Who doesn’t love skylights? They add great value to your homes. More than the aesthetics and physical appearance, they also have functional features. Skylights allow natural light to penetrate the interior. A well-lighted room promotes many good health benefits. Having said all of these things, you may find yourself asking how to select a skylight. First and foremost, there are different types of skylights – there’s a lot to choose from! However, they vary in terms of purpose and functionality.

In this blog post, we will help you find the right skylight. We’ll take you through the different types of skylights in order for you to know if this is something that would fit your preference.

Related: 6 Invaluable Benefits of Skylights

Top Considerations on How to Select a Skylight

To start off, you need to understand that every skylight has a purpose. It should match your needs as a homeowner and shouldn’t exist without any reason. Note that as with any other exterior element, it also requires maintenance. To make sure that it wouldn’t cause issues on your property, skylight installation should be handled by professionals.

Large ventilated skylights illuminating an empty room

Natural light penetrates the room through properly installed skylights.


You have to check with your roofing contractor if the existing roofing system can support the installation of an exterior element. Before you even decide which skylight to get, you have to know if it’s compatible or not. Mismatched skylights can lead to roofing problems or damage to the interior of your property.


The position of your skylight will affect its functionality. Hence, you have to secure a place where it is most accessible depending on how you would intend to use it. What’s the ultimate reason behind it – do you want extra lighting, a beautiful night sky view, or added ventilation?

Roofing experts can help recommend areas where it’s best to position a skylight. This is highly dependent on the shape and structure of your roofing. There is also an option to build a walk-on skylight especially if you will position it on terraces or corridors.


If you want to know how to select a skylight, you also have to learn about its composition. There are different skylight materials available in the market. You can choose among the following options:

Tempered Glass

This material is harder than normal glass as it has undergone some treatment. It’s called a “tempered glass” because it is exposed to extreme temperature. It is usually heated and then cooled down rapidly to reinforce durability. What’s great about it is that it shatters into small pebble-like pieces without sharp edges in case of breakage.

Laminated Glass

There is a thin layer of plastic that is sandwiched in between two more layers of glass to produce a laminated glass. Some skylight experts prefer putting laminated glass on the outer part. Then, they use a tempered glass on the other side.

In addition, there are two different types of framing. You can choose between metal or wood.

Fixed or Ventilated?

A homeowner manually opening a ventilated skylight.

A ventilated skylight gives homeowners an opportunity to regulate airflow.

Generally speaking, you can divide the different types of skylights into two. One is a fixed skylight and the other one is ventilated. As the name implies, a fixed type couldn’t be opened as it is completely sealed to the roof. Its main purpose is to bring in added natural sunlight. On the other hand, a ventilated type of skylight has other uses. From its name, it promotes ventilation as it allows air to flow through naturally. It can also allow light to penetrate the room depending on its location. Some are electronic while there are more traditional ones that you can control manually.

 Shape Selections

The decision making continues as you also have to figure out the shape that you want or would be fitting for your property. If you want to know what options are out there, you can refer to the list we prepared below.

Square (Window-Type)

This is the most common shape installed in residential houses because it can easily fit and match the design. It’s not limited to a square shape as it can be customized depending on how wide or thin you want your skylight to be.


This shape is ideal for very spacious and large areas as it can effectively spread sunlight all over the room. It is normally made from a reinforced plastic material.


If you have a very limited space, then a tube-type skylight would be ideal. Usually, there is a spherical dome attached to the roof but the light is transmitted through a tube-shaped pipe. Even tiny rooms can make use of this skylight.


This one is a bit self-explanatory as it actually comes in different pyramid shapes and sizes. You will find these pyramid-like skylights in large spaces such as lobbies.

how to select a skylight

Pyramid-shaped skylights on top of a commercial building.

Barrel Vault

This one is similar to a dome-shaped type of skylight. However, a barrel vault has a half-moon shape. There isn’t an exact dimension as it covers 80 to 100% of the roofing. Normally, you will find this kind of skylight in large commercial buildings, schools, malls, and many more.

What if you don’t want any of these typical shapes? Is it possible to customize the design and shape? Yes. You can be creative in designing a skylight. There are tons of different geometric shapes that you can use as an inspiration. So if you don’t want the usual kinds of a skylight, you can talk to experts and consider customizing it to suit your property’s aesthetics.

Final Words

Skylights are a great addition to your homes. It naturally improves the lighting condition during daytime and could give you a brilliant view at night. There are different features that you can benefit from. Skylights that can open up allow air inside helping remove excess moisture or release a foul odor.

If you don’t know where to start you can always go back to this post. Read through the top considerations on how to select a skylight. The next recommended step is to consult roofing experts who can provide a personalized approach to skylight installation.

Skylight installation is not a one-size-fits-all thing. Each house is different from another and your priorities as homeowners may vary as well. It should be personalized based on different factors.

If you need more help on how to select a skylight for your homes, we are here to help. Contact Amity Home Maintenance Solutions skylight experts for more information and further assistance. You can call us at (203) 678-9891 and receive a FREE estimate.