Does your company’s website include a section on daylighting? If not, you may be missing out on one of the fastest-growing trends in both commercial and residential roofing. If you’re not sure daylighting is important for roofing contractors, take this quick test. Enter “Roof Daylighting” in any web search engine and see how many of the listed links take you to a roofing contractor’s website. The last time I conducted a roof daylighting search, I quickly was directed to

more than a dozen roofing contractors across the country — all actively promoting daylighting as a valuable service for their customers. Here’s a sampling of what these contractors said about the value of daylighting:

  • “Daylighting reduces or eliminates the need for artificial lighting during the day, saving thousands in energy costs.”
  • “Daylighting offers a rapid return on investment along with numerous tax incentives and utility rebates.”
  • “Daylighting not only saves energy but improves productivity and employee satisfaction.”
  • “By cutting down on the energy needed to light your building, daylighting reduces greenhouse gases, water and air pollution.”

Overall, this is a solid marketing message that should appeal to many different building owner needs. After all, who wouldn’t want to save money, live and work better, and help the environment? But these market-savvy contractors don’t stop with the basic advantages of daylighting. They also make a convincing argument that they’re the best choice to deliver these benefits:

  • “It takes skilled roofing professionals to ensure your skylights are installed correctly and your roofing warranty is not voided.”
  • “We partner with the leading manufacturers of daylighting equipment to make sure you get the best daylighting system for your specific needs.”
  • “We’re with you through the entire process, from initial consultation and design to ongoing maintenance, to make sure you get the most from your investment.”

Not only is daylighting a solid investment, but the roofing contractor is the best resource for the skill, connections and long-term presence needed to make the most of that investment. With a roofing contractor, you get someone who knows the entire roofing system and can make sure no unforeseen problems spoil an otherwise no-brainer investment. And with so many roof system manufacturers now integrating daylighting equipment into their warranty coverage, the licensed roofing contractor is the logical choice to cover the entire daylighting sale. And because roofing contractors are the “go-to” source for annual inspections and emergency repairs, long-term daylighting maintenance can be integrated into annual roof service agreements effectively and economically.

Hopefully, I’ve gotten you interested in learning more about daylighting and how it can help your business. If you need any more convincing on how daylighting can fit into your current business plans, please consider the following:

  • There is a daylighting system for every roof. With the wide array of daylighting technologies available, including both conventional skylights and solar tubes, you can find a suitable and economical daylighting product for almost every roof, regardless of roof slope or roof system type: low slope or steep slope, new construction or re-roofing, commercial or residential. So, no matter which segment of the roofing market your company specializes in, there are daylighting systems that offer attractive and economical solutions for your customers.
  • Roofing contractors have unmatched access to daylighting customers. Every time you quote a re-roof, every time you conduct a maintenance inspection, every time you respond to a leak call, you have the opportunity to size up the potential for daylighting and offer it as an additional service. So, who are your daylighting customers? Why, the ones you’re already doing business with!
  • Manufacturers need you as their daylighting partner. More and more roofing manufacturers are integrating daylighting into their warranty offerings, and they offer training and certification to help you become the daylighting expert in your market.
  • Daylighting design tools are easy to use and mostly free. Software can be downloaded at no charge and can be used not only to calculate the energy savings for lighting but also any trade-offs in heating and cooling costs.

I hope the brief information in this month’s column will spark your interest in the business potential of daylighting, and I hope the next time I conduct a web search for “roof daylighting,” I’ll find your company listed.


  To learn more about daylighting, the following free websites offer a great place to start:

The Whole Building Design Guide: Daylighting. Developed and maintained by the National Institute of Science and Technology, this free online design guide is an excellent starting point to learn about daylighting. 

University of Wisconsin Daylighting Collaborative. The Daylighting Collaborative is a one-stop shop where you can learn about daylighting training seminars and design tools available throughout the country. 

Energy Star: Windows, Doors and Skylights. TheEnergy Star site, maintained by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, provides everything you need to know about energy ratings and federal incentives for skylights. 

 Energy Design Resources: SkyCalcä Skycalc is a free and easy-to-use spreadsheet tool that can be used to determine the best skylight design and placement that optimizes net lighting and HVAC savings for different climates.

Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE). This database, maintained by the U.S. Department of Energy, provides state-by-state information on tax incentives and public utility rebates for daylighting and other energy-saving technologies.