Considering A Shed Skylight?

A shed skylight can light up the inside of your shed, save you money and save valuable wall space in your shed. In today's world sheds are no longer just used to store gardening equipment, summertime play equipment, boxes of decorations or other items you need to store. Many people use sheds as small home offices, studios, playrooms, and practically anything else you can think of. One consideration you need to make when planning your sheds construction is how are you are going to light it. Some sheds can be dark as many do not contain windows as part of efforts to save precious wall space. Do you choose to use a light powered from your main electricity supply? Or is a skylight a preferred option?

Why a skylight works well for a shed

  • Obviously, a skylight is going to bring light in from outside into your shed and illuminate it so you can see all of your tools and other objects.
  • Even if you do run electricity to your shed, a skylight can help you save money through the day, allowing you to work without turning on the lights until it is absolutely necessary.
  • They also save wall space that can be used for other things, such as hanging up tools and other supplies.

Considering the fact that many people now use their sheds more as a studio or home office, natural light from a shed skylight is often needed and welcome. Artists prefer natural light over artificial light when they are painting or drawing as natural light does not change or influence the colours they are working with. Plus sunlight is good for the body and makes us all feel a little better when we get to stand in it for a little while.

Types of skylights for your shed

There are three main types of skylight suitable for a shed. Each has its pros and cons but they all work well at letting natural light in.

  • Standard skylights use a framing system that allows you to ventilate your shed without losing heat, but allowing fresh air into your space. They are often double glazed filled with inert gas and some have a low-E2 coating to reduce some of the heat gain in the shed when the sun is shining.
  • The second type of shed skylight that is available is polycarbonate sheet. It is 250 times stronger than an equivalent thickness of glass. It's an uncoated sheet that protects from forced entry as it is virtually unbreakable and is cheaper to produce than glass. Because it's light weight, it needs less support than most other mediums. It's twin wall, cellular construction keeps out the cold and heat during the seasons, making it perfect to use in a shed environment.
  • Finally, there is the dome style skylight. These skylights are actually tubular and can be fitted from your shed roof down to the lower level in a loft style shed without worrying about changes in the structure. They are insulated, come in a range of diameters from 250 to 350mm diameter. The Acrylic dome covering at the top provides protection from harmful UV rays. These skylights are also handy to use in a home to bring natural sunlight into places such as a basement.

What to think about when choosing your shed's skylight

Let's say that your shed is being used as a home office or studio. You do not want to be too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter so you will need to choose the direction your skylight is facing carefully. In the Northern hemisphere a shed skylight should go in a northern facing roof. This allows ambient reflected light to enter the shed but avoids the direct rays of the sun. This helps to avoid too much heat gain in the summer.

To ensure you do not lose too much heat in the winter, it's imperative that you make sure your skylight is sealed and well and properly insulated around all edges. Heat can escape from the tiniest crevice that you don't know about, so being thorough in your sealing and insulating is important. The same goes for waterproofing your skylight. Once again, you will need to make sure that all areas of the roof and the skylight are properly sealed and flashed to keep rain and snow out.

Finally, consider installing some shutters or blinds over the skylight that can be opened and closed. If you are thinking that these defeat the purpose of a shed skylight, they really don't. Covering the skylight when you are not in your shed keeps the contents of your shed from fading from too much sunlight and reduces heat gain/loss, making it more comfortable for you to work in the shed right away.

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