How I Became “Cool” and Energy Efficient Installing Openable Skylights

Villum Kann Rasmussen: Skylight Inventor and Founder of Velux

Villum Kann Rasmussen inventor of skylight window and founder of Velux photo credit to website

During the summer of 2006 I had the good fortune to stumble on an obscure book about the life of a man named Villum Kann Rasmussen.

He was a Danish entrepreneur born in 1909, the inventor of the roof window, and the founder of VELUX, the world’s largest company of its kind.

Velux Skylight Window installation in Entertainment Room

Somehow, contrary to everything that I imagined was possible, Mr. Rasmussen launched his new roof window product  right in the middle of the Second World War. I’m not sure how such a thing was possible in war-ravaged Europe in 1941, but it happened. Something of the innovation and resilience of the company must still exist today, because the roof window and skylight products that keep coming out of VELUX are the most impressive examples of energy efficiency I’ve seen.

“Roof window” is the name Mr. Rasmussen coined for an openable skylight, and besides the fact that I love skylights for what they do for the atmosphere of a room, Mr. Rasmussen managed to do something else that was remarkable.

Highly Anticipated Velux Skylight Product: Solar Powered Roof Window

Kitchen installation of Velux Skylight Windows on

I’ve been gearing up to create skylight stories and videos for the coming season, based on skylight installations I actually perform and document.

One thing I’m particularly interested in are the new solar powered roof windows.The claim to fame here is not to save the little bit of electricity needed to open and close the windows mechanically, but the freedom from having to run wires to power these automated roof windows in the usual way. You just plunk them in and away you go. Programmable remote controls, automatic blinds and energy efficient glass are all things I’ll be telling you about this coming year.

2 Key Benefits of Skylights: Becoming “Cool” and Energy Efficient

Installation of Velux Skylight Windows in Modern Bathroom on

One final thing: Though few people realize it, pivoting roof windows and openable skylight windows can save a huge amount of energy normally used by your air conditioner.

By creating a passage for hot air to rise up and out of your home, the whole house becomes noticeably cooler and more energy efficient. That’s what happened at my house several years ago when I installed four Velux GUU Pivoting Roof Windows in the attic, and I’ve seen this welcome effect in other houses, too.

Hot weather is coming, so it’s worth thinking about.