The benefits of using fire-rated skylights and daylighting


Fire-rated skylights offer a unique combination of safety and natural lighting, making them a popular choice for commercial and residential buildings. In this article, we will explore the key benefits of using fire-rated skylights and how they contribute to effective daylighting.


1.Enhanced Safety and Compliance:

Fire-rated skylights are designed to provide enhanced safety measures and ensure compliance with stringent building codes. These skylights are constructed as passive life safety systems and undergo rigorous testing to meet industry standards, such as:

ASTM E119 Fire Resistive Standard:

This test measures the skylight’s ability to withstand the spread of flames, smoke, and heat during a fire, maintaining its integrity and preventing the fire from spreading to other areas of the building. By choosing fire-rated skylights tested to this standard, you can have confidence in their ability to provide a reliable barrier against fire hazards.

Compliance with ANSI 326.3:

In addition to the ASTM E119 fire resistive standard, fire-rated skylights also adhere to the ANSI 326.3 American National Standard Test Method for Measuring Dynamic Coefficient of Friction of Hard Surface Flooring Materials. While this standard is primarily related to flooring materials, it is relevant to fire-rated skylights as it ensures the skylight’s surface offers proper traction and slip resistance.

Importance of Compliance:

Complying with these standards is crucial for building owners and occupants as it ensures the fire-rated skylights meet the necessary life safety requirements. By installing skylights that have undergone rigorous testing, you can mitigate the risk of fire spread, protect occupants from smoke inhalation, and facilitate the safe evacuation of the building during an emergency.

Insurance and Regulatory Benefits:

Installing our fire-rated skylights that meet or exceed the required safety standards can also have insurance and regulatory benefits. Additionally, governmental regulations may require specific fire safety measures, and compliance with these regulations helps avoid penalties and ensures a smooth approval process for building permits and occupancy permits.


Fire Rated Skylight
Sales Force Transit Center, San Francisco, CA, LITEFLAM XT 120.

2. Abundant Natural Light:

Fire-rated skylights are an excellent solution for introducing abundant natural light into buildings, contributing to effective daylighting. Here are some key aspects to consider:

Harnessing Sunlight:

Fire-rated skylights are engineered to capture and channel sunlight into interior spaces. Their positioning on rooftops or patios allows for optimal exposure to sunlight throughout the day, maximizing the amount of natural light that enters the building. This abundance of sunlight creates a bright and inviting atmosphere, enhancing the overall aesthetics, functionality of the space and save energy cost.

Privacy Interlayers:

In some cases, privacy may be a concern when incorporating walkable fire-rated skylights, especially in settings such as public spaces.  To address this, fire-rated skylights can be engineered with privacy interlayers. These interlayers are designed to maximize daylighting while offering privacy by utilizing privacy interlayers, laminated with in the glass makeup. They allow natural light to permeate the space while obscuring the view from the outside, providing a balance between openness and privacy.

Health and Well-being:

Exposure to natural light has been scientifically proven to have numerous health benefits. It helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, improving sleep patterns, mood, and overall well-being. By incorporating fire-rated skylights, you create an environment that promotes occupants’ health, productivity, and happiness.

Daylight as a Design Element:

Natural light plays a crucial role in architectural and interior design. Fire-rated skylights offer architects and designers the opportunity to utilize daylight as a design element. The play of sunlight and shadows creates visually appealing patterns, adding depth and character to the space. With careful placement and design considerations, fire-rated skylights can create stunning focal points and enhance the architectural features of the building.

Balancing Light Distribution:

One of the challenges in daylighting is achieving balanced light distribution throughout the interior. Fire-rated skylights help address this issue by providing a high point of light source. The natural light that enters through the skylights diffuses and spreads throughout the space, reducing glare and creating a more even distribution of light. This ensures that every corner of the room receives the benefits of natural light without causing discomfort to occupants.

Visual Connection to the Outdoors:

Fire-rated skylights establish a visual connection between the indoor and outdoor environments. They bring the beauty of the surrounding landscape or urban skyline directly into the building, offering occupants a sense of connection to nature. This connection has a positive psychological impact, promoting feelings of calmness, inspiration, and overall well-being.

Fire rated skylight

3. Energy Efficiency and Sustainability:

LITEFLAM Fire-rated skylights offer significant energy efficiency benefits and contribute to sustainability efforts in buildings. Here are some key aspects to consider, including the option of double and triple glazed skylights: 

Reduced Energy Consumption:

By incorporating fire-rated skylights into your building, you can reduce the reliance on artificial lighting during daylight hours. These skylights allow ample natural light to penetrate the interior spaces, effectively illuminating the areas below. This reduces the need for electric lighting, resulting in decreased energy consumption and lower electricity bills.

Double Glazed Skylights:

LITEFLAM fire-rated skylights are available in double glazed configurations. Double glazing consists of two layers of glass with a sealed air or gas-filled space in between. This design provides enhanced insulation, minimizing heat transfer between the interior and exterior of the building. The insulating properties of Double Glazed skylights help maintain stable indoor temperatures, reducing the load on heating and cooling systems, improving energy efficiency and preventing condensation.

Triple Glazed Skylights:

For even higher levels of energy efficiency, LITEFLAM XT 60 triple glazed skylights are an excellent option. Triple glazing incorporates three layers of glass with two insulating air or gas-filled spaces. This additional layer of glass further improves thermal insulation, reducing heat loss or gain and enhancing the overall energy performance of the skylight. Triple glazed skylights are particularly beneficial in regions with extreme weather conditions, where the need for insulation is more critical.

Low-E Coatings:

Fire-rated skylights often incorporate low-emissivity (low-E) coatings on the glass surfaces. These coatings help to minimize heat transfer through the skylight while still allowing ample natural light to pass through. Low-E coatings reflect infrared radiation, keeping heat inside during winter and preventing excessive heat from entering during summer, thereby improving energy efficiency and reducing the reliance on heating and cooling systems.

Thermal Breaks:

LITEFLAM double and triple glazing, fire-rated skylights may feature thermal breaks in their frame design. Thermal breaks are insulating materials placed between the inner and outer components of the frame. These breaks help to reduce heat transfer through the frame, further enhancing the energy efficiency of the skylight and preventing condensation and heat loss/gain.

Environmental Sustainability:

By reducing energy consumption, LITEFLAM fire-rated skylights contribute to environmental sustainability efforts and contribute to LEED certification. The decreased reliance on artificial lighting and improved thermal performance translates into lower carbon emissions, minimizing the building’s ecological footprint. Incorporating energy-efficient skylights aligns with green building practices and sustainability goals, showcasing a commitment to responsible resource utilization.


4. Improved Indoor Environment:

LITEFLAM Fire-rated skylights not only bring in natural light but also contribute to creating a more comfortable and pleasant indoor environment. Here are some key aspects to consider, including the availability of Low-E coatings for temperature control throughout the year:

Controlled Glare:

While natural light is desirable, excessive glare can be a concern. Fire-rated skylights often come with options for glazing and coatings that help control glare. Low-E coatings, for example, can be applied to the skylight glass to minimize the amount of glare entering the space. These coatings selectively reflect certain wavelengths of light while allowing ample natural light to pass through, creating a more balanced and comfortable lighting environment.

Temperature Control:

Fire-rated skylights, particularly those with Low-E coatings, offer improved temperature control throughout the year. During colder months, Low-E coatings can help prevent heat loss by reflecting radiant heat back into the room. This helps maintain a more comfortable indoor temperature and reduces the need for excessive heating. Conversely, in warmer months, the coatings can block a significant portion of the sun’s heat, reducing solar heat gain and keeping the interior cooler. This temperature control contributes to energy savings by reducing the load on heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

Fire rated glass floors
Sales Force Transit Center, San Francisco, CA, LITEFLAM XT 120.


5. Aesthetic Appeal and Design Flexibility:

LITEFLAM Fire-rated skylights not only offer practical benefits but also contribute to the aesthetic appeal of a building. Here are some key aspects to consider when it comes to the aesthetic appeal and design flexibility of fire-rated skylights:

Architectural Integration:

Fire-rated skylights are available in a variety of designs and styles that can be seamlessly integrated into different architectural styles and building aesthetics. Whether your building has a modern, contemporary, or traditional design, there are fire-rated skylight options that can complement and enhance its architectural features.

The sleek and elegant designs of these skylights add a touch of sophistication to the overall building design. 

Natural Focal Points:

Fire-rated skylights serve as natural focal points within interior spaces, drawing attention and creating visual interest. The introduction of natural light through the skylights adds depth, contrast, and a sense of openness to the surrounding environment. The play of light and shadows created by the skylights can transform a space, adding a dynamic element that captures attention and stimulates the senses.

Design Versatility:

Fire-rated skylights offer design versatility, allowing architects and designers to incorporate them in various ways to achieve specific aesthetic goals. Skylights can be installed as standalone features, positioned strategically to highlight specific areas of the building, such as atriums, central lobbies, or stairwells. They can also be grouped together or used in combination with other architectural elements to create visually striking design statements. 

Customization Options:

To cater to diverse design requirements, fire-rated skylights often offer customization options. This includes the ability to choose different shapes, sizes,  privacy or clear interlayers, non-slip frit, a variety of border frit colors for the skylight frames and glazing. The frame finishes or optional cladding can be selected to match the overall interior or exterior color palette, providing a cohesive and harmonious look. Additionally, various glazing options, such as clear, tinted, or privacy glass, can be chosen to achieve specific Day lighting effect while maintaining privacy.


6. Long-Term Cost Savings:

Investing in fire-rated skylights can lead to significant long-term cost savings over the life cycle of a building. Here are some key aspects to consider when it comes to the financial benefits of fire-rated skylights, including energy cost savings, reduced heating/cooling expenses, and decreased reliance on artificial lighting:

Reduced Heating and Cooling Expenses:

Fire-rated skylights, particularly those with double or triple glazing and Low-E coatings, offer improved thermal insulation. These features help maintain stable indoor temperatures by minimizing heat transfer through the skylight. During colder months, the skylights help retain heat within the building, reducing the reliance on heating systems. Conversely, in warmer months, the skylights can block a significant portion of the sun’s heat, decreasing the need for air conditioning. By minimizing the load on HVAC systems, fire-rated skylights contribute to reduced heating and cooling expenses, resulting in long-term cost savings.

Decreased Reliance on Artificial Lighting:

The abundant natural light provided by fire-rated skylights allows for reduced dependence on artificial lighting. By relying less on electric lights during the day, buildings can significantly lower their lighting-related energy consumption. This not only reduces energy costs but also extends the lifespan of light fixtures and bulbs, leading to reduced maintenance and replacement expenses over time. Furthermore, fire-rated skylights can contribute to a healthier and more visually comfortable lighting environment, enhancing occupant well-being and productivity.

Enhanced Property Value:

The installation of walkable fire-rated skylights can enhance the overall value of the building and add valuable square footage. Buildings with abundant natural light and energy-efficient features are highly desirable in the real estate market. The aesthetic appeal, improved indoor environment, and energy efficiency associated with fire-rated skylights can attract potential buyers or tenants, leading to increased property value. This can be advantageous if there is a need to sell or lease the building in the future. 

In conclusion, fire-rated skylights offer significant long-term cost savings for building owners and operators over the life cycle of the building.  By reducing energy costs, minimizing heating and cooling expenses, and decreasing reliance on artificial lighting, fire-rated skylights contribute to financial savings over the life cycle of the building. Additionally, the extended lifespan of the roof and the enhanced property value associated with fire-rated skylights further add to the overall cost-saving benefits. Investing in fire-rated skylights proves to be a financially wise decision that pays off in the long run.


At Greenlite Glass Systems, we specialize in providing high-quality fire-rated skylights that meet rigorous safety standards while offering exceptional design flexibility. If you have any questions or need further information about fire-rated skylights, our team of experts is here to assist you.

Contact Greenlite Glass Systems today to discuss your project requirements and discover how our fire-rated skylights can elevate your building design to new heights!

Phone: (778) 285-8530

Email: [email protected]

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