Sun tunnel reflecting blue light?

siena_s_dadOctober 22, 2007

Does anybody have experience with sun tunnels? We are installing 2 in our rebuilding. The builder provides the tunnels. However, we took a 1st look today and found that the light coming out is blue instead of natural light. It looks like an early Holloween in our bathrooms. The builder said that is the way the tube reflectors are. The only alternative is to get foil tube but there will be less light. The glass on the tunnel is also an ugly frosted glass. We want the glass to be smoother. My wife has complained about it all afternoon. Are there any options out there to remedy this? I don't mind paying for 2 new sets as long as it makes W happy.

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sweeby

I don't know if there's any way to rectify it -- but our Sun Tunnels (Velux brand) also cast a very blue-whiteish light. Since our paint color scheme is warm-toned, I'm not sure how well this is going to work...

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 10:32AM
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sierraeast

Sun pipe uses only galvanized/polished reflective ducting as well as galvalume roof jack. You have a choice of different difusers.

Here is a link that might be useful: tube lights

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 11:53AM
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lynne_melb

We have the Solatube brand. I don't see any blue to the light that comes in.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 3:30PM
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siena_s_dad

Just checked. Our blue devil is ODL Solar Flair. Yuck. Called Solartube dealer today. Each 14'' will cost $460. They don't sell parts. Gotta buy the whole set and reinstall.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2007 at 12:27AM
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sierraeast

Depending on your diameter, sun pipe will sell you the galvanized reflctive ducting seperately. It does not emit blue or any other color of the spectrum, just natural light.They also have a wide variety of diffusers.We are impressed with ours ,quality product.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2007 at 10:06AM
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jr1318

Just a silly question, did the installer remove the blue protective film from the inside of the tunnel? I just installed one last week and it did cast blue until film was removed.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 2:09AM
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oruboris

Do you have any theater friends? They could get you a pink gel for next to nothing.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 2:57PM
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evans

Ditto on jr. There is a blue plastic film!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 12:31AM
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sweeby

Not the problem here... We did remove the blue film.
And the light is more white than blue - just not as warm as I'm used to.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 12:08PM
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siena_s_dad

This board is so resourceful. I asked the builder whether he removed the blue film or not today and he swore he did. But he promised to double check.

Actually, the light is more natural on a very sunny day, but becomes blue on a cloudy day or in late afternoon during low light. The whole diffuser looks blue. So if the blue film is not the issue, then I hope to get new ducts. Thanks a lot.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 6:58PM
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siena_s_dad

Oruboris, are you suggesting applying some pink gel in the tube right above the diffuser to neutralize the color of the incoming light? Is pink the best color to neutraliz blue? I suppose I can give that a shot before I toss the reflective tubes out.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 10:01PM
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mikie_gw

fwiw
Natural daylight is quite blue compared to the yellowish light that is output by most home use light bulbs.

We seem to grow accustomed to it through our windows but put a daylight fluorescent light bulb in the middle of a room and people complain about the whitish_blue light.

I put a 20watt daylight fluorescent on-top of a partition wall... because at the time of purchase they didnt have any warm white lamps. Â A few days later swapped it with an existing 20 watt warm white tube hidden over the kitchen sink.
Don't notice that bluish light next to that kitchen window but it sure sticks out reflecting off the ceiling in a darkened room.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 10:12AM
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oruboris

You could use any color you liked, but pink is usually the favored color for natural, healthy looking skin tones. If you find a source [online theatrical supply?], you might want to get a couple different colors to try.

In the world of film photography, portraits are usually shot on pink toned kodak film as opposed to the cooler Fuji film.

For outdoor shots, the light at dawn tends to be quite pink, noon is blue, and dusk is golden.

Our brains actually have built in color correction so we don't notice this. It's why a film photograph indoors without flash looks so wierd-- yellow under incandescent light, greenish under flourescent. The light hasn't changed, our preception of it has.

But when we have two different light sources in one space, the brain tends to 'normalize' the dominant one, and declare the other 'wrong'.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 2:37PM
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siena_s_dad

Just want to report back the results of my experiment. Taking oruboris's advice, I consulted my photograher friend. He picked out the yellow Rosco lighting gel for me. It is a 24''x24'' thin square piece of film at a cost of $6.95 each. The staff at the Palo Alto photograhy store also agreed that yellow gel was the best to neutralize blue light. I went with it since our bathroom is painted yellow. There are many Rosco series. I just pick up whatever they have in store. You can also order online.

I had the contractors cut them and place them right over the diffuser. Lo and behold, the light coming down the celing warmed up instantly. There is about a 15% loss in the brightness. But the blue is gone and the tone is softer and warmer. Wife is happy.

So $14 and this board do the job of what would have been a $1,500 replacment. Thank you for helping, guys.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 2:52PM
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oruboris

I'm thrilled that it worked! Since originally posting to this thread, I had a cheap brand installed in my main bath. Because it receives no direct sun, it is a very cool, 'sky' blue...

So I'll probably end up taking my own advice!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 10:49PM
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marciem

adding this to an old thread: We had 2 Tubular skylights installed yesterday (9/19/13). I was shocked and extremely disappointed seeing the blue fluorescent light cast, nothing like the natural sunlight I was expecting. I knew I could not live with this and needed to find a way to get rid of the blueness and soften the starkness of the light coming through. I found the product Rosco Lighting Gel (but it is not a gel or liquid) very good advice. I bought it through a Theatrical Lighting center near by and found out it is very commonly used for stage lighting effects and photography. It comes in hundreds of different colors and basically a very thin sheet of plastic. I used the glass circle as a pattern, traced around it, and then cut the circle out with a pair of scissors. Start to finish...just taking a couple of minutes and the price per sheet of Lighting Gel was $6. Inexpensive, easy fix !
I first tried a very pale shade of yellow, better... but was still disappointed as it now cast a slight green hue. I went back to the store and bought a very faint Caucasian âÂÂfleshâ color, that worked perfect. The actual color is R3410. It completely softened the harshness so now no hint of blue/fluorescent casting whatsoever.
Rosco Lighting Gel is easily available, I have 2 stores within 3 miles of my Southern California home or IâÂÂm sure it can be purchased on line as well if you google it.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 7:31PM
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kcthatsme

Thanks for the tip!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 3:19AM
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abzgr

Has anyone ever tried to paint the tube white to reduce the florescent like quality of the light?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 2:26PM
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