skylights

Tilt window skylightSource: Home Depot

The tilt-window skylight is a variation of a ventilated skylight with top, center-pivot or side hinges allowing the window to open, improving energy efficiency and natural airflow. 

Tilt-window skylights are going to be able to give you an ample amount of natural sunlight in any room that you put them in. They will also be quite beautiful to look at. Opening the window on a clear spring or summer night can be a quite invigorating experience. For this reason, many people choose to install this type of skylight in their bedrooms.

Installing a skylight in your bedroom can help you to create a very romantic setting. If you and your spouse would enjoy being able to gaze up at the stars, then installing a tilt window skylight is going to be the perfect way to make it happen. You just need to be careful to get this skylight installed properly. This type of skylight should be installed with a flashing kit to keep your home safe.

Flashing kits are used to make sure that the skylight window you are installing is waterproof. This is essential for preventing any problems with leaks, flooding, and even mold. These kits may be sold separately, so you will want to ensure that you buy the right one if you are choosing to install your skylight yourself. It is also possible to hire a professional to do this for you and they will be able to bring all of the proper equipment.

Curb-Mounted Skylights

Curb-mounted skylightsSource: Lowes

The curb mount refers to a raised frame that has been built to house the skylight. Curb-mounted models are relatively affordable to purchase and work well in any type of room. 

The curb-mounted skylights have proven to be one of the most popular styles of skylights on the market. They’re relatively affordable to purchase and they work really well in any type of room. You will find that skylights that are curb mounted are easy to install overall, so most of the time spent will be building the curb itself. You will need to buy a flashing kit to ensure that everything is completely waterproof, though.

Making your curb-mounted skylight waterproof with the flashing kit isn’t too difficult at all. If you feel like you aren’t capable of installing your skylight properly, it can be beneficial to call in professional help.

Many people do not have any trouble installing these styles of skylights, so it shouldn’t be too arduous for someone with a bit of experience doing home improvements. You will be able to find any type of skylight that you could desire being sold in the curb-mounted style too.

Deck-Mounted Skylights

SIG Skylights FMB 22 1/2 x 22 1/2 Deck Mounted, Self-Flashed Skylight with Bronze Insulated Glass

Source: Amazon

Deck-mounted skylights are more recent than their curb-mounted cousins. These have become increasingly more popular in recent years. You won’t be required to build a “curb” to house your skylights, as the skylight itself will act as the curb. Some people have referred to this process as flush mounting, as the skylight will be flush with the roof.

In some ways, deck-mounted skylights can be a bit more difficult to install. You need to make sure that you are doing everything just right in order to have the best results. When everything is done properly, these styles of skylights are going to be much more energy efficient than the curb-mounted variety.

People who install these deck-mounted skylights also think that they are much more visually appealing than other types of skylights. It definitely does look more natural when you install a skylight in this fashion. If you do not have much experience with modifying structures, then it might be beneficial to call in some help for this project.

Regardless, you will need to make sure that a flashing kit is used to keep your home safe from leaks. The skylight needs to be sealed very tightly in order to prevent rainwater from seeping in and to keep moisture from causing any mildewing issues.

Once your deck-mounted skylight has been installed, you will be able to enjoy the beauty of it every day. This can be a feature that will add to the enjoyment of your home significantly. If you have been dreaming of a fancy skylight that will provide you with a great view of the night sky, then this style is going to appeal to you greatly. The fact that it is energy-efficient pushes it over the edge as a highly-recommended option.


Electric Opening Ventilating Skylights

FAKRO 807108 Fve Electric Venting Skylight, Laminated Glass, Fve-306L (22-1/2 x 45-1/2 Inches)

Source: Amazon

Some skylights have the added convenience of being able to be opened electronically. This is a whole lot easier than having to climb on a ladder or a step ladder to get your window open. The ventilation feature is why many people decide to buy a skylight in the first place, so you want to be able to open the skylight up without it being a big hassle.

The electric opening functionality is going to make your life a whole lot easier, so it is worth tracking down a skylight with this built-in feature. Amazingly, the skylights that feature electric openings as a feature don’t even cost that much more money. You will be able to purchase them for just a bit more money than you would a skylight window that manually opens.

Paying a bit more money for the added convenience makes sense, and you will be able to rely on everything working swimmingly for many years to come. The electric opening feature is very good and you won’t encounter any issues with it, so long as you are purchasing a quality skylight from a reputable source.

A remote control is used to open the electric opening ventilating skylight, which is included. The remote control isn’t complicated in any way, so you will be able to open your skylight window without any problems. You will find that the skylight opens very quickly and you will be able to enjoy the night air whenever you want. This is really convenient when you have a bathroom skylight and the mood to feel the breeze strikes you.

Manual Control Rod

Manual control rod skylightsSource: Lowes

There are those who prefer to open their skylight window up manually. Some people don’t trust an electric skylight to continue working in the long run, and they would prefer to be able to open it up themselves. If you feel this way, then you should know that there are great options available to you. You can buy a really nice ventilating skylight with a manual control rod.

Skylights that have a convenient manual control rod are actually really simple to use. You will never feel like you have to force the window open or worry about it getting stuck. The manual control rod will always be able to pop the skylight window open with relative ease.

If you are hesitant to rely on a remote control due to fears of losing it or having it not work after a few years, then this is the option for you.

Just remember that you will need to make sure that you are closing this type of ventilating skylight properly. This is entirely manual, so if you forget to close your skylight snugly, you could accidentally allow some moisture to seep in. This isn’t going to be good for your home, so you should always be diligent about closing the skylight properly. 

Insect Screen

Insect screen skylightSource: Home Depot

You know that ventilating skylights are among the most popular styles of skylights. So many people want to be able to actually open their skylight up so that they can feel the night air. One of the issues that are presented when this is happening is that you will be opening yourself up to an insect problem.

You usually want to feel the night air during the spring or summer months, and insects such as mosquitoes can be a problem during this time. Having your home filled with mosquitoes, flies, and other undesirable insects will not be the most appealing idea in the world. To avoid this, you should seek out a ventilating skylight that also has an insect screen.

You should be able to find a good ventilating skylight that has this type of feature without having to look too hard. It will be very convenient and you will be able to enjoy having the skylight open without needing to worry. When you have the insect screen, you will have the option of leaving your skylight open all night if the weather is nice enough.

You won’t have to be concerned about waking up and finding yourself covered in mosquito bites. This is a great feature and it is one that has become quite common among the most popular ventilation skylight models. You’ll be able to find the perfect skylight to suit your sensibilities and it will also come with this handy feature.

Solar-Powered Ventilating Skylight

Solar-powered ventilating skylight

Source: Lowes

If you have been paying attention to modern trends, then you are likely to be aware of just how popular and convenient solar-powered items are. When you are able to rely on the power of the sun to operate your devices, it makes everything so much more convenient. You will save money on energy bills and will never have to worry about power-consumption problems.

This skylight feature is really convenient as your skylight is naturally going to be soaking up a lot of sun rays. It will always have plenty of power to operate itself, so whenever you get in the mood to open up the skylight to feel the breeze, all you will have to do is press the button on the remote. The skylight will open up for you and you will be able to enjoy yourself in a convenient fashion.

This is preferable to the normal electric-powered skylights for many people, and you will be able to feel good about installing something that is so environmentally friendly.

Your solar-powered ventilating skylight is going to operate in much the same way as a normal electric-powered skylight. It will come with a small remote control device that you can use to open and close the skylight window. It will work very reliably and you won’t ever have any issues with it. Keep your remote somewhere convenient so that you will be able to open the skylight when the mood strikes you.

Impact Glazing

Impact-glazing skylights

Source: Lowes

One worry that some people have when they decide to install a skylight is that their furniture will be damaged by the sun. The sun has powerful rays and the UV rays that it emits can fade your furniture if it is exposed to it too much. Sun fading is something that occurs in many pieces of outdoor furniture, and you certainly don’t want this to happen to your expensive living room set.

Thankfully, you can buy a skylight that comes with a handy feature called impact glazing. This impact glazing is going to protect your furniture and other items in your home from the UV rays of the sun. It has been proven to block up to 99% of all UV damage, so you will have more peace of mind when you have a skylight that has this feature.

It definitely comes in handy, so you should try your best to find a skylight that will protect you in this fashion. Skylights with this feature are affordable overall, so it is worth your time to seek one out if you are planning on putting a skylight in your living room.

Tube Mounted

A tube-mounted skylight is an excellent option if you’re looking for an easy installation. Tube-mounted skylights come with a tube that goes through your roof. The skylight is mounted on the inside of the house, and the line helps to protect it from weather damage.

Roof Mounted

An open Roof Mounted skylight.

A roof-mounted skylight is a more permanent option, requiring more installation work. Roof-mounted skylights are attached directly to your roof. They’re more durable than tube-mounted skylights, but they can be more challenging to install.

Electric vs. Solar Skylights

A modern house with a skylight in the roof.

Electric skylights are powered by electricity, and they typically cost more to operate than solar skylights. Electric skylights are a good option if you live in an area with lots of sun, as they’ll get plenty of light even on cloudy days.

Solar skylights are powered by the sun, and they’re more environmentally friendly than electric skylights. Solar skylights are a good option if you’re looking to save money on your energy bill. They can be less reliable than electric skylights, as they only work when the sun is out.

Installing Your Skylight

A professional man Installing a Skylight.

Once you’ve decided on the type of skylight you want, you’ll need to install it. If you’re not comfortable doing the installation yourself, you can hire a professional. Home Depot and

Deck Mount

Deck Mount Skylights are a great choice for any home. They’re easy to install and they don’t require any special tools or materials. You can find Deck Mount Skylights at most home improvement stores.

Awning Mount

Awning Mount Skylights are a good choice if you want to add a skylight to your existing deck or patio cover. Awning Mount Skylights are easy to install and they provide plenty of light. You can find Awning Mount Skylights at most home improvement stores.

Flat Roofs

A flat roof of a building with skylights.

If you have a flat roof, you’ll need to take some special considerations when installing your skylight. Flat roofs are more susceptible to leaking, so it’

Curb Mount

Curb Mount Skylights are a great choice for any home. They’re easy to install and they don’t require any special tools or materials. You can find Curb Mount Skylights at most home improvement stores.

Recessed Mount

Recessed Mount Skylights are a good choice if you want to add a skylight to your existing deck or patio cover. Recessed Mount Skylights are easy to install and they provide plenty of light. You can find Recessed Mount Skylights at most home improvement stores.

Solar Tubes

A modern roof with Solar Tubes.

Solar Tubes are a great way to add natural light to your home without adding a skylight. Solar Tubes are easy to install and they’re less expensive than skylights. You can find Solar Tubes at most home improvement stores.

Best Type Skylight for Various Designs

Flat Roof

ICON RV Skylight - SL1422W - White

When it comes to skylights for flat roofs, there are some specific models that work better than others. One of the best designs available is Ridge Products VBHI3218PR VBHI Vinyl Basement Skylight For Flat Roofs.

This skylight features pricing that is affordable for most, tempered glass to reduce the chance of the skylight collapsing, leak-free installation, and clear materials that render it transparent. It’s also made of glass that has been glazed in such a way that it keeps your home warm.

The leak-free installation means that it will make sure your home contains heat and cooling while also keeping water out. This is a vital feature on skylights, no matter what kind of roof the home has.

A downside is that it only comes in one size and with minimal adjustments. If you have very specific needs, you might need to shop around more. Still, skylights that allow for greater customization will also cost more. 

Pitched Roof

14 in. Sun Tunnel Tubular Skylight Acrylic Dome with Low-Profile Flashing and Flexible Tunnel-VELUX-TGF 014 0000

There are several kinds of skylights that work best with pitched roofs. Fixed skylights, tubular skylights, and vented skylights are all great choices for houses with a pitched roof. Fixed skylights are skylights that can’t be opened or adjusted once they are installed.

This makes them less expensive than other options. Vented skylights can have a similar appearance to fixed skylights. Still, they have one key difference that distinguishes them: users can open them up using a handle or other mechanism. This makes them ideal for users who want to let the fresh air into their house in addition to the sunlight. 

As shares, “Tubular skylights are made of a long tube that captures daylight and reflects it back into your home to provide natural lighting. They can include dimmers to control the amount of light that will be directed indoors. Some models come with a fan to adjust the humidity level or a filter that blocks UV rays.”

A great example of a tubular skylight for a pitched roof is the 14-inch Sun Tunnel Tubular Skylight Acrylic Dome with Low-Profile Flashing and Flexible Tunnel-VELUX-TGF 014 0000.

Energy Efficiency

For energy efficiency, homeowners should choose skylights that minimize heat gain in the summer and maximize insulation all year long. Also, you’ll want to choose a smaller skylight in relation to the square footage of a room to maximize energy efficiency. 

Cold Climate

FAKRO FWU-L 69158 Egress Roof Window, 24-Inch x 46-Inch, Left Opening

In cold climates, you will want a skylight that not only helps trap heat during the frigid days and nights but also lets as much sunlight in as possible to improve the atmosphere and mood of your home. One of the best skylights for cold climates is the FAKRO FWU-L 69158 Egress Roof Window.

As explains, “This model is a ventilated one, plus features double-glazed tempered glass for heat retention and pine wood frame for aesthetics.” It will help your house look and feel cozy all winter long and beyond.

Hot Climate

VELUX DSD M06 1025 Skylight Blind, Solar Powered Blackout for VELUX FS M06 Models - White

For hot climates, having a skylight that keeps the cool in while bringing the natural rays of sun inside is a must. In the heat, you’ll want your skylight to have the lowest SHGC (solar heat gain coefficient) possible on the glazing of the window. This means that it will let the least amount of sunlight in as it can and prevent heat gain.

You can also get a skylight with shades to block out the sun on the most scorching days, such as VELUX DSD M06 1025 Skylight Blind, Solar Powered Blackout for VELUX FS M06 Models – White.

Skylights Top Brands


Founded over 80 years ago, Velux is one of the most successful skylight brands in the world. The company has claim to over 2,000 designs and patents. They offer an impressive selection of skylights, including fixed and flat roof skylights. 

“Our deck-mounted skylight has three layers of protection in terms of waterproofing from the outside,” says Mark from Velux. “It’s nice and low-profile to the roof so it’s very energy efficient.”

Many VELUX skylights come standard with dual-pane laminated glass. Not only is this glass safe and secure, but it’s also easy to clean. The double-pane glass also blocks out sound from the outside.


Based in Florida, Sun-Tek skylights are made to withstand any weather conditions. Whether you’re dealing with rain, wind, or intense sun, your skylights will be secure. 

Sun-Tek offers a wide range of skylights, including glass, tubular and polycarbonate skylights. They regularly manufacture custom skylights. 


Fakro is one of the fastest-growing roof window companies in the world. While the company began in Poland they now have 15% of the market share of the global roof window market.

“We offer fixed, manually-vented, electric-vented, and solar-vented skylights,” says Greg Joseki, a national sales manager for Fakro. “Our solar-vented model comes with rain sensors that automatically shut the skylight if it detects moisture.”

This skylight brand is known for its use of cutting-edge technology. Some of Fakro’s electric skylights use a wireless control system which makes it easy to open and close the windows. 


Sunoptics has been making prismatic skylights since the 1970s. The company’s skylights are designed to let in natural light but block out UV rays. The brand makes residential and commercial skylights.

Where to Buy Online

Photo of skylights

1. Home Depot

Home Depot is a great place to start your search for skylights. They sell a variety of skylights, including solar-powered and electric-powered models. Home Depot also offers installation services for an additional fee.

2. Lowe’s

Lowe’s is another option for buying skylights online. They offer a wide selection of skylights, including solar and electric models. Like Home Depot, Lowe’s also offers installation services for an additional fee.

3. Roofing4Us

Roofing4Us provides nationwide delivery of skylights and installation services. They have a wide selection of skylights to choose from, including composite, aluminum or bronze.

4. SolarSkylights

SolarSkylights carries solar skylights, electric skylights, manual skylights, fixed skylights, sun tunnels and roof windows. There are many choices, including commercial and residential projects.

5. SkylightsforLess

SkylightsforLess is, an online retailer for skylights. They are an authorized dealer of Velux skylights, sun tunnels and blinds. They also sell parts and accessories.