Skylights aid the practice of daylighting. As the world starts being serious about finding practical, money saving solutions to environmental issues, skylights play a big role in conserving energy. Daylighting means strategically placing windows or reflective surfaces in areas that receive the most natural light. Skylights are examples of strategically placed windows and they look out into the sky. Skylights are best located openings for daylight harvesting. They are horizontal windows or roof lanterns on the roof of the house.
Cape Town has taken to skylights in a very big way. This is clearly evident in the construction of residential housing and office building developments around the city. Skylights are incorporated into space-saving, contemporary yet functional décor ideas. In Cape Town, special attention is given to using skylights to maximize visual comfort. But more than anything, the Cape Town municipality has been plagued by electricity billing problems and it encourages the inclusion of skylights in city buildings to prevent energy cost related confrontations. Efficient skylight design is indeed a huge energy saver in commercial and industrial applications as they can cut the use of lighting energy by up to 80 percent; this is very relevant to the city of Cape Town.
Skylights keep the home cool in summer and warm in winter. Skylight shades can be applied to limit the amount of sun that enters the house and they function as a passive-heating system in winter. There are three main types of skylights which are popular in Cape Town. Fixed skylights do not open and the sole purpose of their installation is the entry of light. These are commonly found in attics and stairwells. Ventilating skylights can open electronically by a remote control device, a temperature controlled sensor, a motor or manually. Tubular skylights are the big trend in Cape Town. They are small and as the name suggests, they are tubular or circular in shape. Tubular skylights are perfect for small rooms, hallways and closets. Skylights are not only available as part of new building structures. Homeowners can also renovate their homes by installing skylights.