Tubular skylights great for homes lacking natural light - AmericaNowNews.com

Tubular skylights great for homes lacking natural light

There's not a single lamp or light fixture that can provide the same bright and cheery feeling of natural daylight.

Even with big windows, it's hard to get sunshine into the darker, center interior of many homes.

Now, you can funnel in the rays right from your roof with a tubular skylight.

These devices are comprised of a domed skylight that sits on the roof and connects to a metal tube capped onto your ceiling with a decorative fixture.

Mike Townsend is the owner of Natural Home Lite and he showed us how it works.

"We're pumping daylight into the home from the roof deck area," says Townsend.

The trick is the highly reflective material lining the cylinder, which can run up to 30 feet, allowing sunlight to funnel all the way to the center of a home.

"It's just bouncing the daylight through the tubing, into the dark area," Townsend says.

America Now visited a woman who had four solar tubes installed in her home. The house was brightly lit even without a single light turned on.

"[It] changed my mood," Jeri Anderson says.

The solar tubes also changed her energy bills.

Her old, traditional skylights were streaming in heat and ultraviolet rays.

"The sunlight would come in and fade the furniture and fade the carpet, but you don't get that with these," Anderson says.

Each tube installation costs between $5,000 to $9,000 and can be installed in less than two hours.

They also come with options including dimmers and an internal bulb that can be used after the sun sets or on a cloudy day.

For dark homes lacking natural daylight, tubular skylights are a pretty bright idea.

Skylights can have a bad reputation for leaking when it rains, but most tubular skylights come with custom flashing, making them weather tight.

Additional Information:

The following information is from GreenBuildingAdvisor.com in an article entitled "Energy Solutions" (Source: http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/energy-solutions/tubular-skylights-introduce-daylight-dark-homes).

  • Tubular skylights have three components: a round, domed plastic skylight that mounts on the roof; an 8- to 22-inch-diameter cylindrical metal tube with a highly reflective interior surface that is usually less that 12 feet long, but in some cases may be over 20 feet; and a diffuser that mounts on the ceiling.
  • Skylights require structural modifications to carry roof loads as well as a large, insulated light-well to bring the light into the living space, a tubular skylight is thin enough that it can fit between roof rafters or trusses and ceiling joists. The installation is much easier and less expensive.
  • Most tubular skylights come with very good flashing kits to make the roof penetration weather tight.
  • It's a great option for home offices, home daycare spaces, and homes for retired seniors-but not as good when homeowners are gone all day.
  • These aluminized surfaces often reflect more than 95% of the light striking them. But because the reflectivity is less than 100%, there are light losses with increasing length of these skylights. A tubular skylight delivering daylight through 20 feet of reflective tube will deliver significantly less light that one with just six feet of tubing.
  • Costs range from about $150 at the low end to over $600 for the largest, deluxe models, plus installation. Among the leading manufacturers of tubular skylights are Solatube International --http://www.solatube.com/--, Sun-Pipe Company --http://www.sunpipe.com/--, Velux --http://www.velux.com/--, HUVCO Daylighting Solutions --http://www.huvco.com/--, Daylighting Technologies --http://www.sun-dome.com/--, Tubular Skylight --http://www.tubularskylight.com/--, Tru-Lite Skylights --http://www.tru-lite.com/--, and Sun-Tek Manufacturing --http://www.sun-tek.com/--.

The website SolarGadgetsInfo.com compares the specs of several tubular skylights (Source: http://www.solargadgetsinfo.com/tubular-skylight-review.html).

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