Are Roofing Skylights Better Than Solar Panels?

To save energy is to turn off the thermostat and morning lights to let natural sunlight flow inside the property. For many Littleton, CO homeowners, roofing skylights have become an excellent choice for natural lighting during the mornings and afternoons. On the other hand, offsetting your HVAC and lighting power consumption with dependable solar panels is another great choice. Is one of them better than the other?

Our experience as skylight-certified and solar panel-certified installation teams in Littleton, CO, choosing between the two depends on context because both power-saving strategies achieve the same goals. For example, a skylight on the roof can be appealing for a home's curb appeal. However, it might not be the case for others. Some slanted roofs make it easy for solar panels to capture the best amount of solar light during daytime in the same vein. On the other hand, some low-sloped roof properties might find its use challenging because they lack sufficient space, making a skylight a good alternative.

Context is everything in choosing between skylights and solar panels. Each one introduces a benefit at various angles. It's best to check in with professionals to learn about your possible results taking on one of the projects and calculate the actual expenses you'll tackle.

On the other hand, you can get a fusion of the two: skylights that double as solar panels. Read CleanTechnica's post about it below.

Deep in the heart of Silicon Valley, an office building home to Google is about to become a prototype for a cleantech product that’s capable of harvesting the sun’s power in a whole new way.

The product in question is EnFocus Engineering’s Diamond-Power panel—a high-tech module that’s one part skylight, one part solar panel.

Offering building occupants a real alternative to artificial lighting, the Diamond-Power panel can control the sun’s power more efficiently than any skylight on the market while utilizing the sun’s full range of light better than the average solar cell.

“In many situations people have plenty of daylighting, but they don’t switch the electrical lights off so there’s no savings,” says EnFocus’ President and Chief Technology Officer Jason Lu. “The point of our product is to provide a good lighting source so people actually can leave their electrical lights off.”

The Power of Daylight

Even when it’s not being used to create power, sunlight still has an abundance of potential. After all, what better source of free, nonpolluting lighting is there than natural daylight? Plus, there are tangential benefits: studies have shown students perform better, shoppers stay longer and buy more, and workers tend to be more productive.

Still, streaming sunlight into a building can lead to a host of cleantech conundrums. Solar heat gain is the primary one, and it’s why many glass-walled office buildings need air conditioning even in the winter.

The light coming through the skylight is cool. One advantage you have is you’re not adding heat load to the building.

“What this system does is take that hot light and efficiently transport its power to the grid,” explains Stan Sutton, President of Inland Metal Technologies, a provider of the skylight’s materials as well as an investor in the company. “What you get as a byproduct of it all is light that isn’t directly from the sun. This means the light coming through the skylight is cool. One advantage you have is you’re not adding heat load to the building.” (Continued)

You can always count on us at Roper Roofing & Solar for all your roofing needs. Contact us today to learn more about everything that we can do for you!

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Golden, CO 80401

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