Skylights are a wonderful addition to a building, home or office. Skylights bring in natural light, which numerous studies have shown increase productivity, morale and overall well being. Skylights also lower energy use by reducing the need for artificial lighting, saving not only energy but money as well.
But there are downsides to skylights, as anyone whose owned one can attest. Skylights can sometimes let in too much light, heat and glare, destroying both productivity and energy savings. Numerous devices and methods are available to mitigate these negative effects, with the most popular being blinds, shades, covers and sometimes window films. As with any technology each of these has its own lists of positives and negatives. Window film can’t be used on polycarbonates like acrylic and plexiglass, which make up a large portion of the skylights out there; covers are exposed to the weather and have limited life spans while shades and blinds tend to be expensive, break and need cleaning.
There is another solution out there that is relatively new, and that involves high technology solar reflective paints that allow in the light while reducing the undesirable elements – excessive heat, light and glare. These skylight paints offer a long term, easy to maintain and effective way for homeowners, facilities managers and others to maximize the benefits of their skylights.
Sure, people have been painting skylights for quite some time in order to block light and heat, but conventional paints have several downsides when it comes to skylights. First off, most exterior paints are not designed to be applied to polycarbonate or glass, causing the paint to fail, peel off and look bad in a very short period of time. Secondly, typical exterior paints are designed to provide a protective layer, not reject solar energy, which limits their effectiveness. The new solar reflective paints are specially designed to overcome these negatives. They have endurance, lasting typically 8 -10 years and contain elements to reject and reflect infrared and ultraviolet light, which make up more than half of the solar energy spectrum.
How effective are these new paints? Currently they can reduce the heat and glare coming through polycarbonate skylights by almost two-thirds while softening and diffusing the light, making your skylights more pleasant while keeping all the benefits.
So if you love your skylights but have issues with too much heat, light or glare it makes sense to consider using a solar reflective paint to make your skylight better. Effective, affordable and easily applied, it just might be the smart choice.