Skylights and roof windows can be a great way to introduce light around your home, but the placement and positioning of your skylights can affect their impact. Read tips of the best roof window and skylight positioning, as well as the benefits of getting it right.
Note: At Dakea, we use the term skylights to describe non-insulating windows for rooms that aren’t lived in – such as garages or storage rooms. Roof windows describes insulated windows in rooms that are lived in the home, such as bedrooms, kitchens, hallways and bathrooms.
Choosing the best placement for your skylight or roof window impacts the amount of light that enters the home, as well as how the final room looks and feels. It’s really important to get it right if you want to make the most of your window.
The biggest reason that roof window and skylight positioning matters is the amount of light in the room and how it is distributed. This isn’t only affected by which compass direction your window faces and whether there are outside factors blocking the light etc, but also the way that it allows light to enter the room itself.
Positioning your skylights where they receive the most sunlight can be a great way to naturally heat the home, therefore lowering energy consumption. If you live in the United Kingdom, we would recommend positioning your roof windows so they face south. This way, they can absorb the most amount of sunlight possible throughout the day, helping to heat the home naturally.
It can be a good idea to pair this with effective anti-heat blinds though. That way, you can make the most of the sun in the winter, autumn and spring, but prevent overheating in the hottest summer weeks!
Learn more about how to reduce heat loss through windows.
Daylight can have great benefits when it comes to heat retention and lower energy consumption, but it can also be a great mood booster. Sunlight has been shown to increase the amount of serotonin, also known as the “happiness hormone”, which can stabilise moods, regulate emotions and help with appetite.
By optimising the positioning of your skylight or roof window, you can make the most of daylight.
Skylights and roof windows can also bring in much-needed fresh air. This is not only pleasant on warm mornings, but helps to prevent condensation, damp and mould. Having a skylight or roof window anywhere in the room will help with this, but it can be good to think about how the breeze might move through the room.
When using certain Dakea roof windows, you can enjoy our comfortable room ventilation feature, which comes with two additional locking positions, so you can choose how much fresh air is entering your home.
Skylights can be propped open to provide ventilation for unoccupied rooms such as storage lofts and garages. Learn how to open a skylight.
Here are a few tips you can use to better position your roof windows or skylights.
There are a number of considerations when it comes to maximising natural light that can help you to make the most of adding a skylight or roof window to your home.
South-facing windows are in the best position to get the most sunlight throughout the day without having as much glare as can occur from east or west-facing windows. They therefore help to maximise daylight, but also keep the home nice and snug.
Placing a skylight on the northern side of your roof would mean that sunlight and solar heat aren’t utilised to their full potential.
Because they largely face the sky, roof windows are great for improving light in the home even if you have a thick garden or live in an urban area. However, if your home is lower than trees or buildings around, it can be good to consider positioning the roof window to avoid these obstacles.
While south-facing windows might be preferable under normal conditions, if an east, west or north-facing window won’t be blocked by trees or buildings, it might be the better option!
The best approach to maximise light is to use multiple, smaller roof windows. This improves the distribution of light around the room.
For example, one large roof window might allow daylight to light 46% of the room. Two roof windows, with the same total surface area as the single one, would illuminate about 48%. Four roof windows with the same combined total surface area, but distributed more evenly, would allow daylight to illuminate approximately 65% of the room!
Roof window positioning is therefore really important when you’re using multiple windows and can help to maximise the light in the space. Try to position the skylights or roof windows, so they’re a good distance apart, and consider placing them on opposite sides of the room to make the most of daylight at different times of day.
Any openable roof window or skylight will help to improve ventilation, so this might not be as much of a priority as maximising light.
However, there are ways you can encourage more of a breeze, which can be particularly useful on warmer days when you want a bit of air flow!
By positioning the skylights or roof windows on opposite sides of the room (or on diagonal walls), you can encourage air to circulate when both windows are open – moving in through one window and out through the other.
You can achieve a similar thing by positioning the window opposite a door that can be propped open. (Be sure not to prop open any fire safety doors though!)
A final consideration when positioning your skylight is your furniture. While you can move your furniture around, it’s important to note that prolonged exposure to sunlight can bleach the colour of soft furnishings, rugs, paintings and wood.
This might be low on the priorities when it comes to placing a new roof window, but can be a helpful consideration to keep in mind.