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Different Types of Skylights and Their Life Expectancy

January 5, 2023


Skylights can be made with many light-producing materials, including plastic, glass, and polycarbonate. These light variables may look more or less the same, but the differences in longevity, durability, and maintenance are remarkable.

Whether you’re choosing skylights for your home or commercial building, the material you choose will impact how your skylights are maintained and how they wear for years to come.

Ultimately, some materials simply last longer and perform better than others. When you’re selecting the skylight material for your home, it’s important to know the differences in durability, and how they impact the longevity of the skylight. 


How long does it last? 10 to 15 years

This budget-friendly material is lighter than glass and thus highly suitable for installation on rooftops and horizontal surfaces. Acrylic is naturally very strong and UV stable, which allows it to withstand years of exposure to the sun, however, acrylic may soften in extreme temperatures.

It’s also lightweight enough that it can be made into skylights of larger sizes and into a dome shape. This type of skylight is commonly made available for commercial and industrial spaces. Standard acrylic is not impact-rated. Acrylic is easily scratched and should not be cleaned with abrasive cleaners. 


How long does it last? 10 to 15 years

Polycarbonate has the ability to diffuse natural light. It’s also very lightweight and yet impact resistant. This material comes in a range of colors and sizes and is resistant to extreme temperatures as well as a range of other conditions including snow, sunlight, rain, and more.

Polycarbonate is vulnerable to scratching and denting and must be handled carefully as a result. This material is commonly found in athletic facilities and other impact-prone areas, as well as greenhouses. Compared to acrylic, polycarbonate provides good insulation and is resistant to yellowing. 

Glass Skylights

How long does it last? 10 to 15 years

Glass is the most common skylight material available for daylighting because it’s highly durable and resistant to UV rays. Glass responds well to special UV films that control interior temperature conditions and stop furniture and flooring from fading.

Unfortunately, glass is a very heavy material that requires structural support from the skylight framing. This can limit the size and other configuration details about the skylight. Compared to other skylights, glass has a long life expectancy. Glass is also rated for impacts, and comes in a range of glass colors. Glass skylights are typically used in residential structures and greenhouses.

VTECH Solid State Skylights

How long does it last? Well beyond 20 years

VTECH skylights are made using LoE366 glass, an energy-efficient glass option that’s ENERGY STAR rated and designed to keep your home comfortable throughout the year, despite whatever temperature it might be outside. VTECH skylights are also made from aliphatic polyurethane, which is set in a steel mold and bonded to the glass to become one solid piece. We call them solid-state skylights because once the polyurethane is solidified, the skylight will not break. 

Polyurethane is a flexible material that’s highly scratch resistant and can be molded into any shape. Polyurethane is remarkably strong and has no trouble managing the weight of the LoE366 glass. The end result is a skylight that’s highly impact resistant and capable of lasting for decades. VTECH skylights also have a warranty that surpasses all requirements of all other skylights on the market today.

How can you be sure that VTECH skylights are capable of lasting so long? See our certifications page where we’ve outlined the many tests that we performed on our skylights. The VTECH skylight withstood a 200-pound bag of lead shot dropped on the skylight, as well as a 600-pound bag of lead shot that cracked the glass but not the laminate beneath. We even subjected our skylight to 250-mile-per-hour winds. The seal around the glass held strong. 

Want The Longest-Lasting Skylights Available? Contact VTECH

VTECH Skylights are among the longest-lasting skylights available on the market today. Call VTECH to learn more about how our solid-state skylights last for decades and can improve the value of your building or home. 

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