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Natural Light

Skylights on covered porches: the power of borrowed light

Covered porches block sunlight. Adding skylights allows inner rooms to borrow natural light.

Four skylights on a covered porch bring light to an adjacent living room.

Why add skylights to an outdoor area? Well, whether it’s a covered patio, screened-in porch or a lanai, covered outdoor spaces tend to be dark, and with their extended roofs blocking sunlight from entering the windows or sliding glass doors, the rooms inside tend to be even darker.

Enter skylights. They bring natural light to outdoor living areas and 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.

Porch and patio design guide

Learn more about borrowed light and the benefits of adding skylights to covered outdoor living areas.

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1. This year’s HGTV® Dream Home 2023 has four VELUX® skylights with shades on its covered porch. They bring natural light to the porch and allow some sunlight that would otherwise be blocked by the porch roof to spill into the living room.

Living room with covered porch that has skylights

2. The HGTV® Smart Home 2021 has five skylights on its lanai, a secluded, semi-enclosed outdoor area on the back of the house.

Lanai skylights palm tree

3. Justina Blakeney used skylights to bring natural light to the lanai in her Southern California home. A covered porch blocks sunlight from the wall-to-wall sliding-glass door, but skylights brighten the inner room and allow Blakeney to fill it with plants.

Lanai with terracotta walls and ceilings skylights and plants

4. This porch wraps around the back of the house and without the skylights, it would block most sunlight from the interior.

Porch skylights blue ceiling

The dining space next to the porch borrows some natural light from the skylights outside.

Dining room view porch

5. 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 four skylights redwood ceiling

6. This four-season porch is quite deep, but with three skylights the interior space is brightened with natural light.

Porch skylights wood ceiling

7. 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.

Porch wood ceiling skylghts outdoor sofa

Inside the home, the living room is a little brighter thanks to the skylights installed on the porch roof.

Great room grey black porch view

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Next: 10 Reasons to add skylights to your home in 2023

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