Solatubes

Bridget19August 12, 2014

Wondering if anyone has experience with these during construction and if you like them. We have an area of the house that I would love to have more natural light in and I think this would be a good choice.

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Trebruchet

As I left this bathroom, I flipped the wall switch to try to turn off the solatube; that's how well they work.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 11:08AM
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musicgal

They are wonderful. Truly one of the best things we put in the house. Even on a cloudy day, they eliminate the need for artificial lighting in the back hallway.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 11:50AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

We have 2 in interior spaces and really like them.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 12:01PM
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Bridget19

Thanks, what is the average cost of them?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 12:22PM
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musicgal

With installation, our 4 tubes ran in the 4K range. The tubes themselves are not pricey... it is the know-how and labor. But, we would do it again in a heartbeat. If we have any regrets, it's that we didn't install more:)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 12:32PM
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musicgal

With installation, our 4 tubes ran in the 4K range. The tubes themselves are not pricey... it is the know-how and labor. But, we would do it again in a heartbeat. If we have any regrets, it's that we didn't install more:)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 12:36PM
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housebuilder14

does it look funny on your roof?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 12:43PM
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musicgal

Can't even see them- the way our roof is angled.
They set up with a small dome that has less visual clutter than a vent turbine.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 12:49PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

We purposely put the dome on the back side of the house so it's not seen from the front and it is on the south side for max sunshine exposure. I don't recall the cost but installation wasn't cheap.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 8:12PM
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lazy_gardens

If you have them installed during the build, it's easier than retrofitting them.

We had a roofer install and flash the domes when the roof was replaced, then ran the tubes ourselves. The domes are inconspicuous.

LOVE THEM! One in the garage, and one in each bath means we don't have to turn on the lights in there to use the toilet or go to the freezer during the day.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 9:33PM
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aimless07

Trebuchet, I really want one for our hallway bathroom like you've got. That will be the only room in the house that won't have a window. I just don't know if we could work that into the budget.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 10:27PM
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r2d2indy

I see people installing solatubes when there is no light, but if there is a window, would you suggest still going with it?
We made sure all bathrooms had windows and potentially could install solatubes too, but will be cost prohibitive.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 8:04AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

maz, it's up to you how bright you want the room during the day...is it a north facing room so dark? They are truly optional as you will need electric light for night time or cloudy days anyway. We put ours only in windowless spaces...laundry room and dressing area.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 8:55AM
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annkh_nd

We put two in our dining room, even though there is a patio door nearby. Now we often don't turn on the light for meals - it's wonderful!

We had a friend (who happens to be a contractor) install them - I think he charged us around $400, plus the cost of the tubes.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 9:10AM
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Bridget19

I am sold on these...going to add them. What you recommend for a 13x13 room, how many??

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 9:19AM
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musicgal

Bridget- One would lighten up the space considerably- two would light it up brightly. They really are very poweful. I could do craftwork on my hallway counter, even with my old eyes:)
Take into account your location- Seattle will be more overcast than Miami, say... also, they should be located away from direct shade on the roof. The lens will still gather light but it won't be as bright.
There a several types- mine is the basic solatube. Then there is one that stores solar energy and lights up at night. Others are basic with baffles that you can shut if you want to darken the room they are in.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 12:19PM
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lucy-bcs-texas

Following up on Musicgal's comment about baffles. VERY important you don't skip this if the Solatube is going into, say, a bedroom.

How do I know this???

Well, a relative of mine had a Solatube put into a very dark bedroom. She cheaped out and didn't spend the money (maybe it was $75??) for the baffle. Result was no one could sleep in that room because the sun was blazing in from early morning until early evening.

A I recall, some visitors dummied up a cardboard cover for the thing . . . Others slept on the couch in the living room.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 4:35PM
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Bridget19

I will add the baffles then!!! I LOVE that you all are raving about them!!!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 5:00PM
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Flint2013

We put 2 in our garage and wish we had put one in a windowless bathroom.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 6:09AM
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msmagoo

Do any of the tubes have lights installed in them? or do you just put a light fixture elsewhere in the room? What brands of tubes are best?
Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 9:59PM
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robin0919

Do they bring in heat along with the light or is there some kind of filter that only allows light?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 11:08PM
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Bridget19

wondering about the heat too?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 9:08AM
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bpathome

Our 2 solatubes in the upstairs hall had lights incorporated in them. The one in the windowless bathroom did not, because we wanted lights over the sink and the solatube was in the middle, with a bathroom fan incorporated in it.

When I put my hand to the solatubes in the summer, I did feel a little heat, about as much as from a ceiling light, but less than came in from the window or skylight, but I didn't feel that it heated up the space. Mine were installed in about 2002, they've added more features since then (like baffles) and I think even better filtered/insulated. If you are using them in a bedroom, definitely baffles. In a living space, not so much.

I loved that, instead of turning on the lights all winter long, we only turned them on at night.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 10:26AM
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