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  • Writer's pictureFrances Burke

Guiding Light: Choosing the Perfect Daylighting Element for Your Project

Here's a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision between translucent walls, translucent roofs, metal-framed skylights, unit skylights, tubular daylighting, or canopies and walkways:


Best For: Providing diffused natural light to interior spaces without compromising privacy. Ideal for offices, corridors, and areas where both light and privacy are essential.

Considerations: Translucent walls offer diffused light but limited visibility. Consider the opacity level required for the space and whether privacy is a concern.


2. Translucent Roofs (GridSpan, QuadSpan)

Best For: Large industrial, commercial, or educational spaces where ample daylighting is necessary. Great choice for schools, malls, warehouses, manufacturing plants, places of worship, and sports facilities.

Considerations: Translucent roofs provide uniform natural light, reducing the need for artificial lighting. Consider the material's durability, insulation properties, and ability to resist yellowing over time.


3. Metal Framed Skylights (KlearSky)

Best For: Enhancing aesthetics in commercial and institutional buildings, allowing direct overhead sunlight (or diffused daylight using translucent glazing) into specific areas such as atriums, lobbies, or large halls.

Considerations: Metal-framed skylights offer a modern look but can conduct heat. Ensure they have proper performance characteristics and glazing options to control heat gain/loss.


Best For: Commercial, industrial, or residential projects where natural light and ventilation are required. Suitable for warehouses, individual rooms, bathrooms, or small offices.

Considerations: Unit skylights are relatively easy to install and provide direct daylight. Choose energy-efficient glazing options to control heat and UV rays.


Best For: Spaces with limited roof access or where traditional skylights are not feasible. Ideal for gymnasiums, conference rooms, classrooms, hallways, areas where natural light is lacking.

Considerations: Tubular daylighting systems capture and distribute sunlight using reflective tubes. They are energy-efficient and versatile but may not provide as much light as larger skylights.


6. Canopies + Walkways (Briteway, Liteway, U-Lite, LiteBrow)

Best For: Outdoor spaces, building entrances, or areas requiring shade and protection from the elements. Can be used in commercial, residential, or public spaces.

Considerations: Canopies provide shelter and can enhance the architectural aesthetics of a building. Consider the material (e.g., polycarbonate, FRP, metal, glass) based on durability, maintenance, and desired aesthetics.


By carefully weighing these factors you can select the product that best fits the unique requirements of your project. Collier Building Specialties represents Kingspan Light + Air so we are your one-stop-shop for all these products! We can assess what the best choice for your project will be. We work with architects, contractors, and developers on traditional, negotiated, and open bid projects as well as participating in the Design Build area.


Of course, there is more to consider when choosing the right product such as the specific requirements of the project, the desired aesthetic, budget constraints, and energy efficiency goals. Check back next week as we dive in to all these topics!

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