Make the Most of Your Skylight With a Skylight Shade

Skylights are a great way to open up a dark kitchen or bathroom, letting the beauty of the open sky infuse the room. But if they’re not shaded, they can overheat the space, running up utility bills and making the house uncomfortable.

A regular window catches the winter sun’s low-angle rays and limits the summer sun’s high-angled glare. A skylight tends to do the opposite.

Skylights in south- or west-sloping roofs are especially liable to overheat a room. North-facing skylights let in a soft, diffuse light, but don’t create the sun-washed effect you might be going for.

Tinted Glass and Solar Glazing

To protect wooden cabinets and vanities from the bleaching effects of direct sunlight, create the effect of skylight shades with gray- or bronze-tinted glass, which blocks the sun's ultraviolet rays.

Solar control glazing is a type of performance glass that reduces the effects of solar buildup, minimizing radiation and improving energy efficiency. Low E glass has a similar effect, and is an energy-efficient alternative to regular glass.

Blinds and Shades

Built-in blinds or horizontal curtains also help regulate the amount of light. Blind systems can be integrated into the skylight unit. Comfort glazing, a standard feature on many skylight brands, provides insulation against heat buildup in summer and heat loss in winter.

Honeycomb or cellular blinds create a diffused light while imparting this blind’s unique energy-efficient qualities. This not only keeps the room cooler, it also reduces glare on televisions and computer screens. Mounting these shades side-by-side lets you cover very large areas.

Venetian blinds or mini-blinds let you redirect and reduce incoming light. Aluminum construction makes them perfect for humid rooms like bathrooms.

Roller shades are effective for skylights, and give you a wide range of fabric choices.

Exterior-mounted retractable awnings glide over the skylight, completely blocking the light. These are typically controlled by button or remote control, making them easy to operate.

RV skylight shades come in the same options as residential, including blackout shades. For ease of use, nothing beats a spring-mounted shade. It fits right over the skylight’s housing, allowing you to slide it closed and completely block the light.

Opening and Closing Capabilities

Skylights can be hard to reach, so opening and closing blinds or shades can be difficult. Traditionally, you either had to climb a ladder or use a crank or telescoping pole.

Now, you can get motorized shades that allow you to operate them with a remote control.

Skylights are a beautiful addition to a home, but only when you can “turn them off.” Skylight shades let you choose whether to filter light or black it out completely, protect home furnishings and save money by increasing energy efficiency.

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