Popular types of roof skylights include roof windows, roof lights and tubular skylights. Skylights may be sealed shut or may open from an upper hinge. The escape window skylight has a hinge along one side, allowing it to be pushed open in an emergency. Skylights that open need to have flashing kits installed to prevent leakage. The flashing must match the type of shingles used.
Roof windows are popular in attics, especially those with cathedral ceilings. They sit at an angle and let in more natural light. Double-insulating glass minimizes heat loss and condensation. Sealed and opening versions are available. The latter works well in hot climates because opening roof windows usually creates a breeze.
Roof skylights are usually glazed, which helps diffuse the light, and may be made of glass, polycarbonate or acrylic. Often found in clusters along a roof line, they bring in lots of light from many different angles.
Tubular skylights are usually not very large across, but their design captures sunlight and sends it down a shaft to the room below. The shaft that directs the sunlight is coated with a reflective lining which enhances the light. They are especially popular in small bathrooms that have no outside walls.