solar tubes or skylights

nolakateMarch 29, 2008

i have appreciated all the info in the posts. i am having a manufactured home made and want to add skylights or solar tubes. has anyone else had these, how did they work? what size gives best light into the room for least cost? thanks for any advice, K

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I have neither but I have been in shops where the solar tubes have been used. The Amish in PA use them as some shops don't have electricity. The tubes work very well and don't add heat in to the space in the summer. I would put one in with no reservations if I wanted just some light in an area. A skylight is great if you want to flood the room with light. But in time, will they leak? You must clean them and that usually means a ladder inside the house.
I would favor the tubes.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 6:51AM
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    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 2:17PM
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I have a fixed velux (at least 4 ft long) that was installed in our livingroom 12 years ago.
The room was a cave.. very dark. It was just what we needed. No problems with it. If you have one installed theres a few options you can have done..
1 is to have the opening be angled wider at the bottom (where it comes thru the inner ceiling) than the top to let in more light.
2. this is cool.. saw it done.. instead of having the skylight put directly onto the roof, have a box built to raise it up 2 ft or so above the roof. The box forms the light tunnel and makes it appear your roof is much higher.
The solutubes look like they'd be better in dark halls or bathrooms. I've seen now they have a unit you mount in one place and it has tubes that are routed to different rooms..
so only 1 main hole.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 10:44AM
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FWIW, We have solar tubes and LOVE them! 5yrs. and zero problems. We should have installed more as we like them that much!
Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 8:10PM
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We have both. We have a solar tube in our guest bath. There are no windows in there but you don't notice because of the tube. We save lots of power because we don't need to turn on the lights unless it is nighttime. We have a 2x4 skylight over the peninsula in our kitchen. I love the way it brings in the light over my favorite work area. It is a problem to clean. It is so high up, we can't get to it except to put a ladder on top of the counter and then climb up. My only regret is that we should have put a solar tube in our walk-in master closet.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 10:44PM
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is there anyway to clean the bugs out of a solar tube? I can't figure out if there is anyway to take the cover off from inside the house.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 10:59AM
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i have been hoping to do a solar tube in our windowless bath someday

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 12:13PM
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We have 4 smaller skylights & One very large one in our kitchen I love the light it gives us. The only problem is they have been leaking the last few years. We need to do something about it but don't know exactly what to do. My husband has threatened to take them out & board them up. I'd go for the tubes unless they are problems also

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 8:23PM
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the one i'm getting has a skylight in the kitchen - no sign of any leaking. it brings in a lot of light - love it!

having one / tube in a big closet would be a very good idea!

my sister had 2 skylites in her mfg home - 1 in kitchen and 1 in the mstr bath. she had it 9 yrs and no problems.

i would think if it's leaking someone needs to go up on the rooftop and reseal around where it joins the roof... I'd check with a place that sells them / window place - they might have special stuff to use.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 7:16PM
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I would like to put a window above the door in the guest bath to let light in. It is interior door, opens into laundry room, and the window would just be in the wall.Pane of glass framed in. Not an opening window. Not sure there is enough room. Going to have to poke around there to see about headers over the door and all. Guess this would also be called a transom.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 11:05PM
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oh - I love a transom! we had those in houses we lived in when I was a kid! and someone put one of those in a kitchen remodel (over on kitchens). I love it! great idea to get light into that room.

I wish I had a window in my laundry room - one thing I'm missing - but I do plan to replace the door next year so I'll check out a door with a window when the time comes.

keep us posted on the transom - what you find out about it - maybe something on HGTV on putting those in?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 2:09AM
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We had one installed at the time of manufacture in our MH, but afterward can be tricky. I know folks who had skylights put in afterward and had problems, but not sure about the tube lights. You will really want to go to a reputable installer. Check them out and get some guarantee on the leaking. They have to be sealed well and the installation is important also. I would love to have one put in my laundry room but we are hesitant on this for sure.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 12:25PM
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I'm having the same problem. How do you clean them? Is there a way to get the cover off inside the house??

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 10:29AM
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If the tube is properly installed and sealed, bugs should not be getting in. But if they have, the methods of removing the diffuser to clean them out varies depending on the product. The SolaTube website has a pdf fact sheet on how to open and clean several of its products. If you know who manufactured your solar tube and what model it is, check the manufacturer's website for similar instructions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Solatube cleaning and care

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 8:19AM
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I put in a large skylight when we remodeled our kitchen. One choice you need to make is if you want clear or frosted. The skylight guy told me that the frosted diffuses the light better and because it is double glass, you don't see dirt on the outside dome. When the roof was open (skylight not installed yet), I could see how the light would be more direct. I love the frosted skylight! We replaced an old skylight (clear) for a frosted one in a stairwell at the same time as our remodel. It really made a difference in the lighting. Last week I had 2 more (frosted) skylights put in my bathroom remodel, one (2'x2') over the new shower and one(17"x36") over the vanity. They are wonderful!

We have lived in our house for 20 years. The house had 2 skylights to begin with, they never leaked. Our house is a flat roof and the skylights are installed on a curb.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 11:23PM
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