What Is the Optimal Skylight Placement?

Does Skylight Placement Matter?

Yes! It absolutely matters where and how your skylights are placed on your roof. While most homeowners have a location in mind, the placement of your skylights will be affected by more than just aesthetics. It is important to consider the look you want and why you are installing skylights in the first place.

Things to consider when deciding on skylight placement:

  • What are your reasons for considering a skylight/s?
  • Do you want to bring more light to a specific area of your home?
  • Are you looking for increased airflow?
  • Are you looking to boost your heater’s performance in the winter?
  • Do you want to be able to see a specific view?

You should also consider if you have any other skylights in your home and whether they will impact the placement or configuration of your new ones.

Consult with an Experienced Roofer Before Purchasing

While you can answer some of the above-mentioned questions, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced roofer and skylight installation specialist (like Lyons Roofing!) before purchasing new skylights. A knowledgeable skylight installer can inspect your roof, discuss your goals, and help you determine the best location for your skylights. They can also help you select the right products to help you achieve your goals.

Keep reading to learn more about how to place skylights based on what you want to achieve.

When You Want More Light

Generally speaking, if you want to improve your home’s natural lighting, north-facing skylights are your best bet. They will provide consistent light throughout the day but shouldn’t contribute too much warmth. However, if you are looking for lighting at certain times of the day, such as in the morning, you may want to consider a more direct placement. For example, if you want more light in the morning, east-facing skylights are best. However, these more direct placements will likely increase your home’s temperature as more direct sunlight will come in.

When You Want Warmth

South-facing skylights are your best option if you are looking for a way to support your heating system in the winter. With south-facing skylights, you will catch a significant amount of light throughout the day, and it will be intense enough to impact the warmth of your home. However, before you move forward with south-facing skylights, you should also consider that you will also see an increase in your home’s temperature during the summer. Since we live in Arizona, where we see extreme heat, this may not be desirable, or you may wish to install skylights with retractable shades that can be drawn in the winter.

What About Skylight Slope?

Not only does the direction your skylights face matter, but your skylight’s slope can be just as important. The lower the pitch, the more solar heat you gain in the summer and the less you will gain in the winter. According to energy.gov, the optimum skylight slope is equal to your geographical latitude plus 5-15°. This will help maximize the heat gain you achieve in the winter and reduce solar heat gain in the summer.

Ideal skylight slope ranges for Phoenix and Tucson are:

  • Phoenix: ≈38-48°
  • Tucson: ≈37-47°

While this ideal skylight slope may not be available to all homeowners, and you may be dealing with existing skylights outside this range, you don’t have to worry. Speak with the skylight experts at Lyons Roofing for tips on getting the most out of your skylights, no matter how they are configured.

To schedule a consultation with our skylight team, call (520) 447-2522 or contact us online.