Velux Skylights: Natural Light and Ventilation

    

BRAX Roofing - Skylight replacement

For most people, the first thing that comes to mind when the subject of skylights comes up is "natural light" - daylight that is abundant and free! The first brand that typically comes to mind is Velux, a name that's virtually synonymous with skylights.


Skylights deliver daylight into your living space to make it feel more spacious. In fact, with the right placement, skylights can deliver light to the darker nooks and crannies of your home. With the addition of blinds, it is possible to precisely control the daylight illuminating your living space. At the same time, skylights also ventilate and cool your living space by letting rising warm air escape.

About Velux

Velux is the foremost skylight manufacturer in the world. The first two letters in its name refer to ventilation, the final three letters are the Latin word for light. Indeed, Velux skylights ventilate living spaces as they deliver natural light. The company began with the installation of a "roof window" during the renovation of a Danish school in 1941. A patent was granted the following year. A decade later, the company greatly expanded when it entered the German market. Today, its products are sold in dozens of countries, including the United States.

Benefits of Skylights

Homeowners value skylights for many reasons. They deliver soft, natural light that is a perfect complement to other types of interior lighting. Properly positioned skylights contribute to a more welcoming, more comfortable living environment.

Despite the active lives people lead, most still spend a great deal of time in their homes. Regardless of the amount of time spent in the home, everyone values the quality of the time spent there. In a variety of ways, skylights enhance the quality of life in your home.

There are a number of key benefits that skylights offer. For example, they:

Reduce artificial lighting needs -  You'll find that the majority of Velux skylights are Energy Star certified. As you rely more on natural daylight and less on artificial lighting, you'll reduce your household's consumption of electricity. Any reduction in your utility bill is a cost saving that continues to accrue, month-after-month, year-after-year.

Render more accurate color - Different types of light have different "color temperatures." For example, the color temperature of a soft white incandescent light bulb is about 2550 degrees K and the color temperature of a warm white compact fluorescent lamp is about 3000 degrees K. Sunlight, on the other hand, has a much higher color temperature, which ranges from 5500 to 6500 degrees K depending on the degree of overcast.

Inside your home, the color temperature of incandescent and fluorescent light sources distort the colors of your interior design and decor. As skylights introduce natural light into your home, they introduce light that renders the true colors of walls, fabrics and other interior appointments.

Moderate changing temperatures - Velux skylights also introduce "seasonal automation" of your home. When it is warm outside, you can open the skylights and close your blinds to keep living spaces cool. In the winter, you can close the skylights and open your blinds to add the warmth of natural light and while simultaneously keeping the heat where you want it - inside your home.

Contribute to sustainability - Today, families often want to know that their decisions benefit the environment. They embrace "green" products that reduce energy consumption, which, in turn, cuts fossil fuel use and carbon emissions. In general, Velux skylights require little or no electricity for their operation. Certainly, by delivering daylight into homes, they save far more electricity than they consume. Specifically, solar-powered skylights do not require any electricity from the grid.

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The No Leak Skylight

Enjoy a leak-free experience with Velux skylights. Since 1941, Velux engineers and designers have been perfecting what the company calls "The No Leak Skylight." Both deck-mounted and curb-mounted skylights from Velux offer three different layers of watertight protection:

Base Layer

With deck-mounted skylights, the deck seal is an important layer of moisture protection. Surrounding the skylight is a continuous steel bracket lined with closed-cell foam. The foam hugs the roof's contours to create a seal that is both air and water-tight. With curb-mounted skylights, the air-tight and water-tight seal is created by a special pre-attached gasket.

Second Layer

The second line of defense involves wrapping the skylight and roof deck with an adhesive, all-weather underlayment. This specially formulated "peel-and-stick" underlayment replaces traditional felt.

Third Layer

Step flashing comprises yet another layer of moisture defense. It is commonly used where the roof meets various protrusions like chimneys, vents and skylights. By alternating layers of roofing material and flashing, installers provide a means for the rain to cascade down and away from roof protrusions, including skylights.

Velux backs up this triple layer of protection with a 10-year installation warranty. Homeowners enjoy an unprecedented peace-of-mind with Velux skylights installed by Velux certified installers.

Velux Clean, Quiet & Safe Glass System

Velux skylights are engineered to address three critical needs. As a result, they remain cleaner, quieter and safer than many competing products.

Velux has engineered Neat Glass, a special insulated glass that also resists debris build-up on the company's latest skylight models LoE3, dual-paned glass features a special titanium dioxide coating. The chemical reacts with the sun's ultraviolet rays to break down organic matter that is more easily washing away by rain. This process works even on cloudy days since most of the sun's UV rays penetrate cloud cover.

Also, the addition of silicon dioxide causes water to more quickly disperse and evaporate. Beading is reduced, which, in turn, reduces water spotting. Neat Glass technology delivers natural light into your living space with greater consistency.

The high-tech glass used in a Velux skylight reduces outside noise up to 50 percent more than a plastic skylight and up to 25 percent more than standard double-pane glass. The safety of a home's occupants is ensured through the use of laminated glass in Velux skylights. LoE3 dual-paned glass filled with argon gas is an energy-efficient product that offers energy savings of up to 25 percent compared to certain competing products.

Types of Velux Skylights

Velux offers a comprehensive line of skylights and accessories. Whatever your need for natural light may be, Velux will likely offer you the perfect solution. Here's a quick review of the major products in the Velux line.

Solar Powered "Fresh Air" Skylights

The Solar Powered "Fresh Air" Skylight eliminates the need for traditional electric wiring. Instead, it employs a solar panel to generate the electricity required to open and close it. The Fresh Air Skylight is offered in both curb and deck-mounted configurations.

Electric "Fresh Air" Skylights

The Electric "Fresh Air" Skylight supplies the natural light that a home's occupants value. It is simple to open and close it with the mere touch of a button. Fresh air flows into your home when you wish. If the skylight is open when inclement weather arrives, a rain sensor will activate the closing mechanism. The Fresh Air Skylight is available for both deck and curb-mount installation.

Manual "Fresh Air" Skylights

Designed for both deck and curb mount installations. The Manual "Fresh Air" Skylight opens to allow stale, humid air to escape, and fresh air to enter your home. It is available in both deck and curb-mounted configurations.

Fixed Skylights

The Velux line of fixed skylights represents an economical lighting solution in a variety of darker spaces like stairwells and hallways. These deck-mounted skylights visually expand your living space with beautiful, natural light.

Sun Tunnel Skylights

velux_suntunnel

Sun tunnels are a type of skylight that excels at delivering natural light where you need it. Velux offers sun tunnels with both flexible and rigid tubing. The length of the solar tubing required, along with the possible presence of attic obstructions, will determine whether flexible or rigid sun tunnels are best.

Flexible Sun Tunnels

Flexible solar tubes are ideal for shorter runs, and for when it is necessary to route them around obstructions in the attic. The flexible tubing makes installation quick and easy. The ribbed interior surface of the flexible tubing helps diffuse light for a soft, natural result.

Rigid Sun Tunnels

Rigid tubing delivers somewhat brighter natural light than flexible tubing does because the interior of the rigid tube reflects more light than its flexible counterpart. Due to the efficiency with which it delivers light, a rigid solar tunnel is ideal for longer runs. It does require an unobstructed path from roof to ceiling, however.

Energy Performance Skylights with Blinds

With Velux Energy Performance Skylights, you can fully optimize sunlight no matter the season. These special skylights include a factory-installed, solar-powered blind that can boost energy performance by as much as 40 percent. The double-pleated design can darken a room whenever you desire. Velux offers the blinds in five in-stock colors.

Velux Intelligent Remote Control that comes with Energy Performance Skylights to enjoy an unprecedented ability to automate your skylights on a seasonal basis. Velux even provides a video with step-by-step instructions for setting up the remote control. You can select precise times to open and close the blinds, thereby optimizing energy-efficiency, interior lighting and overall comfort. Once the Velux Intelligent Touch Remote Control is in your hand, you'll have the power to deliver natural light when you want it, reducing energy costs in the process.

Different Types of Blinds

Velux provides a variety of ways to control incoming daylight through the use of manual or solar-powered blackout blinds, room darkening blinds, light-filtering blinds and Venetian blinds.

Blackout blinds and room darkening blinds give you full control over incoming natural light. As Velux says, they can "convert day into night."

As their name suggests, light-filtering blinds diffuse light in a pleasing manner. They are particularly effective where direct sunlight would otherwise enter the home in a distracting manner. Velux offers both manual and solar-powered pleated blinds in a wide assortment of patterns and colors.

The aluminum Venetian blind is operated manually to vary the amount of light entering your living space.

Federal Tax Credit

Under the provisions of the program, certain Velux products qualify as "solar electric property," including:

  • Solar Powered Fresh Air Skylights
  • Energy Performance Model Skylights
  • Residential rigid Sun Tunnels with the solar night light

It is important to note that both the product price and the cost of installation qualify for the federal tax credit.

Since Congress has authorized multiple extensions of the program, any "solar electric property" installed by December 31, 2021, qualifies for the federal tax credit. However, the value of the credit gradually declines from 2020 forward. The credit is 26 percent in 2020, and it declines further to 22 percent in 2021.

What do I need to do to get the tax credit? Remember that any qualifying skylights and installation expenses qualify for the Federal Tax Credit. Keep your receipts with the Manufacturer's Certification Statement in your tax records file.

At tax time, complete IRS Form 5695 titled "Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit." You'll fill in amounts under "qualified solar electric property cost." The tax credit will be entered on your Form 1040. Keep in mind that only a tax professional can advise you as to whether this tax credit will benefit you.

Many homeowners benefit from the generous tax credit, and they benefit further from a reduction in the energy costs associated with artificial lighting.

About BRAX Roofing

BRAX Roofing is a full-service roofing contractor serving homeowners in Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia. We offer everything from roof inspections to full roof replacements, and from routine maintenance to emergency repairs.

As a 3-star Velux Certified Installer, BRAX Roofing can expertly address all of your questions about skylights. The combination of the world's #1 skylight manufacturer and a leading roofing contractor in the DMV is one that brings area homeowners the peace-of-mind they value. We hope that you'll agree.

The team at BRAX would welcome the opportunity to suggest the particular Velux skylights that will most effectively meet your unique needs. To learn more about Velux skylights, or to arrange for a complimentary consultation, 

Request a Free Roof Estimate

About The Author

Ben Matthews is a managing partner at BRAX Roofing, a multi-faceted company that focuses on residential and commercial roofing throughout Maryland and Washington DC. Having obtained the highest certifications in roofing from leading manufacturers around the country, Ben takes pride in providing BRAX Roofing customers with top-quality exterior home improvement service and expertise.