Skylight / July 11, 2018 / Nicolas Charlebois
Tubular skylights An alternative to the conventional skylight which looks like a window in your roof is the tubular skylight. The tubular skylight is a roof-mounted dome which collects natural light and delivers it to the room below. It is less expensive than the conventional skylight because it is designed to fit between roof and ceiling framing eliminating the need for structural modifications. You will commonly see these used in bathrooms hallways and closets but they can be used in any room of your house. The average tubular skylight ranges in size from 10 - 21 inches in diameter which lights a 100-600 square foot interior space.
Your ventilating skylight can be operated by one of three ways: Manual skylight controls - These are opened by your use of an extended rod to manually crank the skylight open. These are designed for ceilings of less than 15 feet. Electronic skylight controls - A simpler model of this type of control is wired to a wall mounted switch which opens and closes the skylight. More complex models are controlled by a special wall console of a wireless remote control. Automatic operating controls - With this type of control integrated heat sensors trigger the skylight to open when the interior heat reaches a preset temperature. Exterior sensors automatically close the unit when they sense moisture.
The acrylic dome is typically mounted in an aluminum frame which is in turn mounted on a box called a "curb." Once the hole is cut in the roof to the manufacturers specifications the curb is typically constructed on-site to raise the skylight above the level of the roof sheathing. Site-built or factory-supplied flashings are used to seal the roofing around the curb. Domed skylights are available in clear smoked bronze or other tints. Some domed plastic skylights are flush mounted which means that the lens piece and flashing piece are both made of plastic and then placed on the roof without a curb. The problem with this type is that they are loud and very susceptible to leakage.