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Natural Light

Skylights on covered porches: the power of borrowed light

Learn how skylights solve the problem of covered porches blocking sunlight from entering inside rooms.

Ranch home aerial view back deck

The HGTV® Smart Home 2021 has five skylights on its lanai, a secluded, semi-enclosed outdoor area on the back of the house. Why add skylights to an outdoor area? Well, whether it’s a lanai, a screened-in porch or a covered patio, covered outdoor spaces tend to be dark, and with their extended roofs blocking sunlight from entering the windows or sliding glass doors, the rooms just inside tend to be even darker.

Enter skylights. They bring natural light to the lanai, and in the case of the HGTV® Smart Home 2021, they can open to create natural airflow to cool the space and release heat from outdoor grilling.

Even more important for the rooms just inside the lanai, the skylights allow some of the sunlight brightening the outdoor space to spill into the home’s interior. The rooms inside are essentially borrowing light from the outdoor space.

Check out more examples of skylights providing natural light to both the outside space where they’re installed and the adjacent inside room.

Porch skylights blue ceiling
This porch wraps around the back of the house and without the skylights, it would block most sunlight from the interior.
Dining room view porch
The dining space next to the porch borrows some natural light from the skylights outside.
Porch four skylights redwood ceiling
Even though this patio has a multi-panel sliding glass door, the deep roof over the outside dining space still blocks most sunlight. Four skylights allow the living room to borrow some daylight.
Porch skylights wood ceiling
This four-season porch is quite deep, but with three skylights the interior space is brightened with natural light.
Porch wood ceiling skylghts outdoor sofa
The HGTV® Smart Home 2020 featured an expansive porch with six skylights that filled the outside space with natural light, some of which spilled into the living room inside.
Great room grey black porch view
Inside the home, the living room is a little brighter thanks to the skylights installed on the porch roof.

Learn more about borrowed light and the benefits of adding skylights to a covered porch by downloading our porch and patio design guide.

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Next: 10 Reasons to add skylights to your home in 2022

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