Use of skylight varies depending on the location, type, and budget. Based on the location alone there are several options out there. When you consider the type of skylight and budget, your options even get confusion. To reduce that confusion, we created our list of best skylights after hours of research and testing. In case you are in a hurry, here is our pick Sunoptics SUN R2030. And if you want a budget option, we recommend buying ICON RV Skylight.
|Sunoptics SUN R2030||Fixed/Ventilated||up to 2' x 3'||No/Manual Vent||Check Price|
|Natural Light Energy Systems||Tubular||13" diameter||No||CheckPrice|
|ICON RV Skylight||Fixed||18" x 26"||No||CheckPrice|
|FAKRO FWU-L 69157||Window||24" x 38"/24" x 46"||Yes||CheckPrice|
|VELUX FCM 2246 0005||Fixed||25.5" x 49.5"||No||CheckPrice|
|Sun Tunnel Tubular||Tubular||14" diameter||No||CheckPrice|
|SIG Skylights FMB||Fixed||22.5" x 22.5"||No||Check Price|
1. Sunoptics SUN R2030- Best Skylights for Homes
- Prismatic lenses provide the maximum amount of light with 100 percent diffusion while eliminating hot spots and glare
- Double hip-shaped lens design collects daylight at lower sun levels when compared to flat lenses
- Triple glazed, impact-modified acrylic prismatic lenses provide additional thermal protection
Sunoptics is a subsidiary of Acuity Brands, a company that offers powered lighting systems. Though their specialty isn’t skylights, the Sunoptics SUN R2030 tops our list for brightness, durability, and installation. The good thing is it is not as expensive as other skylights. And you get many variants for both fixed as well as ventilated options.
The best feature of the skylight is the window. Unlike many other skylights, it made of plastic acrylic instead of glass. And the plastic for the skylight is made in house by the Sunoptics rather than importing from some manufacturer. Plastics window has prismatic lenses to maximize the light with diffusion and eliminating glare. It also triple glazed to provide thermal protection. The window is held by the powdered coated bronze aluminium.
Probably the Sunoptics SUN R2030 provide the highest amount of brightness without glare. As you can see through, it is among the best skylights for bathrooms.
2. Natural Light Energy Systems Solar Skylight Kit- Best Tubular Skylight
- 13" model lluminates up to 300 sq. ft.
- Equivalent of up to 500 watts. Domed Prismatic Interior Diffuser.
- Fits pitched fiberglass-asphalt shingle roof types - comes with 4 feet of tubing.
When we began our research, we found out that Natural Light is the biggest brand of skylights. Its Solar Skylight Kit is right up there with Sunoptics. And it is the best tubular skylight we tested. The unit is well tested by the manufacturer and has ENERGY STAR® certification which rare among skylights. The unit available for both commercial as well as residential buildings but there not much difference except size.
The standard unit sold on the Amazon has 4’ tube which should be enough for most of the users. However, if you want a skylight on a roof that is at different angles, you may require extra tubing. The dome design of the window has a prismatic design for light diffusion. The unit is tested for hurricanes, and it is highly durable. To go with the durability, Natural Lights offers 25 years of warranty on the unit.
If you are specifically looking for the diffusers to increase the light inside a room, the Natural Light Energy Systems Solar Skylight Kit is the best. It hardly takes any time or space to install.
3. ICON RV Skylight- Budget-Friendly Skylight
- Brand: Icon Technologies Ltd
- Color: Clear
- Part Number: 01820
Buying premium skylights could be expensive if you want to install several skylights throughout your house. If getting more light into the room is your main goal, a skylight light like ICON RV Skylight could be a great option. The price range of the skylight is much less than the last two skylights we have mentioned in the list. You can buy several of this skylights with the price of one Sunoptics or Natural Energy System skylight.
Installation is straightforward, but we found that at the edges it is not well sealed. We suggest you get a rubber gasket and a solution to seal it properly. Skylight is completely one piece made out of impact resistant polycarbonate. It may not be as aesthetic as glass but doesn’t look that bad.
Your house may require several skylights to improve the light. In such cases, you will have to go with a skylight that doesn’t cost much. So that you can buy as many as possible. The ICON RV Skylight exactly allows you to do that. It is also the best skylights for cold climates.
4. FAKRO FWU-L 69157 Egress Roof Window- Best Skylights For Kitchen
- Increase the natural light in your home while adding a measure of safety with this left-opening roof egress window
- Designed for rooms where building codes require two methods of egress
- Low emission, heat reflecting double-glazed tempered glass window lets in the light, but not the heat
If you want skylight that can be opened to enjoy the view and cool breeze, you got to have FAKRO FWU-L 69157 Egress Roof Window. It probably among the best-vented skylights with glass. The Fakro is a two-decade-old company dealing in skylights, roof windows, etc. The company has made its name for innovation and great services. Their market share for the company in sales of the skylight is 15%.
This unit is a premium unit and by far has the highest price on our list. But the price justified as the skylight not only of the highest quality but meets all the safety standards. It is available in two sizes—24” X 38” and 24” x 46”. Compared to other lights, it opens fully up to 90 degrees. And when closed the double glazed tempered glass allows natural light into the room. The frame that holds the glass is made of pine wood that is pressure treated.
If the roof where you want to install the skylight has an angle between 15 to 55 degrees, there is no other beautiful looking skylight than FAKRO FWU-L 69157 Egress Roof Window.
5. VELUX FCM 2246 0005 Skylight- Skylight For Maximum Light
- It is sized to work with most types of site-built curbs, wheThe they are slightly out-of-square, pre-existing, or...
Velux is one of the oldest brands of skylights. It has 75 years of experience and total market share of the company for more than 50%. The VELUX FCM 2246 0005 is fairly simple skylight suitable for almost any kind of roof. However, it is not ventilated and fixed type. The price is much more reasonable compared to other quality skylights.
The skylight is Energy Certified. But the thing is flashing is not included in the package. If you consider the cost of the skylight and the flashing, the price goes up. However, it is still lower than buying a premium skylight with flashing like any of the Fakro skylights.
There are fewer advanced Velux options, but they are very expensive. But for the users that need high-quality see-through skylight without spending much, then we suggest getting VELUX FCM 2246 0005 Skylight.
6. Sun Tunnel Tubular Skylight- Best Skylights For Metal Roofs
- Low Profile Flashing for pitched Fiberglass-Asphalt Shingle of Shake type roofs.
- Installs in as little 2-hours in most applications.
The Sun Tunnel Tubular Skylight is made by Velux. It is a unique skylight. We have reviewed many tubular skylights, and we must admit because of its unique design, it gained a place in our list. It is almost similar to Natural Light Energy Systems Solar Skylight Kit but with a tune that can be bent. Also, Velux offers a huge amount of accessories to make it more versatile.
The dome of the skylight uses light diffusion for improving the light inside the room. However, it is not of the high quality that we get with Natural Light Energy. This is the big reason it lost some numbers on quality of light. If we see the light on the spectrum, it is toward the blue color.
If you know that you might have to put some extra effort to install any kind of skylight because of the way your roof is constructed, you must get the Sun Tunnel Tubular Skylight.
7. SIG Skylights FMB- Most Durable Skylight
- DURABLE: Heavy aluminum welded frame, sturdy double pane tempered glass, and bronze powder coated aluminum cover. No...
- EASY TO INSTALL: Extra wide (4 5/8") ribbed flange and built-in curb allows easy, no-leak installation without buying...
- BEST SKYLIGHT GLAZING: Tempered , double pane insulated glass is more strong, clear, energy efficient, and permanent...
When it comes to the skylight, durability is the most important factor. Among all the skylights, the most durable skylight we tested was SIG Skylights FMB. Even its manufacturer SIG Skylights backs its durability by offering a lifetime warranty on the product. The skylight has a heavy aluminium welded frame with tempered glass. The aluminium is powdered coated, hence adding more life to the skylight.
The double pane tempered glass allows natural light without hindrance. We also measured the temperature of the room before and after the installation of the skylight. It hardly has any effect on the temperature of the room. However, if the skylight is facing the sun directly, the area receiving the light is a little warmer.
If you are more concerned about the durability of glass or worried about the glass fading, SIG Skylights FMB is your best solution.
Buyer’s Guide- What to Consider While Buying the Skylight?
Installing the right skylight reduces energy consumption to a great extent. It helps to warm the room in winter, and with proper ventilation, it helps cool the room in summer. But it’s important to choose the right skylight. There are several factors that you have to consider while buying the skylight. Here we will discuss them in detail so that you have proper knowledge that helps identify the right kind of skylight for your home or office.
There are three types of skylights—fixed, ventilated, and tubular. Each has its advantage and disadvantage. Depending on the location of installation and the main purpose behind using the skylight determines which type of skylight is suitable for you.
As you can guess from the name, it is a skylight with a fixed window. The window cannot be opened for ventilation. It only allows light to pass through either through diffusing prismatic glass or tempered glass. These are usually well suited for flat roofs and the houses located in colder regions. The Sunoptics SUN R2030 is one of the best fixed skylight.
The ventilated skylights can be opened with the help of extension rode mechanism to allow air into the room. These type of skylights are suited for property located in hot regions. The window uses both kind of material plastic as well as glass. But the best skylight with ventilation uses glazed windows for maximum light and for maintaining the temperate inside the room. The best ventilated skylight on our list is FAKRO FWU-L 69157.
In case you only want the light but do not want the skylight to increase the temperature of the room, the tubular type is more suited. This type of skylight uses a tube with a diffusion dome attached at both ends. The main purpose of the dome is to direct the maximum light inside the room through diffusion. Natural Light Energy Systems is great option if you want a tubular skylight.
A lot of science goes into the design the window for the skylight. There is two main reason for it—light and temperature. Using a simple glass window will allow maximum light, but it will also increase the temperature inside the room through the greenhouse effect. If you live in a colder region, skylight with simple glass is fine. But if you are already living in a hot region and do not want the temperature of your room to go up, you need protection for the rays of the hotter end of the light spectrum.
For that glazing is used. In the process of glazing, few-layer coatings are applied to absorb the heat causing rays and allow only cooler rays of the light spectrum. And another way the heat is controlled is by using double pane. Double paned skylights are much more effective than single paned windows because it uses two glass with insulation like argon gas in between to absorb the hot rays.
Besides glass, polycarbonate is also used as a material for the window. It is not transparent like glass but allows white light to maximize the brightness inside the room.
There is a wide variety of roofs and not all support all types of skylights. So, you have to find the right type of skylight for your roof. For flat roofs, fixed or ventilated skylights are well suited, and if you have roofs at an angle, a tubular skylight could be a good option. It would be wise to inspect your roof properly before you buy a skylight. Looking at the angle and space, you will be able to choose the skylight with the right size and type.
How We Tested Skylights?
To find the best skylight, we acquired 19 skylights that are either popular or bestselling. With the help of 9 experts, we were able to shortlist these 19 skylights. Once we had the skylights, we set the parameters for tests. The parameters included factors like brightness, heat, durability, installation, etc. For each parameter, we designed a few tests.
We made sure that equipment or tool we use for measurement is of a high standard. With the help of an expert, we created every possible situation for skylight resembling the real world. We installed it ourselves. And we observed how it affects the light and temperature of the room. In addition to tests, we also contacted users of each 19 skylights with the help of the seller to learn what they think about each model. This gave us an idea about the durability and performance of the skylight after the purchase.
Once we had every data from the tests, expert views and user reviews, each member of the team scored every 19 skylights based on three factors, brightness, durability, and installation. After calculating the overall score, we sorted all skylights from highest to lowest. And we selected the best seven out of the sorted list. Here is scorecard:
|Sunoptics SUN R2030||96.8||97.1||97.2||97.1||Check Price|
|Natural Light Energy Systems||96.3||96.7||97.3||96.7||CheckPrice|
|ICON RV Skylight||96.8||96.3||97.1||96.7||CheckPrice|
|FAKRO FWU-L 69157||96.9||96.1||96.5||96.5||CheckPrice|
|VELUX FCM 2246 0005||97.4||95.4||96.1||95.3||CheckPrice|
|Sun Tunnel Tubular||95.8||95.1||95.5||95.2||CheckPrice|
|SIG Skylights FMB||93,2||97.1||94.3||94.5||Check Price|
Each user has a different requirement. In the case of skylights, there are several factors that affect its purchase. If you are not aware of it, go through our buyer’s guide. After you know, the factors you will be able to shortlist a few skylights that suit your need. Next, all you have to do is know how much you can spend on it. Combination of this two things will get your best skylight.