Natural light lifts spirits, makes spaces appear larger, and reveals our world in its true color. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, it also reduces eyestrain, increases our productivity, and lessens electrical demand. Unfortunately, today’s buildings rarely have enough natural light.
But, now it’s possible to change that with affordable, yet highly advanced tubular skylights. A newer option to the standard skylights, Solatubes are great for areas of your home which don’t have direct access to a roof such as attic’s, closet’s, or entry ways. Choose from a compact 10″ size for smaller spaces or 14″ for larger living areas.
How Do They Work?
Solatube captures light through a dome on the roof and channels it down through our patented internal reflective system. This tubing is far more efficient than a traditional drywall skylight shaft, which can lose over half of the potential light. The tubing will fit between rafters and will install easily with no structural modification. At the ceiling level, a diffuser that resembles a recessed light fixture spreads the light evenly throughout the room.
How does a Solatube compare to a traditional Skylight?
While traditional skylights have their place, as do Solatubes, a comparison highlights the many benefits of a Solatube where often a skylight cannot be an option.
Traditional skylights are unable to accomplish the same performance results with similarly sized products because the materials used for the light shaft (drywall) are ineffective in transferring light.
With a traditional skylight, the cost of the skylight is only a portion of the total materials cost. One must also add in the cost of framing members, paint, drywall, etc. Then, labor becomes a very large portion of the cost because a contractor must frame out the skylight shaft, drywall it, tape it, then paint it. He must also flash it on the roof.
The cost of a Solatube is competitive with other quality skylights, but the cost of installation is a fraction of a traditional skylight because Solatubes do not require a shaft to be constructed. Solatubes round design and one piece flashing system allows water and debris to flow past unobstructed.
Traditional skylights have a reputation of leaking. Many times this is an issue of incorrect installation, but their square design invites problems. First, the flat up slope side collects branches, leaves and other debris, that interferes with proper drainage. As the water dams up, it migrates under shingles or tiles to find an escape route, ergo leaking.
Traditional skylights do not offer any optical enhancement devices to help increase performance. On the north side of a sloped roof, the skylight is rendered virtually useless without these devices