About windows and daylight

There are a number of aspects you should bear in mind if you decide to put skylights or roof windows in your façade or roof.

Type of skylight or window: Do you need large skylights or windows, for example, or small ones? And should the glass be of the general, two-layer variety or involve special insulating panes?

Skylight or window position: Should the window be placed low down, or right the way up the roof ridge? Do you want skylights or windows on one side of the room, or both sides?

Permanent sunscreen: Would it be best for you to have curtains indoors or blinds fitted? 

Surrounding buildings and trees: What features are there around the home that may block out the light?

Skylight or window type
First and foremost, study carefully the many different types of façade window and skylight. The best alternative to dark rooms and burning hot radiators is good quality skylights and windows which use low energy glass. Insulating glass, for example, is a really good investment.

The amount of daylight passing through a pane is reduced for every additional pane of glass through which the light has to pass. For example, a two-layer glass pane allows approx. 80% of the light to pass through. This does not mean that you will notice having less light indoors; but if you are directly in the line of the sunlight from the window, you will feel less hot. At the same time, the multiple layers of glass maintain the heat indoors. All in all, insulating panels provide a more pleasant, more practical indoor climate.

Most skylights are fitted with low energy glass as standard. The special coating is designed to allow through as much light and as little heat as possible, resulting in a more pleasant indoor climate and only a small amount less light.

Skylight or window location
The location of a window in a façade or roof plays a big part in both the quantity and the quality of the daylight which the window lets in. The higher you place the window, the more light in the room. And the more daylight and sunlight you bring into your building, the less artificial light will be required.

Skylights can be fitted anywhere in the world. If you would like to bring in masses of sunshine and light through the window, south-west is the best position possible as this allows light in all day and on into the evenings. If the skylight is to be set high up, it is a good idea to buy electric windows. At the same time, as a rule of thumb you should estimate that the strength of the light is halved for every metre it penetrates into the building.

Screening against light and heat
Would you be best suited to curtains indoors, or would you prefer an awning fitted above the window on the outside? Sunblinds fitted outdoors are the best solution for keeping out the heat of the sun; although indoor curtain and blind solutions provide more opportunities for regulating light and shade – and for keeping warm in a cold room.

Indoors, you screen out light from above skylights exactly as described for general windows, using features such as curtains or blinds. Of course, special fittings have to be created especially for skylights, and here we can offer screening to suit every possible application. From blackout curtains to thin pleated curtains or combination curtains (two kinds of curtains in one). But there are also curtains operated by electricity or solar power, curtains which provide protection against dust or insects, curtains which provide insulation against heat or cold, and curtains with a range of other functions.

Trees and buildings
Tall trees and buildings limit the incidence of daylight. If you want to fit a new window in your home, therefore, you should look for a position which is not overshadowed by the surroundings.