This is the first of what will be many design quandaries.
Skylights are great things. They have a functional purpose of lighting dark rooms for free
. They look good
in the same way a moon roof looks good on a car - it's nice to see sky above you. Also they can add variation to a monotonous ceiling.
I've noticed that single skylights fulfill the function very well - especially when positioned high above. Installing three or more in close proximity looks very good as they provide a windowlike view of the world above. Two adjacent fixtures is kind of no man's land. (See images).
I have four skylights, approximately 2'x4'. They are clear, fixed, uv proof, and well insulated. I have three candidate locations for them.
- Master bedroom. It is on the north side and has little in the way of natural lighting. So from the practical perspective the room would benefit greatly from extra light. Its orientation means there would be no annoying direct sunlight and I'd work out a shade mechanism for when I want dark. The adjacent master bathroom would benefit as much as the bedroom. The ceiling is large and vaulted so it could accommodate any number of skylights without any tunnels through an attic.
- Living room. It's in the same situation as the master bedroom, lightwise. The entryway and dining room would snag a worthwhile amount of ambient light from any source placed here. More people would enjoy skylights placed here, however the living room doesn't need to be very bright. Then again, to have a cascade of sky above the couch would be pretty cool.
- Kitchen. The recessed lighting for the kitchen sits a couple feet below the west roof. It would support a single fixture that would complement the windows very well. This would be a highly functional installation.
I think I'm set on a strategy. The lighting provided to the bathroom and kitchen is irreplaceable
so I'm definitely going there. If ever there were a place to pair skylights it'd be at the 5'x5' square above the master bathroom, shown below. The living room will benefit from the extra light source and if views of the sky appeal in the near future, perhaps I'll add a larger piece.
Here are some mindblowingly photorealistic renderings of what it would look like if San Diego had clouds and you were hallucinating.
The skylight will become an excellent light source for the otherwise dark living room. The placement is based on the rule of thirds and avoiding the overhanging eave on the near side.
Two skylights here looks good and provides ample light for the sink area. If it works out I'd like to remove part or all of the adjacent wall such that the shower area is no longer a cave.
brings up a solid consideration. I'll have to see how dirty the glass gets. They'll be easily reached by hose, but I'll arrange ready roof access should cleaning be required.
I also picked up two solar tubes
, having seen them in some MB lofts this weekend. They'll be perfect to replace the existing recessed hallway and second bathroom lights.