The Luminous Benefits of Skylights

The Luminous Benefits of Skylights

Lets go back to ancient Rome, and to the Pantheon. When you walk in, a sense of grandeur settles and all attention filters upwards to a single round opening that fills the atmosphere with light.

Light streaming down from the oculus at the Pantheon.
Light streaming down from the oculus at the Pantheon.

The oculus at the Pantheon adds drama to the space, enhancing the mystery of the architecture.

The natural light pouring in from the oculus, reflects and fills the atmosphere in the room, adding grandeur. We can use this same centuries old technique in our own homes today. Fortunately, we don’t have to cut an open hole in our roof to get the same effect, skylights or sun tunnels are a great way to add that same drama and luminosity to your home.

A skylight at the peak of a roof provides zenithal light, the same dramatic illumination as in the Pantheon, a idea that architects and designers continue to use today. Many are adding modern twists with bright colors or simple shapes.

Skylights can be used to add texture and visual interest:

by placing several small opening near a wall, using the ceiling beams to divide one large opening, or allowing nature to visually enter the room, using the shadows to provide an ever changing complexity to the room,

Skylights are getting more and more prominent in modern design:

  • like placing one above your bed for a view of the stars as you sleep
  • having one in your bathroom for a private oasis
  • creating a sense of playfulness with reflected light off of a pool of water
  • defining different areas of your home, or watching light wash over stone textures,

Zenithal light is soothing, and can be relaxing to look up at while curled up in your favorite nook. The natural light from skylights creates a soothing, calm space and evolves with you as the day progresses. Skylights provide interaction between two realms, and can be installed almost anywhere. And having your skylights on a roof deck can provide a unique tabletop surface, and easy access for maintenance.

Skylights provide a lot of enjoyment, beauty, and value to the homes and people whose lives they illuminate.

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3 Replies to “The Luminous Benefits of Skylights”

  1. I have always loved having a lot of windows in my home because it lets it more light. My husband suggested we get skylights to make our home even more bright and I think it could be a great idea. I like how you point out that not only do they add more light but they can also give you a view into the night sky at night. I will be sure to keep these things in mind!

  2. I never would have guessed that having a skylight could be so beneficial. I really like how you said that “Skylights provide a lot of enjoyment, beauty, and value to the homes and people whose lives they illuminate.” I have never had a skylight before but I can imagine how helpful it can be when it comes to letting in natural light.

  3. My husband is interested in getting a skylight installed in our bedroom because he really likes the idea of having natural light pour in during the day. I love how you point out that a skylight provides zenithal light, which is the same dramatic illumination as in the Pantheon. I think he would really love to learn more about that. We’ll have to call a contractor and find out more about the benefits of a skylight.

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