How to Light a Home Better Without Wiring

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for Direct from the Designers™

Are you looking to build a brighter, more beautiful and efficient home? Sounds like you could use some natural lighting solutions! Whether you’re doing a remodel or building new, there are a number of ways you can invite sunlight inside and reduce your dependence on electricity. And who wouldn’t like lower utility bills? Check out some of our favorite products for wire-free, natural lighting!

VELUX Solar Powered "Fresh Air" Skylights

Solar Powered “Fresh Air” Skylights deliver the whole package. They have their own solar cells, so they install as simply as basic skylights but you can open them at the touch of a button. Choose the perfect custom blinds and they’ll be powered by the sun as well!

Fixed and Operational Skylights

Of course, your first thought is probably to go with skylights, but do you know just how diverse this category is these days? Skylights can do a lot more than you might think; they work with vaulted and flat ceilings, can open and close to refresh your interior air, and offer a variety of blinds so you can customize the lighting in each room and control it as necessary. Better yet, you can get this functionality without having to wire for it.

Your basic fixed skylight can lighten your interior well, but many look into operational skylights to do that and vent out the house for better interior air quality. If you want to do this wirelessly, you can choose between manual and solar-powered models. Depending where a manual skylight is placed, it’ll come with a hand crank (think like a casement window) or a long arm crank if it’s out of reach. Then, you can move blinds by hand or with the arm! Solar-powered skylights and blinds offer operation at the touch of a button or as part of a home automation system, all thanks to a self-contained solar cell. One of the main perks of these skylights is that they have built-in rain sensors, so they’ll close themselves at the first hint of precipitation. They’re wireless and worry-free!

VELUX Sun Tunnel Skylights

Check out Sun Tunnel Skylights for tricky areas! These supremely adaptable little skylights take light from the roof, reflect it through an optically engineered tunnel, and shine it down into your space through the diffuser of your choice. And with the Solar Night Light Kit, they’ll glow at night, too!

Tiny yet Mighty Sun Tunnels

What if you don’t have the space for a full skylight, or you want to illuminate somewhere without reconfiguring the roof framing? This is where Sun Tunnels come in to save the day! You can think of Sun Tunnels like mini skylights that transfer sunlight via a reflective aluminum tunnel through the dead space between the rooftop and your ceiling. They can be installed on flat and pitched roofs, and they come with rigid and flexible tunnels to address different installation conditions. Inside, you might mistake them for recessed lighting! For those who’d like to light their home with solar power, Sun Tunnels can do it directly during the day and, if you opt for a connected solar cell and LED bulb kit, they’ll even light the way at night.

Sun Tunnels make great additions to all sorts of spaces that many people assume they need electricity to light. Consider a dark foyer, laundry room, or master closet. You can even line them up across a living room, kitchen, or any other room for the look of regular recessed lighting. Ask your builder or a designer if you want to know where you can optimize your home for greater efficiency with these nifty little skylights.


A unique product that transforms your space, the CABRIO® Roof Balcony is a roof window and an outdoor living experience in one. It fits flush against the roof when closed, and opens up to provide plenty of fresh air and your own perch for panoramic views.

A Large Roof Window

Isn’t a skylight basically a roof window? You might think so, but it’s not! Roof windows are defined by being installed within reach of room occupants and their ability to open enough to count as a means of egress. This means they’re ideal if you’re renovating an attic or a bonus room to add more usable living space to your home. As you can imagine, the pitch of the roof will determine how much you may use them—under the right conditions, they can even lead to outdoor living areas!

Depending on your clearance situation, you have your choice of top-hinged, center-pivot, or side-hinged roof windows, and specialty models widen the possibilities even more. Roof windows—no matter which type you go for—will flood your formerly dark and drab attic with natural light. You can also customize them with blinds just as you would with skylights.

If you’re interested in using skylights, Sun Tunnels, and roof windows to naturally brighten your home and increase your household efficiency, you’ll love the options VELUX® brings to the table. All of their products can transform your spaces, and some even qualify for tax credits to offset their cost and sweeten the deal! Their solar powered skylights, blinds, and the Sun Tunnel Solar Night Light are eligible for a 30% federal tax credit—which covers the cost of the product and installation—through 2019. That drops to 26% through 2020 and 22% through 2021, so time is of the essence. Find a local installer to start discussing the possibilities!

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