A Florida Storage Facility has 3 aisles: each must be lit when customers are in the aisle. A 15 minute timer switch controls existing LED lighting. A new sloping roof is to be installed next week. An idea to light the aisles with a skylight is to be evaluated. Evaluation criteria that come to mind:

  • Cost
  • Energy impact on Air Conditioning cost
  • Skylight Leak Risk
  • efficacy of lighting

What should be considered to decide whether or not to implement skylight?

  • 1
    Skylights are prefab units that roofers just loooooove to sell because they have high markups. Then you have a roof penetration (obscenly large) and bound to change dimension in heat and cold. They tend to leak after the roofer's warranty has expired. If it bothers you that much, install low voltage LED lighting powered by solar panels. (which will probably outlast the skylight). It'll be cheaper and won't require a roof penetration. The LEDs will auto-extinguish at night (wait, why not just put them on mains power and skip the solar panels?) Mar 10, 2019 at 13:38
  • 1
    I don't think I've ever known anybody with a skylight that didn't eventually have trouble with them leaking. Mar 10, 2019 at 17:00
  • If this is a commercial building and the sky lights are only in the isles, then the problem with them leaking is minimal. Sure they might leak, but the water won't damage anything so the leak can be repaired when you get around to it. But still - LED lighting never leaks, so there's that.
    – JPhi1618
    Mar 11, 2019 at 15:44

1 Answer 1


The only advantages of a skylight are natural lighting and maybe a small amount of heating in the winter months. Skylights are expensive and create leaks and moisture issues. With all of the modern options available for LED, you could have a well lit area without all of the headaches related to a skylight. The front end costs of LED can be expensive, but the long term savings is well worth it.

  • 2
    Even if you power the LED lighting from solar panels (all low voltage) I expect that to be cheaper than skylights. Skylights are expensive and LED tech is cheap, especially in the low-voltage stuff where the UL listing requirements are not nearly so arduous. Mar 10, 2019 at 13:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.