There are a variety of options for what type of material you can have used in your skylight each with its strengths and weaknesses, the most common materials are glass, acrylic, and polycarbonate. It’s important to assess your needs and preferences when deciding what materials to use in the skylight to ensure you are happy with the performance and look of your skylight.


Glass is the more popular of the options for skylights for a few factors primarily the visual clarity of the glass giving a clear undistorted view through it, glass also tends to be more durable than the plastic alternatives in different ways and glass doesn’t discolour over time so tends to look better for longer. There are two types of glass used for skylights being tempered or laminated glass since these are safety glass that must be used in skylights. Tempered glass is much harder than normal glass due to the tempering process used and this results in the glass shattering into pebble-like pieces with no sharp edges if the glass breaks. Laminated glass, on the other hand, is made of two sheets of glass with a thin layer of plastic pressed between them, this means if the glass breaks the plastic holds the pieces together preventing glass shards from being scattered around. The main durability benefits are the high resistance to wear damage such as scratches and has relatively high impact resistance.


Acrylic is the most well know of the transparent plastics used in skylights and windows. Acrylic is a transparent plastic that is the most glass-like option having the clarity and transparency like that of glass sheets, but it is significantly lighter than glass. Being a plastic acrylic is easier to work with and shaped allowing larger skylights as well dome-style skylights, the acrylic used in a skylight can also be coated to tint the acrylic to the desired colour or can be coated to help defuse the sunlight passing through the skylight. Acrylic is also far more resistant to impacts, but while acrylic is more impact resistant than glass, glass tends to be more wear-resistant while acrylic is more susceptible to scratching.


Polycarbonate is another material option for skylights, as a transparent plastic polycarbonate has the same benefit as acrylic being far lighter than glass and less expensive. Polycarbonate is also flexible being able to be curved, so is a great choice for dome skylights, and it is also optically clear though it does have lower visual clarity than glass or acrylic not by much. The main benefits that polycarbonate has over the other options is its durability and resilience, polycarbonate itself will keep its appearance and shape for years without discolouring or warping. Polycarbonate is virtually shatterproof and won’t fracture, bend, or break even in the toughest environments, being able to withstand temperatures for sub-zero to extreme heat with no negative effects while also blocking 99% of UV and other harmful rays from the sun.

After looking at the benefits of each type of material used in skylights it shows how important to decide what option best fits your tastes, climate and weather since you won’t want to choose polycarbonate if you living in an area with very low chances of hail, with stable temperatures and you want the clearest view through the skylight as possible but if your home is surrounded in tall trees that drop sticks, seeds and/or nuts on your roof and the temperatures wildly change throughout the year then polycarbonate would be best suited. So, it is important to assess what conditions the skylight will have to compete with and pick the material that will serve you the best in those conditions.


Title: What are the materials used in skylights
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Published Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2022 22:00:07 GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better: sun tunnels or skylights?

Skylights or sun tunnels can bring natural light into a space. There are key differences that can help you choose the right one for your space.

Skylights are popular for basements or bathrooms looking to add extra daylight or a dramatic window effect. Skylights have a larger size than sun tunnels. They also offer more sunlight through the glass dome. They are perfect for rooms with limited furniture and needing privacy. Additionally, skylights are easy to clean because you can reach all surfaces from inside.

Sun tunnels are narrower than skylights. They can be used to create a space with limited windowsill area, such as hallways or closets. Sun tunnels function by reflecting sunlight into a room through an interior mirror called a ‘tunnel. Because of their reflective surface, natural sunlight can enter the room without being directly exposed from outside. They are a great solution for privacy and background views.

When it comes to adding natural sunlight where you most need it, there is no one-size fits all solution. When deciding on which skylight or sun tunnel to use, consider your privacy and views as well as the space available.

Are sun tunnels prone to leaking?

Sun tunnel systems generally have components that won’t cause water leakage. Unsuccessful installation can lead to water damage and leakage. These leaks can be caused by improperly installed tiles or insufficient flashing to cover the joints between components.

Professional installation is highly recommended. Professional installers can seal your skylight panels, flashings and other components correctly and accurately so that no water leaks into your home. They can also inspect the components for possible problems such as cracks or defects from manufacturers.

It is crucial to perform regular maintenance checks on the sun tunnel system in order to prevent leakage. You should inspect sun tunnels annually for any possible condensation buildup or damage at the roof entry point. To reduce the risk of condensation, you can add exhaust vents to the tunnel below the installation area if your roof has poor ventilation.

If your sun tunnel system is installed correctly, you should not experience any leaking or outflow problems. These problems can be avoided by using the right materials and channels when installing sun tunnel systems.

Do sun tunnels get dirty?

Because they aren’t as easily damaged by the elements like regular windows, sun tunnels can bring natural sunlight into darkened or dimly lit rooms. Sun tunnels are typically made with high-quality acrylic or polycarbonate domes, which limit dust, dirt, and other debris from entering the tunnel. Additionally, their thick lining material helps deflect smaller objects that may be brought in by wind or other environmental factors, keeping your sun tunning clean and bright.

Sun tunnels require little maintenance. You can simply rinse them with mild detergent and soap every few month. As long as they’re kept away from direct contact with chimneys and other sources of smoke, sun tunnels can last for years without needing major cleaning. The sun tunnel’s low maintenance requirements make it an ideal option for brightening any area.

Some sun tunnel systems also have wipers which remove dirt and dust buildup from the lenses. This makes sun tunnels more convenient for people who want to maximise sunlight but don’t have the time or the ability to clean them frequently.

Can you see into a sun tunnel to see the sky?

Sun Tunnels, also known as solar tubes, are cylindrical skylights that act like light shafts to allow natural sunlight into living spaces and interior rooms. They are constructed of a reflective tube system connecting the roof to an internal ceiling-mounted diffuser.

You can see the sky from a sun tunnel. It depends. If it’s directly overhead and unobstructed, you may catch glimpses of the sky depending on the angle of your sun tunnel. The sun tunnels will block view opportunities in most cases. This is especially true if the tunnel runs near any other structures or objects, like walls or roofs.

Sun tunnels are a great way to bring natural light into your living space without having to sacrifice any view outside. A typical 10″ sun tunnel will extend to 20ft down the reflective tube. After that, it forms a 360deg spread onto the ceiling. This spread helps reduce glares as well as illuminating the space thoroughly. They are ideal for accent lighting in your space, providing constant daylighting throughout the interior of all rooms, regardless of how they align with windows or exterior walls.

What are the advantages of tubular Skylights?

Tubular skylights have several potential disadvantages to consider. They require professional installation to ensure they are properly sealed and secured. This can be costly and time-consuming, which will result in higher costs than the original purchase price. Because of their design, tubular rooflights are smaller and may not be able to fit larger roof openings. These styles can block out a large area of the ceiling and are not as effective as traditional skylights, which allow natural light in from all directions.

One potential problem is that tubular skylights may need direct sunlight to function properly. This could limit their utility in certain climates. A selection of additional fans and air ventilation systems must be made carefully. They will bring more heat into the home and should have adequate ventilation to keep it cool during summer. The tubular skylights don’t provide the same panoramic view as fixed glass models.

What are the downsides of sun tunnels?

Sun tunnels, also called light tubes, are a type tunnel that captures and redirects natural sunlight from outside of a building to bring it inside a living area. Sun tunnels have many benefits, including energy savings and better lighting quality. However, there are some downsides.

Sun tunnels are susceptible to heat losses because they use direct pathways for light transfer. Sun tunnels can lose heat in winter temperatures, which could cause your heating system to work harder to compensate.

Sun tunnels are also expensive to install, depending on the size of your home. This requires you to cut through walls. If you are comfortable doing DIY projects, it may be necessary to hire skilled labor. If something does go wrong, they can be difficult to fix or maintain. Additionally, because sun tunnels rely so heavily on natural sunlight, their effectiveness could suffer if insufficient daylight is available due to nearby trees or darkness at night.

There may be laws regarding building and zoning in your area that might limit your ability build a sun tunnel.

Can sun tunnels be used at night?

Do sun tunnels work at night? Yes! Sun tunnels can be used to bring natural sunlight into spaces even in low light or no direct sunlight. Sun tunnels take sunlight from the roof to direct it through a tube, or series of tubes into the space where it is needed.

Sun tunnel systems capture sunlight via a dome attached to the roof. This directs light down the tunnel so that it can be used for storage or illumination with energy-efficient LED luminaires. The tube’s reflective material helps to keep the light quality constant over its entire journey.

Strategically placed LED lights in particular places within their design system release solar energy stored during daytime. These lights lighten spaces without drawing power from any grid. Even though they don’t get as much sunlight as they do in the daytime they provide a powerful lighting solution that doesn’t require any additional power. These lights are perfect for those who want an off-grid solution and don’t need constant power supply. Ultimately, this can reduce costs for consumers and help champion sustainability initiatives over time.


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How To

Clear the Way for Sunshine: How To Properly Clean And Maintain Your Skylight

Are your skylights looking dull and dingy? If you want your skylights to shine brightly in your home and office, then proper cleaning and maintenance is the key.

To remove dirt, use a soft, damp towel. You should rinse it frequently to ensure it doesn’t become grity on your glass. Use a special cleaner made for skylights for tougher grime or stains. If not taken care of correctly, mineral deposits and mold can find their way onto the skylight. These deposits can be removed by using vinegar and water. This will also prevent oxidation.

Clean any rust spots as soon as they arise in order to keep them from spreading over time. You can remove rust stains by using a nonabrasive cloth dipped in steel wool soap, along with an oil-based detergent and warm water. For stubborn rust buildups, use an Acid-based product that is designed for surface cleaning and followed by thorough rinse to remove any dirt or damage to the glass unit’s edges.

Check for any cracks or damages that may have arisen due to windstorms and snowfalls during winter months. To prevent further water infiltration or leakage into structures, such as drywall and insulation around windows workspaces frames, painters can fill larger areas with latex sealant.

Lastly, consider adding a sunscreen layer during summer months between yourself and direct sunlight entering through your skylight, which can help keep indoor temperatures at a comfortable level while saving energy costs too!