Somewhat confusing, there is, in fact, a wide difference between a skylight, velux, and roof window in terms of how they are spelled. With regards to function, they basically have a similar objective—to let the light in. But will vary significantly on some points.
Google will often have a designated definition for each of these words. They are all windows, but with different functions.
A skylight is a type of roof window that transmits light for utilising the benefit of daylight. The origin of skylights traced back to ancient Roman architecture until the Industrial Revolution. And then in the middle of the 20th century, skylights have evolved based on their use.
The changes resulted from the popularity and usability of skylights include energy conservation, light transmission, and roof design.
The types of skylights include:
- Fixed-unit skylight—Made of glazed glass or plastic, the fixed-unit skylight does not allow ventilation.
- Open skylight—Structural frame without glass or plastic but a single hole, where air can set in or out.
- Operable skylight—Also called a “roof window,” this type can be opened and closed as a typical window.
- Retractable skylight—While the operable skylight can be opened because of the hinge, the retractable skylight is a remote controlled skylight that rolls on or off on a track. This time, the glass can go off all the way the frame giving a full opening, while when with a hinge, you could only allow a halfway opening of the window.
- Tubular skylight—also known as TDD which stands for “tubular daylighting device” is a roof-mounted dome specifically designed to capture sunlight and blocks UV rays. It refracts the sun and brings daylight, commonly for windowless rooms. The tube redirects sun’s rays to bring natural light indoors, is lined with a unique material that reflects 99.7% of natural light. It reduces energy cost by amplifying natural light during the day and collecting energy for the night. The latest innovation includes the installation of solar panels on daylight tubes to harvest the sun’s energy by day and power a moonlight-like soft glow that automatically comes on at night.
A roof window, just like one of the types of skylights, is a window built and designed for the roof. It allows open air and light to come in the interior of the building. Quite larger than a skylight, a roof window can be opened to enjoy the sky in a broader view.
Often roof windows are easily installed as they are premade. Professional roofers insert the window on the space provided in the building or roof.
The primary purpose of a roof window is to let in sun or light. Another essential function is to insulate from noise pollution.
A roof window brings daylight and fresh air into anyone’s home. To make sure these windows last and withstand the pressure of the outside, they are manufactured and put into rigorous test in the lab, and the field with few other windows can endure withstanding any climatic conditions or the most extreme weather conditions no matter where they are installed around the world.
These roof windows go through elaborate thermal testing in an environmental laboratory that serves as a simulation to ensure they meet the toughest environmental regulation. They are tested for UV resistance for both wood and glass, and they are tested for their durability of these insulating glass units by exposing them to temperature changes, from very hot to freezing cold within a few hours. Producing the best quality windows demands rigorous testing.
Roof windows and skylights were revolutionised by the Velux brand. Pioneering in the roof window industry, the Velux group gave popularity to the Velux window (a skylight or roof window) that has been in the commercial niche since the 1940s.
Velux was a name inspired by its originator Mr. Villum Kann Rasmussen, a Danish national who made his invention patented in 1942. VELUX stands for VE for ventilation and LUX for light. Velux windows are specialised glass roofs, in the principle of brightening dark attics with fresh air and daylight. Today, the Velux brand spread across Europe and America.
All Velux windows are thermally efficient roof windows. They are perfect for lighting stairwells, hallways, and any dark space that can be illuminated with daylight and view of the sky.
In summary, skylights, veluxes, and roof windows, which are fabricated to achieve the same goal are an economical choice for property owners who want to fill their space with natural light and at the same time make it appear wider and vibrant. Ideally, too, these unique window types can be installed either on flat or pitched roofs.
For more information and exciting facts on veluxes and related roofing services and products, our staff here at Birmingham Roofers can assist you anytime. Call our office and visit our website if you need to talk to our roofing contractors. Our friendly roofers will assist you in your queries.