Skylights may seem like a luxury reserved for your home, an aesthetic add-on that, though beautiful, may not be functionally necessary. That’s not the case with a shed skylight. An inexpensive skylight can go a long way towards making your shed more functional.
How so? Most sheds are not wired for electricity, which means a trip to the shed for a simple tool might more often than not involve hunting blindly in the dark with only light from the doorway to help you find your way.
A skylight can fill your shed with natural light, making the space much more visible and easier to use. You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money to make this simple renovation.
At a Glance: Most Popular Shed Skylight Options:
- Bubble Style Skylight from ICON
- Natural Light Energy Systems 10-Inch Tubular Skylight
- Solar LightBlaster Skylight for Metal-Roofed Sheds
- Solar Light Blaster
- Sunoptics SUN R2020 Pyramid Skylight
Other Good Choices:
- Icon RV Skylight
- Sun Tunnels tubular Acrylic Dome Skylight
- Sunoptics SUN R2030 3-Feet Triple Glazed Flat Skylight
- SIG Skylights FMB Self-Flashed Skylight
- Speciality Recreation Skylight Kit
- Top 10 Shed Skylight Reviews
- 1. ICON 12116 Skylight SL1414S-Smoke
- 2. Natural Light Energy Systems 10-Inch Tubular Skylight
- 3. Solar LightBlaster Skylight for Metal-Roofed Sheds
- 4. Solar LightBlaster for Shingled Sheds
- 5. Sunoptics SUN R2020 Pyramid Skylight
- 6. ICON 01820 RV Skylight SL1422
- 7. Sun Tunnel Tubular Skylight Acrylic Dome
- 8. Sunoptics SUN R2030 3-Feet Triple Glazed Flat Skylight
- 9. SIG Skylights FMB Self-Flashed Skylight
- 10. Specialty Recreation K1422ELP Skylight Kit
- Types of Skylights for Sheds
- What to Consider When Buying
Top 10 Shed Skylight Reviews
You might be surprised to learn that skylights come in many different shapes and sizes. There are, in fact, a variety of skylight options to fit your lighting needs, aesthetic tastes and budget.
1. ICON 12116 Skylight SL1414S-SmokeThink that adding a skylight to your shed has to be expensive? Think again. This bubble style skylight from ICON is a great budget option to brighten any dark shed.
You might be wondering if plastic will hold up. ICON Technologies designs a variety of products designed to hold up to the rigors of Rving RVs. This ICON Skylight is made of thick plastic designed to withstand the rigors of RVing, so you can count on it being durable.
One of the cheapest skylights on this list, the Smoke will provide that natural light source you’re seeking without breaking the bank. This easy-to-install skylight features a 14×14 dome-shaped single pane and 18×18” frame.
Installation is also straightforward. Attach the skylight to your opening via 16 screw holes. Just keep in mind that the skylight does not come with hardware. So, you’ll need to purchase screws as well as butyl tape, and/or caulk for waterproofing around the opening.
The ICON skylight comes in four different tints, each of which allows a different light level including white, which is opaque, Smoke, which is tinted, and clear.
- Easy to install
- Three Light diffusion options
- No hardware or caulk included
- Plastic construction isn’t as strong as other materials
2. Natural Light Energy Systems 10-Inch Tubular SkylightIf you want to maximize the light output in your shed and don’t mind paying extra for it, check out the 10-inch Tubular Skylight from Natural Light Energy Systems. This skylight puts out up to 300 watts of light. So much that you might find yourself instinctively searching for a light switch as you’re exiting your shed.
How does it work? The skylight collects sunlight from an acrylic dome on the roof then transports it to a dome-shaped fixture inside your shed via a highly reflective metal tube. Despite the relatively small diameter of the skylight, it produces a remarkable amount of light, especially on sunny days.
The kit includes everything you need for installation, including external dome, reflective metal tube, internal fixture and seamless roof flashing.
You have several options to consider with this skylight. The Flashing mounts come in a variety of colors to match your roof color. And the light diffuser is available in three different styles ranging from clear to white.
This skylight is also durable. The acrylic dome is designed to resist damage due to extreme temperatures or severe weather. It’s even hurricane resistant.
Natural Light, which specializes in a variety of natural lighting products, stands behind this product. The company includes a 24-year warranty with its tubular skylight.
- Produces a lot of light
- Includes waterproof flashing in kit
- Internal fixture looks just like an electrical fixture
- Relatively easy to install
- More expensive than other options
- Acrylic dome not particularly attractive
3. Solar LightBlaster Skylight for Metal-Roofed ShedsHave a metal roof shed and think that adding a skylight isn’t possible? Think again. This skylight from Solar Lightblaster, a company also known for its solar-powered attic fans, is specifically designed for installation on metal roofs.
Despite its relatively small profile, the Lightblaster does exactly what its name implies. As with other suntube designs, the Lightblaster uses an acrylic dome to feed light into a highly reflective metal tube that directs into a diffuser mounted on the ceiling of the shed’s interior. The result is a surprisingly bright natural light source.
Installation is simple with the Solar Lightblaster. Use the included template to cut a hole for the fixture, then install the tube and dome. Specially designed flashing is included to create a watertight fit around the dome.Installation instructions are comprehensive, with pictures. The company even makes itself available for video chat if you need additional help.
Unlike other models on this list, this light tube skylight is designed to work with sheds with metal roofs.
Just keep in mind that this model is smaller in diameter than other suntube designs, and may not produce quite as much light. You might need more than one to adequately light a larger shed.
- Works with metals roofs
- Good customer support and comprehensive instructions for installation
- Quality metal parts
- Need the right tools to cut metal
- Smaller than other tube lights.
4. Solar LightBlaster for Shingled ShedsIt’s tough to beat light tubes when it comes to a natural light solution. With their easy installation process and ability to maximize the amount of light that gets into your shed, they’re really a no brainer. The only downside is that they can tend to be kind of expensive. Solar Light Blaster offers one of the cheaper options you can find, making investing in this style of light a little more palatable.
This 8” light includes everything you need to add natural to your shed. A clear acrylic dome collects plenty of sunlight to illuminate your shed and is sturdy enough to hold up against extreme weather.
Unlike other sun tube kits on this list, LightBlaster goes with a trim design that weaves into your shingles.By tucking the upper part of the cuff under the shingles, there is less of a concern of the upper seam of the fixture failing and allowing rainwater to infiltrate your roof.
It also makes for more of a seamless look for a style of skylight that is more conspicuous than other designs.
Although you’ll pay less for this fixture, you’ll also get less. Whereas other tube lights on this list are 10”, allowing for more sunlight to be directed into your shed, this fixture is 8”. This smaller size and lower price, however, is convenient if you feel you need two separate light sources inside of your shed.
- Installation design resists leakage
- Lower price than other tube lights
- Excellent customer service
- Easy to install
- Smaller than other larger tube lights
5. Sunoptics SUN R2020 Pyramid SkylightSunoptics, a company that designs natural light products, uses a different design to accomplish the same task as the tube light skylights. Whereas sun tubes use a long metal tube and dome-shaped fixture to diffuse light into a shed, Sunoptic uses a mounted prismatic pyramid. This pyramid-shaped skylight diffuses sunlight, so it spreads evenly throughout the room, or in this case, shed. This gives the skylight the effect of a lamp versus a spotlight. It also eliminates annoying and potentially dangerous hotspots that are inherent with traditional skylights.
While both are priced similarly, the pyramid-shaped skylight also has an advantage over tubular style skylights in that it can be vented. Just be aware that you’ll need to spring for the telescopic arm that allows you to open and close the vent as it’s not included.
Pyramid skylights also offer a larger window for sunlight. The Sunoptics Pyramid Skylight comes in a variety of sizes ranging from 2×2’ to 2×4’. It has a more traditional style, which might appeal to you if you’re not into the knobby look of the newer sun tube-style skylights.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to be handy to complete the installation of this product as it doesn’t come with detailed instructions.
- Excellent illumination
- Attractive Look
- Insufficient installation instructions
- Pole to operate vent sold separately.
6. ICON 01820 RV Skylight SL1422Not keen on spending a lot of money to add some natural lighting to your shed? Then the Icon RV Skylight might be the best option for you. At a price point that is about half the cost of pyramid skylights and sun tubes, you won’t have to spend a lot of money to add light to your shed. And, at 18×26” this is a large skylight that is sure to shed plenty of sunlight into your workspace.
As with other Icon skylights on this list, this one is designed for use on RVs. That means it is built to endure the vibrations and jolts of road travel. It’s made of thick plastic that is impact resistant.
Installation is relatively simple with the ICON RV Skylight. Just keep in mind that this is not a product that comes with everything you need. You’ll need to purchase sealant to complete the installation.
Icon skylights come in three different varieties of tints ranging from clear, for maximum light diffusion, to smoke to opaque white.
- Inexpensive compared to other styles
- Several tint options available
- Made of durable impact-resistant plastic
- This skylight is not ventable
- Doesn’t diffuse light as well as more expensive options
7. Sun Tunnel Tubular Skylight Acrylic DomeIf you’re looking for an easy-to-install option for a shed with a steeply pitched roof, check out Sun Tunnels tubular acrylic dome skylight. Sheds with steep roofs typically have a significant distance between the roof and the floor of the attic space.
While this might not present a problem with sheds with open ceilings, for those with a ceiling that starts at the base of the pitch, a skylight won’t provide much lighting for the main area of the shed.
The Sun Tunnel Tubular Skylight offers a solution. With 8 feet of tube, this skylight is designed with enough length to project sunlight from the roof to your work area. The tube is also flexible, allowing you to bend it during installation to conform perfectly with the pitch of your roof.
The Sun Tunnel Skylight is also durable, with an acrylic exterior dome. The included aluminum flashing ensures that water won’t infiltrate your skylight opening. Installation is relatively easy and can be completed in just a few hours.
At 14”, this is one of the largest sun tunnel skylights you can buy, so expect to get more illumination from it. That said, this is also one of the most expensive skylights on this list. You’ll pay more for that larger size.
- Long tube extends through attic spaces
- Large diameter means more light
- Waterproof flashing included
- More expensive than other sun tubes
8. Sunoptics SUN R2030 3-Feet Triple Glazed Flat SkylightNot into all the new sun tubes and prismatic skylight technologies? Want something more traditional? Check out the SUN R2030 from Sunoptics, a company that specializes in natural light solutions for homes.
This 2×3’ skylight follows more traditional styles in that it’s flat. It employs newer technology with its prismatic lens, which evenly diffuses light, eliminating focused light and annoying hot spots.
The SUN R2030 also has some nice features for dealing with moisture, including a multi-surface wet seal and exterior gutters for eliminating interior moisture and resisting condensation. This skylight is also durable, thanks to a heavy-duty powder-coated aluminum frame. And unlike tube-style skylights, this skylight can also be vented, allowing for more air circulation in your shed.
Installation is a bit of a challenge, as Sunoptics includes only sparse instructions and the company’s customer service is rather spotty. Also, keep in mind that this skylight is more cumbersome to work with at more than 30lbs., so you may need to find an extra set of hands to help you.
While the Sun R2030 offers a traditional skylight look for your shed, it also costs significantly more than other options. Be prepared to invest quite a bit in this skylight.
- Attractive skylight
- Prismatic glass diffuses light
- Ventable skylight
- Very expensive skylight option
- Installation is more complicated
9. SIG Skylights FMB Self-Flashed SkylightIf you are into traditional-style skylights and plastic just sounds flimsy to you, then check out this skylight from SIG. This skylight offers a classic design that may be preferable to the newer sun tubes and pyramid-shaped prismatic skylights.
With a welded aluminum frame, double-paned tempered glass, and a powder-coated aluminum cover, you can count on this skylight being durable. There’s no plastic to be found on this skylight.
A glass skylight will stand up to more punishment to plastic skylights, and that’s the case with this one. They’ll also resist hazing, fading or cracking. The glass is tinted to reduce glare and provide UV protection. Unlike similar skylights, this one is not ventable.
Installation is made easy with an aluminum flange that eliminates the possibility of leaks. SIG also includes a limited lifetime warranty with this skylight. You will, however, need to purchase basic roofing supplies, including sealant and nails.
Just keep in mind that SIG recommends a roof pitch of at least 3:12 to avoid rainwater from building up around the skylight. Although the all metal and glass construction is a pro, it also means that this skylight is significantly more expensive than other options.
- Very durable with all metal and glass construction
- Attractive classic-looking skylight
- Very durable
- More expensive than other skylight options
- Is not ventable like skylights with a similar design
10. Specialty Recreation K1422ELP Skylight KitWhen going through a skylight installation, it’s great if the skylight you purchase has everything you need to complete the install. No one likes having to run out to the local home improvement store because something wasn’t included. Speciality Recreation skylight kit is complete, meaning it does include everything you need. That means you get the skylight, sealant, and an inner finishing garnish.
At 14×22”, this skylight kit offers a substantial opening for allowing sunlight to shine through and light your workspace. Just keep in mind that this skylight comes in the clear, so it won’t diffuse the light as it enters your shed as much as prismatic and tube-style skylights will.
Installation is a breeze with detailed instructions included. Once your opening has been cut, add the sealant, put the skylight in place, run screws through the precut holes on the flange and your install is complete.
As with other skylights on this list, the SIG skylight is rated for RV use, which means you can count on it being durable. It’s made of thermoformed polycarbonate that resists cracking and is easy to clean.
- Easy to install
- Made of durable polycarbonate
- Kit includes everything necessary for installation
- Pricier than other RV-style skylights
- Clear skylight doesn’t offer much light diffusion.
Types of Skylights for Sheds
It used to be that skylights were simply panes of glass that created a window through the roof of a shed or home, allowing in direct sunlight. With the emergence of different technologies for natural lighting, skylight options for sheds have increased.
We’re all familiar with the standard glass skylight, such as those put out by Sig Skylights and Sunoptics. These skylights are typically constructed for multi-paned glass with an aluminum frame. They are usually flat in shape and can often be vented with the use of a compatible pole.
While many of these traditional skylights use clear glass, some use prismatic glass, diffusing sunlight, creating a more even distribution of light into your shed. Installation for these types of skylights is relatively simple but can require more than one hand due to the weight of the metal frame and double-paned glass.
Given the heavy-duty construction of traditional skylights, they also tend to cost twice as much or more than other skylight styles.
One of the newer skylight technologies is sun tubes. Sun tubes work by collecting light through an acrylic dome on the roof of your shed. The dome is attached to a highly reflective tube that directs the light to a diffuser on the interior of your shed.
Tube style skylights can produce a surprising amount of light, given their relatively small size of between 8 and 12 inches in diameter. They also offer a comparatively cheaper natural light option to the more expensive traditional skylights.
Keep in mind that this style of skylight does have a knobby look when mounted on your shed’s roof. While many people don’t mind this look, you may feel that it detracts from the aesthetics of your shed.
Pyramid-shaped skylights mix the traditional skylight look with newer light diffusion technologies. The skylight looks very similar to a traditional skylight except its pyramid shape, which helps spread sunlight evenly into your shed.
This style of skylights also uses an acrylic prismatic lens to evenly diffuse light throughout your shed while at the same time eliminating hotspots and glare. The installation process is very similar to that of standard skylights. Pyramid-shaped skylights are comparative in cost to tube skylights.
Standard flat skylights are also available as vented skylights, but that typically increases the price significantly.
Single pane bubble skylights offer the cheapest option when it comes to skylights. These skylights consist of a single pain of thick plastic. Installation is simple, requiring only screws and a liquid sealant. Single pane skylights typically come in a variety of tints ranging from clear to tinted to opaque.
At about half the cost of sun tubes and a fraction of the cost of standard skylights, they are also the cheapest of your shed skylight options.
What to Consider When Buying
Skylights can do a lot of things for your shed, but only certain types provide certain features. If you’re considering a skylight solely as a light source, then any of the aforementioned varieties will do the trick. That said, sun tubes and pyramid skylights with prismatic lenses do the best job of brightening your shed.
If you need a skylight for direct sunlight, as in the case of a gardening shed, or if you’re using it as a way to warm your shed, then you need to go with a traditional flat skylight.
Skylights can also function as vents, providing a means for heat and humidity to escape your shed. If this is the case, then you’ll need a vented skylight.
In addition to function, also consider size when deciding on a skylight. A skylight that is too large for your shed may allow too much sunlight, turning your shed into a hotbox. Too small and the skylight may not be able to accomplish what you need it to.
Material is also a consideration you should make when choosing a skylight. Glass is the preferred material as it is scratch-resistant and can provide energy efficiency. It’s generally the most durable material you can use. That said, it’s also the heaviest and typically most expensive.
Many skylights are made from acrylic plastic, which is lightweight and relatively cheap. It’s not as durable as glass as it can be scratched easily and is prone to cracking after extended exposure to UV rays.
Some skylight manufacturers use polycarbonate to make their skylights. Polycarbonate is lightweight, durable and available in a variety of tints. It’s also a more difficult material to form, so don’t expect to find polycarbonate sun tubes.
While any of the skylights in this article might make a nice addition to your shed, it’s important to consider what the needs of your shed are when determining which style will work best.
I hope this article has provided you with a detailed overview of your skylight options and helps you to make the best decision for your shed.