Skip to content
Home / Help / FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Question Icon

As you go though the process of selecting a Columbia or FAKRO skylight it is not unusual to have questions. To help with your decision here are the answers to the questions that we are frequently asked.

Triple glazing is the right glazing for our harsh Canadian climate, delivering outstanding energy efficiency and potential cost savings. Look at the purchase of triple glazing as a long term investment, as it will pay back dividends over the life of the skylights – and as skylights last for decades, the compounded savings can be considerable.

Triple glazing is renowned for its energy efficiency – keeping out the cold in the winter and heat in the summer, helping to establish a consistent comfortable interior temperature year round. Delivering excellent sound insulation, keeping your home’s interior quiet and relaxing.

Columbia uses Cardinal Glass Industries’ exceptional Triple Glazed LoE3 366 Tempered and Triple Glazed LoE3 366 Tempered/Laminated glass combinations. The two chambers are filled with Argon gas and sealed with an insulated spacer bar.

Cardinal is known globally for its outstanding glass manufacturing quality and innovation.


The ENERGY STAR® Canada symbol is recognized and trusted by Canadian consumers. Providing consumers guidance when purchasing high efficiency products that have been tested and certified to meet the current standards of the Canadian government’s ENERGY STAR program. It provides consumers with the guidance and information they can trust to make educated energy efficient product purchases. A home that has been built or renovated exclusively with ENERGY STAR certified products can have a significant impact on the cost of running the house and provide long term sustainability. As energy costs rise, the savings will only increase – make the investment today and save for decades to come.

Energy efficiency is core to Columbia’s mission – we are a long term supporter of the ENERGY STAR program. As recognition of Columbia’s industry leading commitment to producing energy efficient skylights, we were the recipient of the 2021 ENERGY STAR Canada Sustained Excellence Award, and with a Special Recognition Award in 2022.

Remember to check with your local building and energy efficiency codes – many Canadian municipalities require triple glazed skylights.


As we know, nothing lasts forever.

It is a good idea to upgrade your skylights when you replace your roof. Upgrading out of date skylights is a fraction of the cost of the roof replacement, and doing both together will save you money compared to doing it separately. The roofing contractor will upgrade the skylight, and likely install new waterproof membranes and/or flashings.

Today’s skylights utilize the latest advanced technology, parts, and materials – there have been significant improvements in glass, frame design, gaskets, and adhesives over the last ten years. A new skylight will be far more energy efficient, saving you money on energy costs.

Upgrade to glass. In the past, it was standard to put acrylic dome skylights on a residential home, however with the advances in glass technology over the last decade, and the introduction of energy efficient ENERGY STAR® certified double and triple tempered and tempered/laminated glass skylights, it is now far more efficient to order a glass skylight. In addition, glass offers greater transparency and clarity, allowing a better quality of light into your home. Today, acrylic domes are typically used for larger openings or flat roof commercial applications, such as factories, big box stores, and public facilities.

Another reason to replace your skylight is if your skylight or lightwell is damaged, leaking, or water stained. Consider replacing the unit with a technologically updated model. If your home is situated close to trees – check for cracks caused by the impact of falling branches. If you have an old acrylic dome skylight and condensation is forming between the panes (not on the interior outside), the seals may have surpassed their life expectancy, and the skylight should be replaced. Internal condensation is not caused by the skylight, it is due to humidity and poor ventilation in your home.

Learn More

You spend most of your day indoors – your home is your haven. Skylights improve the livability of your home – with an increased amount of natural light your home will be more comfortable and healthier. A light filled home feels more spacious and luxurious.

Natural light reduces anxiety, boosts the immune system, and produces serotonin, a chemical in our brain that makes us happier, well rested and alert.

Natural light has a quality that cannot be replicated by artificial light alone, providing a brightness and lustre that enhances your interior design and living experience. Giving a vibrancy to colours, textures, materials, furniture, and artwork – natural light is your home’s greatest interior accessory.

Skylights provide approximately twice the natural light of a standard window. Skylights can be angled directly at the sky and are typically not obscured by shrubs or trees.


Venting skylights let in the splendour of natural light and the benefit of fresh air. Allowing you to cool your home with the gentle cross breeze while expelling dust, heat build up, humidity, and cooking odours.

On a humid summer night, you can open your venting skylights to feel a refreshing cool cross breeze. Opening a skylight is safer than opening a window and leaving it open, as a skylight is harder to access. Columbia Venting skylights open up to 9 inches.

Canadian homes are prone to humidity because we seal them against excessive heat hot and cold air transfer – laundry, cooking, bathing, and daily activities all contribute to interior humidity. Flushing your home with fresh air can revitalize the interior air quality and expel the humidity.

Unhealthy polluted air accumulates in your home, collecting on the upper floor where the bedrooms typically are. Indoor air quality is typically 2-5 times more polluted than outdoors, containing harmful CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) and MVOCs (Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds).

In Europe and Asia, it has become a popular health trend to flush your home with fresh air on a regular basis.


Skylights should be installed on specific pitches in order to operate properly and allow water drainage. Check the recommended pitch.

Roof pitch is calculated by measuring the relative rise versus the span of your roof. Rise is the height of your roof to the peak, and Span is the width of your roof.

Also, if you plan to install a glass skylight on a flat roof, you need to build a sloped curb with a minimum 2:12 pitch for the rain to adequately drain off the glass surface.


Yes. In fact, you can put an ENERGY STAR® certified double or triple glazed glass skylight on a flat roof. Your installer will need to construct a site built sloped curb so that water will drain off the flat glass surface (Min 2:12 pitch). Not a difficult task for an experienced installer.

Acrylic dome skylights can be installed on a flat roof without a sloped curb (a standard site built flat curb), but glass provides greater clarity and energy efficiency.


FAKRO produces a large selection of industrial grade glass flat roof skylights.


Sloped roofs come in a wide variety of structural configurations – such as, a simple peaked roof, to a roof featuring a valley, hip, gable, or dormer. Other considerations before installing a skylight is exterior and interior obstacles, such as vents, dormers, intersecting walls, interior ducting, ridge collars, and struts.

There are two sloped roof construction processes – Rafters and Trusses. A rafter roof is built on site using lumber and allows for an attic space because the rafter is self supporting. Trusses are manufactured off site in a factory and do not accommodate an attic because of the necessary support struts. Regardless of your roof type installing skylights between the rafters or trusses is ideal.   Increasing the width of the skylight beyond the space between rafters/ trusses can be done, however, will require reinforcing with structural cross braces (consultation with a structural engineer may be required).

A sloped roof can be clad in several roofing materials – asphalt shingles, cedar, low or high profile tiles, and metal. It is important to understand which roof material you selected, as each requires a specific flashing method.

Another consideration is the roof colour, today’s roof materials come in a wide range of colors. Columbia can match the skylight frame to any roof colour – we offer 7 standard colours, and can custom match any paint colour swatch. Note: some skylight suppliers only offer one frame colour, a mismatched colour skylight stands out, and can be an eyesore spoiling the look of your expensive new roof.

We also recommend talking with your contractor or architect.


The lightwell is typically a painted drywall (or wood) lined channel connecting the skylight on the roof to the inside of your home, typically travelling through the attic space, drawing light into your home from the skylight. A lightwell can create a softer light dispersing it evenly throughout the room.

A skylight installed in a vaulted ceiling only requires a shallow lightwell, determined by the depth of the roof rafters, finished in drywall or wood tongue and groove.

The lightwell is typically designed by your architect based on the roof structure. A lightwell can be a striking interior architectural feature, especially if the skylights are installed in a row. The lightwell can be insulated to reduce heat loss.

The interior of the lightwells is typically finished with drywall or tongue and groove wood – the drywall is usually painted with a light colour to help reflect light into the room below.


Acrylic and polycarbonate can be specified for residential and commercial applications.

Acrylic is safe and durable, suitable for most residential and commercial applications.

Polycarbonate is typically selected for specialized applications because of its high impact resilience, providing additional security.

Acrylic has a shinier high gloss finish and is more transparent than polycarbonate, and if scratched, it can be polished out.

Polycarbonate is more expensive than acrylic, can be exposed to high temperatures and is non-flammable.

Columbia offers both in clear, bronze, or translucent white.

For typical residential applications, Columbia recommends a glass skylight, due to superior thermal efficiency.


Skylights have similar energy efficiency to other windows in your home. If you choose triple glazing it will have superior energy efficiency to double glazing. Current advances such as filling the glass unit’s chambers with argon gas and insulated spacers have increased energy efficiency.

Columbia believes in manufacturing outstanding high performance energy efficient skylights – and is a proud supporter of the ENERGY STAR® program. We are the leading Canadian skylight manufacturing company with ENERGY STAR Canada certified products on all models – fixed and venting in standard and custom sizes. Columbia skylights meet the latest ENERGY STAR Canada Standard – Version 5, and US ENERGY STAR standard – Version 7.

Columbia uses Cardinal Glass Industries’ double or triple glass units in our skylights. LoE3 366 Triple glazing and LoE3 i89 double glazing qualify for ENERGY STAR in most models.

LoE is a virtually invisible, exceptionally thin, transparent coating that regulates the passage of solar radiation through the window’s glass. Cardinal applies an advanced LoE3 coating to its glass products – three layers of LoE coating, the most in the industry. The low-emittance material is formulated to reflect heat caused by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. During the hot summer months, Low-E coating repels ultraviolet rays, reducing heat build up – during the winter Low-E allows sunlight to warm the house naturally.

Another benefit of LoE coating is that it only reflects solar radiation at certain wavelengths (UV radiation and long/shortwave infrared radiation), almost eliminating UV radiation entering your home that can fade fabric and artwork.

Columbia uses Cardinal’s exceptional LoE3 366 coating – providing three applications of Low-E – the best in the industry. LoE3 366 is formulated to reflect the sun’s heat without impacting the clarity of the glass (it does tint the glass slightly, but it is not noticeable). In the summer, it lets more light in and keeps heat out, so your home stays cool and comfortable.

Columbia also offers Cardinal’s LoE3 i89 coating on our double glazed Energy Plus glass, delivering energy efficiency close to the performance of triple glazing.

LoE glass can help you lower your energy bills all year – summer and winter.

Columbia has participated in the ENERGY STAR Canada program for over 15 years. We were proud to receive the 2021 ENERGY STAR Canada Sustained Excellence Award and the 2022 Special Recognition Award, in acknowledgement of our commitment to manufacturing the most energy efficient skylights in Canada.

Another consideration is that a venting skylight can moderate your home’s temperature during the hot summer months, expelling hot air build up and introducing a cross-flow of cooling fresh air. Reducing the reliance on costly air conditioning.


No, skylights do not leak if they are installed correctly. Skylights have improved significantly over the last couple of decades with the introduction of new technology – improved glass technology, parts and materials, and sealants, combined with an updated frame design, resulting in a skylight that will not leak unless it is poorly installed or damaged.

Cardinal’s glass glazing units deliver outstanding manufacturing quality and performance. The glazing unit is sealed with the latest space age adhesives.

Columbia’s flashing system integrates the skylight curb with the roofing material. Newly formulated roofing membranes (ice and water shield) offer unprecedented water protection.


It is typically about 30% more. Choosing a triple glazed skylight does cost more than double glazed but will save you money on your energy bills for years to come, and provide additional comfort in your home. It is the right choice for your home and the planet.

Triple glazing is renowned for its energy efficiency, it keeps out the cold in the winter and heat in the summer, helping to establish a consistent comfortable interior temperature year round. Triple glazing provides excellent sound insulation, keeping your home’s interior quiet and relaxing.

Remember to check with your local building and energy efficiency codes – many Canadian municipalities require triple glazed skylights.


Columbia offers the largest selection of standard skylight sizes – 83 in total, more than any other skylight company. Allowing customers to pick what they need, without the added expense and time needed to produce a custom order.

In addition, standard sizes provide the flexibility to choose from all our glass or acrylic options and select from our seven standard frame colours, or unlimited colour matching.

Increase your project management efficiency – Columbia can produce high quality standard sized skylights quickly and at a lower cost.


We know not every project is standard – as such, Columbia offers the widest selection of custom skylights on the market. We offer custom sizes on any model, fixed or venting, glass or acrylic, and any colour frame.

For example, if an installer is replacing a skylight on an older home often find that it is a non standard size – ordering a custom skylight to match the older size will save money compared to the expense of changing the curb sizing and roof structure.

Architects are continually designing new and innovative ways to use skylights, often resulting in the need for a custom sized skylight to create the desired architectural feature.

Visit our custom size order page, which will walk you through the steps to order a custom skylight.


To understand Columbia and FAKRO product codes, please refer to the Product Codes page of the website.

When ordering, Columbia and FAKRO’s code system makes it easy to specify glazing (acrylic or glass), frame type, mounting method, and size.


Glass is a transparent solid material of exceptional clarity with a hard, smooth finish – it is inert and strong, lasting for decades if well maintained.

Glass is manufactured by mixing silica sand with sodium carbonate (which lowers the melting point of silica) allowing it to be formed into glass. Limestone or calcium carbonate is added to the mix to make it waterproof.

Columbia maintains a long term relationship with U.S. based Cardinal Glass Industries, known worldwide for glass of exceptional quality, and state of the art manufacturing processes.

Columbia uses Cardinal’s triple or double glazed glass sealed units in its skylights. Options include clear, tinted bronze or grey, reflective bronze or grey, and Neat (low maintenance). All double and triple glazed options come in tempered/tempered and tempered/laminated.

Cardinal applies LoE3 (low emission) ultrathin virtually invisible coating of metallic oxide to its glass. The three layers of LoE coating help regulate the passage of solar radiation through the skylight’s glass – keeping the home cool in the summer by reflecting solar radiation and keeping heat in the home during the winter.

Acrylic is a resilient plastic material manufactured from Acrylonitrile, which is a type of Polypropylene. It is durable and resistant to breaking. It can be sized and formed precisely – allowing Columbia to create double or triple glazed acrylic domes or pyramid skylights – up to 8’ x 8’.

Columbia has the manufacturing capability to produce an acrylic unit where the double or triple layers follow the same curved form (dome or pyramid). The lenses are virtually parallel to each other, unlike inferior acrylic skylights, where the inner lens is flat (creating a large internal cavity that reduces the skylight’s energy efficiency).


Yes. A FAKRO solar powered skylight does not require a connection to your home’s electrical system and will not add to your home’s electricity bill. In addition, an electrician does not have to be on site during the skylight installation, reducing the installation cost.

FAKRO’s high performance solar panel and storage battery collect and distribute energy even on cloudy days, providing worry free operation.

FVC-S Curb Mount Solar Venting Skylight
FVS Solar Venting Skylight

Curb Mount and Self Flashing are two different methods of attaching the skylight to a sloped roof deck.

A Curb Mount skylight is fastened to the top of a site built wooded curb – this is the most common installation method in North America because it allows the installer to adjust to the requirement of the job at the time of installation. For example, if the installer must build a taller curb because the location receives significant snowfall, or the skylight is being installed on a metal roof and needs to accommodate a thick layer of dense foam insulation under the metal roof material.

Self Flashing is a skylight where the curb is part of the skylight (also known as a Deck Mount skylight). The skylight has an integrated curb (typically PVC) and a wide flange – the flange allows the skylight to be attached to the sloped roof deck, allowing for easy roof integration. A Columbia Self Flashing skylight can be installed by a ‘do-it-yourselfer’.

Curb Mount glass or acrylic skylights can be installed on a flat roof. An acrylic skylight can be installed on top of a flat curb, and a glass skylight requires a sloped curb (min 2:12 pitch) for water drainage. Self Flashing models can only be installed on a sloped roof with a minimum of 3:12 pitch.

FAKRO main product lines are Deck Mount skylights, roof windows, and flat roof skylights. They are inclusive of a wood or PVC base and are mounted directly to the roof deck. The only exception is the new Fakro Solar powered Curb Mounted units – model FVC-S.


Outside Fastening:
An Outside fastening skylight is secured to the curb from the roof (outside the house), without needing the installer to enter your home. The installer uses screws to attach the exterior aluminum frame to the curb – the screws do not penetrate the interior PVC frame, maintaining absolute water tightness. It also produces a clean, virtually seamless interior lightwell appearance – only the minimal PVC lip is visible at the top of the drywall (or wood lined) lightwell, where the lightwell meets the skylight.

Inside Fastening:
As the name suggests, an Inside fastening skylight is secured to the curb using screws from the inside of the house – through the skylight’s interior PVC frame. The Inside fastening system allows installers to replace an older existing inside fastening skylight with a new one – saving the homeowner the cost of refinishing the lightwell’s drywall.


On average, a venting skylight costs 2 to 3 times as much as a fixed (non venting) skylight of the same size. It is typically a one time cost (based on time of typical occupancy), as a skylight can last twenty years or more.

If, all you need in your home is more natural light, then a fixed skylight is perfect. But, if you want to naturally cool your home in the summer – or flush it from interior airborne pollutants such as dust or odours, then venting is the right choice.

Columbia recommends glass for most residential sloped roof applications – because of its superior energy efficiency. Columbia offers ENERGY STAR® certified double or triple glass options on all models. In addition, glass provides superior transparency and light quality.

The acrylic dome is typically used for larger openings or flat roof applications because the shape creates natural water drainage. Glass can be used for a flat roof skylight if the installer builds a sloped curb.

Acrylic is more common for commercial applications because it does not require the maintenance of glass (cleaning) and is resistant to impact damage.

If you are replacing an inside fastening dome skylight, you can replace it with an inside fastening glass skylight for improved energy efficiency.


Ultimately, it is a decision specific to the project and should be chosen in consultation with your architect or contractor.

Industry guidelines recommend that skylights be 5% of the floor area for rooms with numerous windows. For a room with several conventional windows, consider up to 15% of the floor space.

Considering the room’s exposure, you may require fewer skylights with a southern exposure versus a northern. If the room is an odd configuration, it may be preferable to install two well placed smaller skylights, instead of one larger unit.


Skylights fill a room with more light than wall mounted conventional windows.

When choosing the size of your skylight, understand that a skylight provides almost twice the natural light of a wall mounted window. Because a skylight is positioned upward toward the sky, and is less likely to be obscured by shrubs, bushes, and trees.


If, all you require is more natural light filling a room, a fixed skylight is perfect. The clarity of Cardinal glass combined with the Columbia frame, designed for maximum glazing area, will bath your home in the brilliance and vibrancy of natural light. Natural light has a quality that cannot be equalled by artificial light alone – they work best in unison.

If you want to naturally expel heat build up in your home during humid summer months – then a venting skylight is the best choice. You can select a manual or electric venting skylight – the advantage of an electric model is that it can connected to a thermostat – opening at a desired temperature. Columbia offers three types of electric venting based on budget and requirements. FAKRO offers electric or solar powered venting skylights that are Smart Home compatible, allowing operation using your Smart Phone, Tablet, or Smart Speaker.

It has become popular to use venting skylights to ‘flush’ your home with fresh air to remove airborne pollutants that can build up in your home, such as dust, odours, and material off-gassing. ‘Flushing’ your home has grown in popularity over the last decade, especially in European and Asian countries.

Columbia VCM Fixed Skylight
Columbia OCM Manual Venting Skylight

LoE (low emissivity) is a clear coating applied to glass to reflect heat away from or back into your home, depending on the time of year. Applied to the outer and inner glass pane of the triple glass glazing unit (e.g. LoE3 366 Temp/Temp/Temp), and the inside or the outer layer of glass on the double glazed glass unit (e.g. LoE3 366 Clear Temp/Temp).

LoE blocks solar gain in the summer – reflects heat away while letting the light stream in. It even outperforms the tinted glass often used in warm climates. LoE reduces your reliance on air conditioning to keep your home cool. Reflecting solar radiation at certain wavelengths (UV radiation and long/shortwave infrared radiation).

In the winter, it stops your home’s interior warmth from escaping, reflecting it back into your home – saving you money on energy bills.

LoE coating is a virtually transparent, ultrathin layer of metallic particles (silver, titanium, and zinc), applied in layers to the inner glass surface while hot. Low-E coating does give the glass a slight tint, but it is specially designed to let in optimal amounts of natural light.

The LoE coating regulates two other types of non visible solar radiation:

  • UV Radiation: Ultraviolet light is invisible to the human eye. This wavelength of solar radiation can stream into the home and cause furniture and wall coverings to fade and discolour over time. LoE³ 366 provides exceptional fading protection. It blocks 95% of the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays, protecting your furniture, carpets, curtains and wall coverings for years to come.
  • Infrared Radiation: Transmits heat into an indoor space. Whereas shortwave infrared is heat from the sun, long wave infrared is absorbed heat emitted from other objects, such as windowpanes and objects inside the home.

All Glazing Types
Triple Glazing Options

Cardinal’s Neat coating makes your skylight easier to clean. Skylights with LoE3 Neat® require less maintenance by keeping the glass naturally cleaner.

Cardinal’s Neat is a smooth titanium dioxide (TiO2) coating applied to the outdoor glass surface. It has both photocatalytic and anti static properties. Photocatalytic means the coating absorbs ultraviolet (UV) light and uses it in the decomposition of organic residue on the glass surface.

LoE3 Neat reacts chemically with the sun’s UV rays and causes organic material on the glass to decompose. It even works on cloudy days.

When rain falls on the glass exterior surface, or it is washed, the decomposed dirt rinses away. Neat glass has an exceptionally smooth surface that allows rainwater to ‘sheet off’ and evaporate quickly, greatly reducing water spotting. Neat is available on all Colombia glass options.


Tempered Glass

Tempered (or toughened) glass is a type of safety glass manufactured using controlled thermal processes (heat treated) to increase its strength compared with normal annealed glass. Tempering creates tension between the outside surface and the interior, so the glass shatters in a specific way – when broken, it disintegrates into small pieces that will not do harm.

The advantage of tempered glass is that it reduces the risk of breakage and shatters into small non dangerous pieces.

Laminated Glass

Laminated glass is a type of safety glass consisting of two layers of glass with a thin polymer interlayer sandwiched between them – preventing the glass from breaking into large sharp pieces.

The laminated two ply lens is part of the double or triple glazed glass unit.

Compared to laminated glass, standard annealed glass is the weakest form of glass and breaks into large fragments that are dangerous.

Laminated glass can be broken using excessive force, but the laminated lens is virtually impossible to penetrate. In a double or triple glazed unit, the laminated lens faces the interior of the house – if broken shards of glass will not fall into the room below.

Laminated glass dramatically reduces sound transference from the outside to the inside of your home, reducing traffic or other exterior noise.


For Curb Mount skylights, measure the inside and outside curb dimensions – both measurements will be needed when you place your order – Width x Height. The measurements do not include any interior finishing materials.

For Self Flashing or Deck Mount skylights, measure the inside of the roof opening. Width x Height. Excluding any interior finishing materials.

Visit our measuring a skylight page for more information.


Condensation is caused when warm water vapor (humidity) changes from air to liquid when it contacts hard smooth cooler surfaces like glass. If excessive liquid (mist) forms on the glass it will turn into larger droplets, running down the glass pane and potentially damaging the lightwell and supporting wood framing structure.

In Canada with temperature extremes of 40 to -50c condensation will form on the interior of your windows and skylights. Ensure that the skylight you choose can properly accumulate and dispense condensation build up. Skylights from manufacturers based in southern climates do not address this need for skylights for the Canadian climate.

Condensation is caused by the occupants’ internal activities, such as laundry, cooking, bathing, and exercising, any activity that creates moisture. If the moisture cannot escape, it will form into condensation on hard smooth surfaces like glass and walls.

Columbia has developed the best condensation control technology in the industry, using wide rigid gutters and weeping holes that let the condensation pass harmlessly to the exterior of the home.

Columbia’s Condensation Control Technology was developed over decades of in market experience, research, and product testing.

Learn how to manage condensation in your home.

Columbia’s Condensation Control

Columbia produces both.

We manufacture residential sloped and flat roof skylights – glass and acrylic. Curb Mount and Self Flashing models. Circular Roof Domes. Curb Mount Pyramid skylights.

Glass and acrylic skylights can be used for Commercial applications – we produce an aluminum thermally broken inner frame skylight for larger sizes that require extra strength and rigidity. We also produce Commercial Integrated Curb Skylights.

Our Slimlite division manufactures an extensive range of commercial and residential aluminum acrylic and glass skylights.

Columbia is the exclusive Canadian distributor of FAKRO premium European skylights, roof windows, and flat roof skylights. FAKRO produces a line of deck mount flat roof skylights (industry leading design and quality) that can be installed on residential or commercial applications.

Residential Skylights
Commercial Skylights


A skylight is designed to let a large amount of natural light into a room, more than twice the amount of a similar sized wall mounted window. Skylights can be mounted on a sloped or flat roof, available in a wide range of sizes and installed individually or in a row of multiple units. Skylights typically require building and finishing a lightwell between the roof and ceiling (typically through the attic).

Columbia’s Canadian made skylights are available in glass and acrylic. Maximum sizes: Glass, 4’ x 6’ – Acrylic Dome, 6’ x 10’ – and Square 8’ x 8’. Glass skylights offer ENERGY STAR® certification with the appropriate double or triple glazing.

Sun Tubes

Sun Tubes are designed to bring natural light into smaller spaces, such as a hallway, bathroom, or kitchen. The lens is available in acrylic dome or glass. Sun Tubes can be installed at regular intervals down a hallway, often in combination with artificial light. A Sun Tube in a bathroom can deliver the brightness and clarity of natural light, a quality of light that is hard to replicate with artificial light alone. Sun Tubes come with two diffuser lens options, clear prismatic and soft white.

Sun Tubes have a number of lens and flashing options – sloped roof, flat roof, low profile glass, and curb mount. Sun Tubes collect natural light even on cloudy days due to the ultra-reflective Miro-Silver® aluminum pipe finish, bouncing light downward into the living space.

Columbia offers a rigid and flexible Sun Tube. Rigid sun tubes can be installed through an attic or crawl space, where there is no structural obstacle, such as a wood beam, ducting, or electrical work. If you are unable to install a rigid sun tube, flexible Sun Tube are available.

The rigid Sun Tube come in four sizes (10”, 13”, 18”, 21” diameter), and the flexible model in one size (13” diameter). The glass rigid model is only available in 13”.

Sun Tubes come with a number of accessories to accommodate the needs of all installations.


Brown is still the most popular frame colour. Black and grey have increased in popularity due to changing architectural styles. Most customers want their skylight to match their roofing material colour so it blends into their roof.

Columbia offers seven standard frame colours, more than any other skylight manufacturer or distributor – including our three exclusive anodized options. Our custom colour option can match any roof material – supply a paint chip to your dealer as a reference.

Columbia’s baked on enamel paint finish is formulated for maximum durability, bonding with the aluminum frame, and resisting sun bleaching, fading, and scratching.


No, Columbia has found that most customers want to select a specific fabric that matches their interior design. Columbia can recommend a local blind manufacturer. Working with a custom blind manufacturer provides a greater variety of fabric options – perfectly matching your interior design style.

FAKRO produces a wide range of high quality fabric light filtering and blackout blinds.


Yes, Columbia’s quality skylights can be shipped across North America, and around the world. We offer a standard shipping service to the US.

We have shipped skylights to Dubai, South Korea, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and the Caribbean.

Contact our Customer Service department, and they can help place the order and make the shipping arrangement.

All our skylights are manufactured in Canada and shipped internationally.


Yes, premium European FAKRO skylights (distributed exclusively in Canada by Columbia) provide full Smart Home integration (electric and solar models). FAKRO produces slope and flat roof Smart Home products.

  • FVC-S Curb Mount Solar Venting Skylight
  • FVS Deck Mount Solar Venting Skylight
  • FVE Deck Mount Electric Venting Skylight
  • DEF Solar Flat Roof Glass Venting Skylight
  • DEF Electric Flat Roof Glass Venting Skylight

The skylights come standard with the ZRH12 handheld remote, or you can purchase the ZRW7 Wall Switch.

FAKRO utilizes Z-Wave, one of the most prevalent and trusted Smart Home systems. Z-Wave is used in thousands of products and by many of the world’s most notable companies. Z-Wave has numerous benefits – it does not slow down your WIFI or Bluetooth because it operates with a separate frequency, and it can use any Z-Wave compatible Smart Home Hub – you don’t have to purchase a separate system.

Operate from your Smart Phone, or Tablet, or use voice activation through a Smart Speaker.

Columbia offers conventional manually and electrically operated venting skylights, featuring three remote and motor systems, to match any budget and requirements.


Columbia Manufacturing Co. Ltd. has been manufacturing skylights for the Canadian and North American markets for over 50 years. Bringing the beauty and health benefits of natural light and fresh air ventilation to homeowners and businesses from coast to coast.

Columbia is your complete skylight source, offering the largest selection of skylight models – with the largest selection of standard and custom sizes – glass and acrylic, fixed or venting.

Our products are designed for the Canadian climate and supported by one of the best warranties in the business.

Columbia manufactures in Canada for the Canadian and US markets. 90% of our component parts and materials come from Canada and the US. Our headquarters and production plant is in Burnaby, BC, and our eastern distribution warehouse is in Mississauga, Ontario.

Columbia is the only North American skylight manufacturer recognized by ENERGY STAR®. The recipient of the 2021 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award and 2022 ENERGY STAR Special Recognition Award.


Good news, skylights require minimal maintenance.

Skylight maintenance should be included in your regular household window and roof gutter cleaning schedule, requiring typical roof cleaning products and equipment.

Review our maintenance guidelines for all glass and acrylic models.


Columbia is proud to offer one of the best warranties in the industry. Providing the assurance to our customers that we stand behind the products we manufacture. Columbia skylights are built on the belief that we manufacture the ideal skylight for the North American climate, using the latest technology, manufacturing processes, parts, and materials.

Columbia is the skylight brand trusted by Canadian consumers. Columbia’s Canadian made skylights grace over a million homes and businesses across Canada and the US.


FAKRO’s industry leading warranty represents its global commitment to exceptional performance, energy efficiency, design, and manufacturing quality. FAKRO stands behind everything it manufactures, allowing its customers to rest assured that they have invested in the best skylight in the world, sold in over 50 countries.


Yes, Columbia is proud to be a Canadian manufacturer. Our head office, manufacturing plant, and warehouse are in Burnaby, British Columbia. We have an eastern distribution warehouse in Mississauga, Ontario.

We support Canadian manufacturing and employ a Canadian workforce. We are proud to help generations of Canadians find purposeful employment and lead fulfilling lives.

Columbia maintains strong ties to the local communities where we operate – supporting numerous local charities and causes.


FAKRO skylights, roof windows, and flat roof skylights are made in Poland, part of the European Union. FAKRO’s products are distributed to over 50 countries worldwide, across Europe, the US, and Asia. FAKRO’s mission is to manufacture skylights of exceptional quality, embracing outstanding product design, using the latest parts and materials, and utilizing the latest technological innovation. FAKRO produces the first skylight in Canada to offer Passive House certified quadruple glazing.

Columbia chose to distribute FAKRO skylights, roof windows, and flat roof skylights in Canada to offer the Canadian consumer a wider choice of premium skylights and access to the latest European innovations and manufacturing techniques, many of their models are not available from other skylight manufacturers.


If you still have questions, we are here to help, contact our customer service team.