Electric vs Manual Velux Skylight

xrayvisionJanuary 6, 2010

Going to buy Velux Skylights. Manual opening windows are approx 50% cheaper than the electric opening. Is the convenience of the electric worth the price. We have vaulted ceilings but should be able to get to them manually with a rod. One concern I have besides price, is the more intricate a device, the more chance there is for failure/malfunction. Anyone been able to compare there function and durability. Any one had any particular complaints with either type?


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We have electric ones. They work great. We don't open them a lot, but they work great when we do. We live in a noisy location and erred in having the opening face the highway noise.

We got two kinds of shades. We don't really use them.

Why would you want to open your skylights? How often would that be?

If you get the electric ones, get the wall switch. I think the manual remotes are standard.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 5:45PM
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In Sacramento CA area, gets pretty hot during day, but relatively nice at night - so during summer open them to air out the house in evening. We have vaulted ceilings so would also help let out the hotter air towards top.

Thanks for info

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 8:00AM
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If you choose to have the electric operators make sure you get the rain sensors as they will be a nice feature

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 10:14AM
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I wish my Velux was electric!
Unfortunately we did not have time to order an electric Velux before the new roof was put on, so had to buy a manual from HD. While I love having a skylight, I wish it was electric.
We have a split level home with 8' ceilings and a foyer with a balcony and a 23' vaulted ceiling. Every evening and every morning during the summer I walk up a half flight of stairs to the balcony to manually open and close the skylight and vent the hot air out. Sacramento is even hotter than Napa .... get the electric.

You don't mention how many or where the skylights will be, but if cost is an issue, maybe you could get by with only one or two electric units and the rest manual. My one small unit (20x36 ??) does a good job venting because its in the highest part of the house. Even tho our skylight has a SW exposure, I did not get the blinds bec I didn't like the look of the screen with a "puckery" hole to access the operator. And I guess that's one more thing that would have to be dealt with when I manually opened the skylight.

Another option might be a whole house fan ..... but that might be more expensive than the electric upgrade.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2010 at 8:06PM
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Still deciding on exact size -- but pretty sure going to go with two 23" x 46" skylights ($950) -- one in small kitchen (13 x 11ft) and one in connecting small breakfast nook (9 x 11ft) - about 10-11 ft up from floor. My dilemma is for only $200 ($1150)can get one 44" x 46" and put it in between both rooms. But that will go right over our peninsula/bar sitting area and we would loose the pendant lights we were planning - wife not too keen on that.

Those would be our only skylights.

Napagirl, I heard they have a device that can convert a manual to electric. I only know that it exists, don't know price, reliabilty, etc...

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 12:33AM
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There's no reason you can't retrofit an electric opener on your skylight. It's just a device that gets mounted at the skylight base. Running the wires might require opening some walls or ceilings.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 1:05PM
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xrayvision, I agree with your DW - don't give up the pendant lighting bec you'll miss it when the sun goes down.
I still vote for the electric openers.

ron6519, Thanks for letting me know I can retrofit my manual skylight to electric.
I'll look into that before we finish this remodel.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 8:22PM
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Just a follow up. Bought 2 electric Velux. The 2009 model is on sale at a local place 20% off because they are coming out with new line in 2010. So if anyone looking may want to call around. I got mine at Truitt and White in Berkeley CA, but sale only applies to their current in warehouse stock (so look for a bigger place that actually has them on site/warehouse).

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 8:10AM
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