Tubular Skylights for Bright Rooms and Utility Savings
Do you have a home that could use more sunlight in some rooms? To get it are you having to keep curtains open exposing a lot of window area? Or, have you considered adding window area to brighten up some rooms? What about interior rooms that don’t have an exposed wall where you can install a window?
Some homes have traditional skylights, the large square or rectangular openings in the ceiling and with roughly the same size structures on the roof to let the sunlight into the space. These traditional skylight styles work, but they’re subject to inefficiency and a lot of roof exposure to leakage as they age. Large window areas and inefficient skylights increase your costs for heating and cooling as well.
However, the main issue with trying to get a traditional skylight into a ceiling that will provide the volume of light desired is that there isn’t room in the attic space for the transition structure from the roof to the ceiling. For this reason, many rooms can’t benefit from a skylight because of space limitations in getting light from the roof to the ceiling.
The Tubular Skylight Differences
The tubular skylight is more efficient than the traditional skylight and requires less space in transitioning from the roof to the home space. There are three components:
Rooftop dome: The dome is installed on the roof, is round, and usually much smaller than traditional skylights.
Reflective tube: The tube is designed to efficiently carry light from the roof to the room by using a reflective interior surface that keeps bouncing the light along the path to the room instead of absorbing it.
Diffuser: This is the ceiling fixture that receives the light and diffuses it into the room.
Some companies have designed reflective tubing so efficient that it can carry light for 20 to 40 feet from the roof to the space. Think about the potential this unlocks in a home that may not have the solar exposure that works for the traditional skylight.
A room that’s on the north side of the home can now have a skylight dome installed on the southern roof exposure where it will get more light for longer periods. The tube reflects that light through its length to the other side of the home to light up the room.
What about periods of too much light or too little available at the dome end? Some manufacturers are providing motorized dampers to restrict some of the light during the brightest periods. That’s great for bright daylight, but once the sun goes down, it’s lights out; or maybe not. There are LED, light emitting diodes, that provide light in the solar spectrum and are activated when the light coming through the tube drops.
Now you can take that dark interior room on the north side of your home, transport sunlight to it during the day, modulate it if necessary, and replace it with artificial sunlight when you want it. Sometimes when we think of buying a different home or doing major costly modifications or renovations, the addition of a tubular skylight or several can make all the difference.
A trained installer can determine the best locations for the components and efficient routing of the tubing, so think about getting some advice and more light into those dark rooms.