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Solatube?? Anybody here got one?
Old 06-22-2010, 05:23 PM   #1
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Solatube?? Anybody here got one?

Like many others here, since I am spending more time at home I am getting around to doing all of the things that I always wanted to do or at least have thought about (off and on) for the past umpteen years....just this year I've extended the width of the driveway, put a new exhaust fan in the upstairs bath, replaced the attic roof fan, installed chimney caps to keep the critters at bay and repaired (replaced) a driveway drain that NOW takes the water underground to the lake (as originally deisgned) and I no longer have to worry about water backing up in the garage when it rains .....OK....so I didn't actually DO all of this....but having it done and paying for it counts too, right??

My next projects include the new deck that will replace an old brick patio...running the gas line for the new Weber grill (check out another thread about that!)....and as we live in an older house that is rather dark, I am looking at installing a Solatube in several spaces in the house....

(FINALLY HE GETS TO THE POINT OF THE POST!)

I've known about these for several years and have researched them to the point of driving myself crazy....check out their web site via a google search if you're interested as I'm not sure of protocol here, but I don't want this to turn into an ad for them....just hoping that SOMEONE here might actually have one??....or maybe seen one at a friend's or relative's house?? Anyone??
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Old 06-22-2010, 05:27 PM   #2
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Yes, I got one installed many years ago. Worked well. Wanted to install another one for the bathroom upstairs, but somehow never got to ordering it. My mother has a couple in her hallway and for an inside bathroom with no window. Worked well for her too. It will not admit as much light as a skylight, but much easier to add on of course. AND MUCH LESS RISK OF ROOF LEAKS!

Being a handyman, I should look into self installation too.
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:17 PM   #3
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I've installed three - two 14" and one 10". I found the installation to be very easy and straight forward - about 4 hours each. My house is heavily shaded and DW hated how dark the upstairs was. So, I installed a 14" in the hallway and a 10" in "her" bath. When I remodeled "my" bath, I installed a 14" over the sink and it literally transformed that room. I insulated the tubes, though it was not specifically part of the instructions. I find heat gain / loss to be minimal. The lens on the ceiling removes easily to clean out the occasional fly that manages to get in and die there.

My advice is to install the largest one that you can afford. Because the area goes up with the square of the diameter, a 14" provides much more light than a 10" . There is / was even an energy credit for installing one.
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:24 PM   #4
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I got one in my previous house, and liked it so much I put 2 in the next house I had constructed. I like them a lot, they add light in places like bathrooms and halls where you might not have a window, and as you probably know, they fit between the joists. I like them better than skylights because the diffuse the light better. The only place they don't work well (I've heard) is if you have heavy tree cover over your house. You won't get enough sun to bring in much light.

Edited to say that travelover just gave first hand experience on the heavy shade. I'd think in that case the wider diameter would be most important, but it sounds like it does work, unlike what I'd heard.
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Old 06-22-2010, 08:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
...................

Edited to say that travelover just gave first hand experience on the heavy shade. I'd think in that case the wider diameter would be most important, but it sounds like it does work, unlike what I'd heard.
I have trees all around my house which block a lot of window light , but they don't overhang the roof. So the sun has a relatively straight shot down the tube
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Old 06-23-2010, 06:33 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies! Your comments mirror those from the Solatube websites and comments that I have found elsewhere via googling these things. I guess I just need to get off of my butt and go check them out so I can actually SEE one in person....my only obstacle there is that the closest dealer is 20 miles from me across a bridge and tunnel that are heavily traveled (and usually backed up) most of the day....and I really don't like having to go there .....ahhhh, the perils of RE

I don't suppose anyone has a pic or two handy as I'd love to see any regular pics that haven't been enhanced for sales purposes....

Thanks again!
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Old 06-23-2010, 07:22 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by VaCollector View Post
Thanks for the rep...............my only obstacle there is that the closest dealer is 20 miles from me across a bridge and tunnel that are heavily traveled (and usually backed up) most of the day....and I really don't like having to go there .....ahhhh, the perils of RE
................
I bought mine at Home Depot.
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:02 AM   #8
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Costco has the 10". - as earlier said, about 1/2 the area of the 14". Sold a 14" awhile back - the plastic protection film had aged onto the inner shiny tube and was a bugger to remove - think flex tube is more common now and easier to work with. Sunlight is bluer and cooler than incandescent - I don't care for a light fixture that shines blue in bathrooms, though my bath skylight doesn't bother me. Go figure. Here's a pic from my old ad so you can see real life parts.
Craigslist :: 003.jpg picture by calmloki - Photobucket
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:16 AM   #9
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Forgot about the picture. Here is my bath ceiling with skylight. Other fixture is a heater.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Skylight.JPG (20.4 KB, 33 views)
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:45 AM   #10
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Just piling on here - we have 2; a 10 inch and a 14. Get the big one! We have these installed in bathrooms that had no windows. When they were first installed I kept trying to turn out the light on the way out the door

Ours are ten years old now and were installed by a roofing company when we re-roofed as an incentive. They are still in great shape.
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