Shades, shutters and blinds for skylights are expensive and challenging to install. Installed costs of these skylight treatments start at about 25 dollars per square foot. The better these window treatments block solar heat from entering a room the higher the temperature between the glass and window treatment. This overheating can break the seal in an insulated glass unit or even crack the glass during intense heat. Nevertheless, window treatments for skylights are valued by consumers, to reduce the heat flow through the skylight in both summer and winter.
The most common window treatment for skylights is the rolling shade that travels in a track to keep it flat. Sliding shutters are also available from vendors like Blinds.com, Distinctive Window Treatments, and Shadeskylight.com.Solar screening material is installed over the skylight’s exterior as a skylight cover. These exterior covers are more effective than any interior window treatment at blocking solar heat. Solar screening material can also be stretched across the bottom of larger skylights in custom applications. The out-of-print book, Movable Insulation by William Langdon, contains instructions and illustrations for building insulated shades and shutters for skylights.
See Your Home Cooling Energy Guide, The Homeowners Handbook to Energy Efficiency, and Residential Energy for more information on window shading.