The Skylight Calendar Frame Can Keep a Family Organized In Digital Fashion

Skylight Calendar
There are four different calendar views to choose between to show your events. TYLER HAYES

It looks like a digital photo frame, but the Skylight Calendar is simply that, a calendar. Sure, it can display photos when, and if, you tell the display to go to sleep, but that's not its primary job. The Skylight Calendar is all about organization and keeping a family on the same page.

The idealized role this product serves is immediately obvious, even if your family doesn't currently use a centralized calendar. Everyone can imagine a world, inside their home, where all practices, evening meetings, weekend activities and parent-teacher conferences are all visible at a glance every time you pass the frame.

The only problem is that keeping calendars up to date, especially with kids' activities, takes work. So, the Skylight Calendar will ultimately only ever be as good as the work you put into it.

TL;DR

Pros:

  • Supports a wide range of calendar hosting services
  • Unique email address for adding new events

Cons:

  • Calendar doesn't support portrait orientation
  • Limited photo support

Buy at Skylight.

A Calendar or a Photo Frame?

One of the most confusing aspects of the Skylight Calendar is that it looks like a digital photo frame, but it isn't. You can display photos on it, but only when the calendar goes to sleep. By default, the display won't go to sleep. In the settings, you can turn sleep on and set it to turn on after 1 to 10 minutes. Once it goes to sleep, the screen will start displaying photos you have selected from your library.

Skylight Calendar
The device has a single position angle stand to rest on, or it can hang on the wall. TYLER HAYES

When the calendar displays photos, it looks nice, but there are no controls for the pictures. It will show each picture for about 10 seconds, continually rotating at a fast pace. Skylight's other product, the Skylight Frame, is an internet-connected photo frame that hedges on the side of simplicity. Despite the similarity between these products, the company seems to be largely differentiating on the software side and pushing the $39 a year Photo Plus subscription plan.

If you do primarily want a calendar frame, the pickings are slim. Google's Nest Hub is one option, but it's much more multipurpose than strictly a calendar. You could repurpose a plugged-in iPad with the display on a calendar app and set to never sleep, but it wouldn't have an elegant look.

The Skylight Calendar is the go-to product in this, admittedly narrow, product category. And it's good at what it does.

What Can a Digital Calendar Frame Do?

Setting up your personal calendars on the frame is especially easy if you use Google, Apple, Outlook, Yahoo or Cozi. You sign in and Skylight handles the rest. Your calendars are also mirrored and viewable in the Skylight app, as well. You can configure the calendars with different names and colors in the app, as well. There are ways to add the popular sports app TeamSnap in Skylight's FAQ.

Additionally, the Skylight email you created during setup can be added as a guest to any event, and that event will then show up on your frame. You can give this email address to other people, and they will be able to add events to your calendar, too.

Skylight Calendar
Even though the calendar can stand vertically, the information does not rotate to portrait. TYLER HAYES

On the Skylight Calendar, there are several different views of your events available. The multiple layouts are helpful, but likely each family will arrive at what works for their schedule and probably won't change it much. That's how I settled into using it at my family's house. We don't have a schedule that is packed to the minute, so we didn't use the daily view much. The weekly and monthly views were the ones that were the most helpful here.

While it's probably still easiest to add events from your phone and have them sync to the frame, you can add them from the device itself. You can also add grocery items that will sync over to the Skylight app. If you go all-in on the Skylight Calendar, then handling grocery items is handy, making it another place to check for needed items to buy at the store.

The calendar's touchscreen is decent. It works well enough for its purpose of minimal text entry, but beyond, it can feel a little cheap compared to a modern phone or tablet screen. The company doesn't share tech specs for resolution and screen type. It's definitely bright enough and usable in all lighting conditions. You can control the brightness if the automatic setting is not to your liking.

Should You Buy the Skylight Calendar?

If you primarily want a photo frame, the Skylight Calendar probably isn't for you. It will display photos, but it is not positioned for that use. This product wants to live in your kitchen or the place in your home that your family coalesces. The white, glossy exterior is attractive, but the product is all about productivity and utility.

Despite its $159 price, and even with no discounts, there aren't many other competitors for the calendar in its price point. It stands alone in a lot of instances. I think candidates for this product are families who already have a paper calendar plastered on the wall that they use regularly. This is a perfect device to transition that habit to a fully digital schedule.

Buy at Skylight for $159.

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