28 Jul 2015

Rooflights: Maximising daylight

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VELUX Product Manager, Grant Sneddon, offers advice on selecting the best daylight solutions for your project.

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Light plays an incredibly important role in our daily lives. Given that, as a nation, we spend as much as 90% of our time inside, healthy indoor climates are vital in buildings, particularly in our homes. So, how do we gain more light in the spaces we use for living, working and playing in?

One of the primary things to consider when designing with daylight in mind is roof windows. A roof window can typically let in up to twice as much light as a conventional vertical window. This is because the glazing is angled directly towards the natural light source, with very little diffused or reflected light. It can allow daylight to penetrate deep into a room, illuminating areas that might otherwise be quite dark. Not only that, but roof windows can also enhance views, offer more comfort, improve indoor climate, and even be more energy efficient.

When it comes to roof windows or roof lights, there are a number of options to consider. It’s important to speak to an expert and select the right product to match your living space, as well as the best fit to gain maximum daylight, comfort and energy efficiency.

Choosing the right roof windows

The most recognised type of roof window for homeowners is the centre-pivot roof window, but it’s also worth considering top-hung versions, and thinking about whether the positioning will suit manual or remote control operation.

Top-hung roof windows open outwards with a handle at the bottom of the window, making them ideal for installations where the bottom of the window is easily within arm’s reach. VELUX top-hung roof windows open 45° outwards for an unrestricted view and maximise the amount of natural daylight that can be allowed in.

Classic centre-pivot roof windows are ideal for lower installations and feature a top control bar, allowing the user to install the window lower than an equivalent top-hung operated roof window. This makes space for living areas with furniture beneath the roof window and helps create a perfect view of the outside surroundings whilst standing and when seated.

Electric roof windows must also be considered for households, particularly for those who forget to open and close windows during the day and at night. This job is made simpler for homeowners through the use of automatically controlled roof windows, blinds and shutters which can be opened and closed with just one touch of a button. Many products offer quiet and efficient remote control operation and provide an ideal solution for out-of-reach situations.

Some roof windows, such as VELUX INTEGRA, also offer predefined programmes, enabling a range of comfort levels based on specific needs such as ‘good morning’, ‘good night’, ‘ventilation’, ‘on holiday’ and much more. By using a touch-screen control pad, every window can be reached easier and faster – from anywhere in the home or building.

Making the most of your space

Sun tunnels provide a natural daylight solution for windowless areas such as halls, storage cupboards or tight areas of the home that have limited access to natural daylight. The product is comprised of a round, rooftop window and a tunnel to transport the daylight inside which allow homeowners to achieve a brighter, more natural indoor environment.

For loft conversion areas in the home, the perfect solution to incorporate extra daylight is to add a roof balcony. Even if the floor space in a loft is limited, it’s still possible to enjoy the added space and light that a roof terrace brings. The roof terrace helps to make the most of unused roof space without compromising the size of the living space.

For example, the New Generation VELUX CABRIO Balcony offers the chance to give areas in workplaces and homes extra space and light. Transforming from a roof window to a balcony in seconds, this window balcony gives even the smallest areas an injection of daylight and space, as well as control of fresher air to add a real wow factor to any home or building.

Expert advice

Before you invest in roof windows, balconies or sun tunnels, it’s worth considering all options for both short and long term gain. Every project is different so if you can speak to an expert who has knowledge of all the products available, you can achieve optimum daylight, comfort and energy efficiency.

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