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3 things to consider when installing skylights on vaulted ceilings

Get ideas for placement, quantity and making the most of structural roof elements when you install skylights in a vaulted ceiling.

Two people around an island in a kitchen with two skylights

When it comes to installing skylights on a vaulted ceiling, there is no shortage of ways to maximize visual impact. From skylight placement to striking architectural elements to level up your design, we have three things you should consider. But first, let’s look at the main differences between skylight installations in flat ceilings and vaulted ceilings

What is the difference between installing skylights on a flat ceiling versus a vaulted ceiling?

Skylights can be installed on both flat and vaulted ceilings. A vaulted ceiling slopes upward from both sides to form a peak, making it ideal for maximizing the benefits of natural light. It requires less drywall finishing work than a flat ceiling during skylight installation, which needs a light shaft to direct daylight through the attic space into the room below. If you want to install skylights in a room with a flat ceiling, a certified VELUX® installer will know how best to construct the light shaft to help sunlight spread farther into the room.

Now, let’s talk about three things you should consider when installing skylights in a vaulted ceiling.

1. Consider how positioning skylights high or low on the roof affects how natural light will enter the room.

Skylights installed higher on the roof will bring more natural light to the center of the room, while skylights installed lower on the roof will create more of a dramatic light beam on the wall. Take the kitchen in this California bungalow, for example, where two solar-powered fresh air skylights installed lower on the roof allow light to spill down the wall and create a game-changing focal point for the cooking space.

Kitchen skylights near the wall

Installed on a 15-foot vaulted ceiling, skylights in the bathroom of the 2019 This Old House Idea Home in Connecticut create the illusion of even more height.

Bathroom skylights at roof ridge

Need more inspiration? Discover 10 skylight placement ideas to create a design statement.

2. Leverage creative architectural elements to make your vaulted ceiling pop.

Vaulted ceilings offer many opportunities to incorporate creative architectural elements. For example, trussed roofs — a pre-engineered A-frame structure that offers strong support — are known for their distinct geometric shape, which can add character to your roof and give your home an instant wow factor when outfitted with skylights.

In this North Carolina home, framed-out roof trusses paired with natural light create a stunning combo over the seating area in an expansive bedroom. Three side-by-side solar-powered fresh air skylights with shades draw the eye upward, giving the room an architectural feature worth waking up to each morning.

Bedroom skylights with exposed trusses

This vaulted truss ceiling, where the top and bottom of the light shaft have an extreme flare, allows natural light to reach farther into the room and creates a unique architectural feature in the ceiling.

Kitchen dining room two skylights

Impressed by these skylight transformations? Check out more tips on how to make the most out of exposed beams.

3. Group skylights to maximize natural light.

How many skylights should be added to a vaulted ceiling? Skylights look best grouped together with two to four skylights in a vertical or horizontal row. This creates the illusion of a larger single skylight and brings in more natural light.

VELUX Certified Installers are the best people to discuss your daylight goals to determine the best solution for your home, including how many skylights you should add to your vaulted ceiling.

In the kitchen below, two skylights are stacked vertically, which amplifies the vaulted ceiling’s height.

Kitchen with stacked skylights

Or consider this three-skylight installation in the living room of the HGTV® Dream Home 2022, designed to mirror the windows below and balance the room’s natural light.

Living room three skylights gray sofas

Find a VELUX Certified Installer near you to learn more about brightening your home with skylights today.

HGTV, HGTV Dream Home, HGTV Dream Home Giveaway and their associated logos are trademarks of Discovery or its subsidiaries and affiliates. All rights reserved. Photos © 2021 Discovery or its subsidiaries and affiliates. All rights reserved.

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