LED skylight next to a traditional skylight.
Ceiling skylight.
If you’re looking to brighten up a room and allow fresh air to circulate, then the choice is very simple. Nothing beats a traditional skylight.

LED skylights are an alternative option to traditional skylights. People opt for LED skylights when installing standard skylights is not structurally possible in their homes. A notable downside to LED skylights is that unlike traditional skylights, LED skylights do not provide natural light but instead produce artificial light using either grid electricity or solar-powered LEDs.

Installing LED skylights is usually pretty easy and does not require the help of a roof plumber since there is no need to modify the roof structure of your home to fit them. A regular handyman can do the job, and it suits all kinds of roofs. However, there’s not a whole lot of difference between an LED skylight and regular light fittings, apart from the look and aesthetics.

One benefit to LED skylights is that they provide the option to dim or turn your LED light off, while some even come with optional dimmer switches. They are also not difficult to maintain since they do not require regular maintenance to retain their aesthetic and functional features.

Traditional skylights on the other hand can be installed with blinds. Operable skylights also allow the possibility of letting fresh air into a room, which is definitely a bonus that is not possible with artificial LED lighting. If you’re looking to brighten up a room and allow fresh air to circulate, then the choice is very simple. Nothing beats a traditional skylight.

What Are LED Skylights?

LED skylight on the ceiling.
Unlike LED skylights, traditional skylights can be opened to let the fresh air into your home, helping improve ventilation, especially in the kitchen and bathroom in which stuffy air tends to build up.

Most people are familiar with skylights and the wide array of benefits they provide. But if you ask them what are LED skylights? They might not know what to answer. LED skylights are the opposite of skylights – in the sense that, instead of natural light, they emit artificial light that is similar to the visible spectrum of natural light.

Using the combined power of LED technology, smart controllers, and toughened glass, they ettempt to mimic the feeling and intensity of daylight and blue skies. However, nothing can beat the authentic feel that a traditional skylight brings to a living space.

Are LED Skylights Really Better than Traditional Skylights?

While LED skylights cost less and are easier to maintain, traditional skylights are an excellent investment that keep on giving. With traditional skylights, you can enjoy:

  • Fresh air and improved ventilation: Unlike LED skylights, traditional skylights can be opened to let the fresh air into your home, helping improve ventilation, especially in the kitchen and bathroom in which stuffy air tends to build up.
  • Lower electric consumption: The abundant natural light traditional skylights provide reduces the need for artificial light, while the added ventilation lessens your need to turn your AC on, especially during hot summer days.
  • Aesthetic appeal: Traditional skylights help elevate the overall aesthetic appeal of your home as they illuminate the interiors and highlight feature pieces. Whether it’s new construction or a home improvement project, the versatility of traditional skylights allows them to be fitted with whatever interior design you have in mind.
  • Increase the resale value: This is an essential benefit, specifically if you’re looking to sell your house in the future. As the architectural appeal of your home increases, so as the property value, making traditional skylights a wise investment.

What Are the Downsides of Skylights with LED Lights?

Skylights shaft.
Aside from natural light, traditional skylights are also more environmentally-friendly and cost-efficient since they do not use electricity.

The light quality of LEDs significantly differs from that of the sun. This is why skylights with LED lights can’t give the great benefits traditional skylights offer with the abundant natural light they provide. Other downsides of skylights with LED lights include:

  • Blue light: Blue light is associated with health issues such as the inability to sleep soundly. As opposed to natural light, blue light curbs the release of melatonin in our bodies. Hence, it is crucial that we take in as much natural light as possible.
  • LED light is complex: Although some manufacturers of LED lights claim they get about 10,000 hours, it is common for them to overheat or reach only 80% of their capacity.
  • Artificial light strains our eyes: It is not uncommon for people to experience a headache or eye strain from too much exposure to artificial light.

Aside from natural light, traditional skylights are also more environmentally-friendly and cost-efficient since they do not use electricity. Although you will spend more on the traditional skylights upfront, the long-term benefits and savings you get out of them are unmatched.

What Are the Benefits of Traditional Natural Light Skylights?

Brightly lit apartment hallway with modern skylight shaft.
One study conducted in 2014 suggests that office professionals who were exposed to an abundant amount of natural light had better sleep at night.

There’s no doubt about how natural light brightens a room, instantly lifts our mood and offers other health benefits that are good for our well-being, making them the better choice over artificial lights that LED skylights produce. Other benefits of traditional skylights include:

  • Extra daylight: Since we spend most of our time indoors, enjoying abundant natural light is a welcome reprieve, especially during the colder months. Nothing like the beautiful morning sun to help you start your day.
  • Aids in our sleeping pattern: Getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep not only gives us energy but is also good for our mental health. Natural light plays a crucial role in our sleeping patterns. One study conducted in 2014 suggests that office professionals who were exposed to an abundant amount of natural light had better sleep at night.
  • Helps regulate circadian rhythm: Natural light is essential because it aids the regulation of the circadian rhythm of our body, helping synchronise our digestion, sleep metabolism, and rest periods. Natural light is a fundamental aspect for humans, animals, and plants to survive.

Why Would You Use Artificial Skylights?

Not to say that artificial skylights are not effective or have a purpose as they are ideal for parts of the house that don’t have direct access to the roof, where traditional skylights can’t be installed, but their uses are limited. Areas like the basement or rooms that have another floor on top could benefit from artificial skylights. Artificial skylights allow you to enjoy some of the benefits of traditional skylights such as aesthetic appeal and the “view of the sky” all over your home.

What’s the Difference Between a LED Skylight Panel and a Real Skylight?

Staircase skylight.
Installing operable skylights in residential homes helps improve the quality of living for the entire household by bringing a generous amount of daylight and fresh air into the property.

A LED skylight panel uses LED lights to mimic the natural light that you get with a real skylight. You can also customise a LED skylight panel to achieve the “natural view” that a real skylight offers.

But with real skylights, you’ll be able to get the benefits of natural light, which is beneficial for our health and wellness, and at the same time enjoy the real view of the stars or clouds. While you can adjust the brightness of a LED skylight panel, you can also control the amount of light with a real skylight with the help of skylight blinds.

What Other Skylight Alternatives Are Available?

Other skylight alternatives to go with when installing a traditional skylight is not feasible are an incandescent light globe, tubular daylighting devices (TDDs), and LED skylights.

Although the above examples work just fine, the amount of aesthetic and functional benefits you get from traditional skylights are incomparable. It is truly an excellent investment that will last for years to come and is worth its price.

Are Fake Skylights Really Worth It?

Fake skylights have their fair share of advantages such as being easy to install, low maintenance, and cheaper. Nevertheless, such benefits do not outweigh all the perks you get with traditional skylights.

The ability to enjoy natural light and get your daily dose of vitamin D from the sun alone is enough reason to invest in real skylights. Nothing like waking up to a gorgeous view of the sky or enjoying a star-filled sky at night. If possible, invest in real skylights because the difference is really worlds apart.