SolarSkyLite DIY Tubular Skylight

flores13September 8, 2009

We are remodling and wanted to find ways to brighten up a dark room. We came across this 10" tubular SolarSkyLite brand (website: at a warehouse store for about $130. It looks pretty good but wanted to know if anyone else has any info on this brand or has one in their home? Or if not this brand what kind do you have and are you pleased with it? Thanks!


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I've seen these in lots of homes. They are absolutely awesome. Definitely worth it.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 7:14PM
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Just make sure whoever installs them does it properly. The only thing you will need to consider is the amount of light it obviously produces. Do you want that amount of light shone in the area you want it? You will not be able to dim it without some physical object covering the hole which you will need to do manually.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 7:24PM
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azlighting...Yes, I am a bit concern about the do-it-yourself. I was checking out the solatube daylighting system which has a dual lens array technology which sounds cool but not sure how well the lighting effects look. I did notice they also sell a daylight dimmer function that would allow to control how much light passes through. But the prices i've seen on this brand of diy is around $350-$450 and if I want a professional to install it runs between $650 and up.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 6:07PM
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I've installed both Solatube and Velux brands and I used to have a preference (from the installation POV) but I can't remember which one any more (it's been a few years). In either case, both are nice for the homeowner and neither is horrible to install.

You might want to download the instruction manual before you make a purchase. Look carefully around you attic and make sure there aren't any obstructions where you want to install the tube. Ideally you want as short a straight line distance as possible between the ceiling a roof (for light transmission efficiency and extension tubes get expensive). Any time you penetrate the roof you need to be careful. Just make sure you read the instructions carefully and follow them. Be careful when you pry up the shingles and do it on a warmish day (shingles break if bent in the cold). If you're not comfortable working on a roof or don't know much about roofing, you might want to pay a professional.

They do add considerable light to a room and my clients usually spent the first week reaching for the light switch when they left the room. :-)

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 8:15AM
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In addition to Mike's comments, I started installing the solarskylite kit. Just wanted to say that before you start cutting holes, you have enough of the tube to fill the attic space between the roof and the ceiling. I started the install and thought I should measure - good thing too - the length of supplied tube isn't enough for my attic space. I had to buy more.

Mike's comment about people reaching for the lite switch is funny. My visting brother in law was doing the same thing. Kept trying to shut off the lite.

Also, I noticed on the solarskylite site they sell a dimmer option. don't know how much, but it's an option.

I'm installing a lite kit as well so I can use the same space where the existing lite is and still have lite when the sun is down.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 11:12PM
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Take a look on youtube for video's showing example of
installations. It's worth the time.

I saw, if you have 2 stories, an installation where
lighting was created on the first story by slots of holes
with glass flooring installed next to the wall in the floor
separating the 2 stories.

Lighting from the top story which was piped in very close
to these in floor glass capped slots along the wall gave
a wash of light to the first story wall.

It really worked.

It was from one of the BBC 'Grand Designs' series but
I can't tell you which of the 100 shows over 12 years sorry.

I'm a scientist and work a lot with lighting. It's seemed
to me that the design of the tube is stable and can't
be improved much.

However I firmly believe that the cap which is the important optical part of the system has the potential
to vastly improve or degrade the performace especially
on days where you might have overcast or during change
of season where the Sun is lower in the sky. Without
a consideration of these changes the cap on the tube
can't work right.

Ones I've seen, and I'm no experienced with them, had
only a frosted globe. Another had a directed capture
shape with angled pieces which was meant to point at
the source of light. If I bet on which one gathered more
light during periods of dim light I'd pick the one that
points at the source of light. today with our designs
and especially the economnic conditions you will see
people working harder for your Dollar and that means
innovative designs which work better.

No one can afford to be found to be faking a 'good design' so I would trust that if you find new products do a search
for reviews from reputable sources and then check youtube
and write up a request her for replies.

Do your homework and you'll enjoy your investment
more than if you simply buy it.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 5:44AM
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