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Published on September 18th, 2015 | by Derek Markham


Solar-Powered Skylights Add Daylighting And Ventilation

September 18th, 2015 by  

veluxAdding appropriate daylighting to a building has a number of benefits to the both the owners and the occupants, whether it’s a home or a business. Daylighting can reduce lighting energy costs, as well as other lighting equipment costs (replacement bulbs, ballasts, drivers, hardware, etc.) and can be a key component of a more sustainable dwelling or office, whether it’s a new build or a retrofit.

In addition to the direct financial benefits of daylighting, it also has a secondary beneficial impact, as a positive influence on the health and productivity of the people who work and play under it.  The ‘clean’ full-spectrum illumination we get from sunlight is not only easier on our eyes, literally, but is also associated with improved mental health and performance, as well as better learning skills and increased focus, along with a number of other effects.

Skylights can be an effective method of daylighting a room or building, and if those skylights are able to be opened and closed at will, then in addition to adding light, they can also be used to ventilate, potentially saving additional costs through reduced air conditioning demand. However, as most skylights are positioned well out of reach, and manually opening and closing them isn’t really very practical, a remote-controlled skylight, such as the Velux solar-powered “Fresh Air” line of skylights, is what’s needed.

The Velux models have a battery-powered control system for operating the skylights, with an integrated solar panel for keeping the battery charged, and is controlled and programmed by an “Intelligent” touchscreen remote. The skylights can be opened manually, or at scheduled times, in order to ventilate the room by drawing air out through them through the chimney effect. For additional control over the skylights, 10 different colors of solar-powered blinds can also be installed in the units, allowing for further energy savings and reduced heating/cooling costs.

Here’s video promo from Velux:

These Velux skylights, available in a number of different sizes, also happen to qualify for the 30% federal tax credit, as they are considered to fall under the Solar Electric Property category, so in addition to adding light and fresh air to a room, they will also reduce the owner’s tax burden. Find out more at Velux.

Image: Velux USA 

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About the Author

Derek lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, fungi, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves fresh roasted chiles, peanut butter on everything, and buckets of coffee. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!

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