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solatube vs. skylight vs. ceiling light

5 replies [Last post]
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Joined: Jul 14 2006

Hi there,
while shopping for ideas the solatube came across and looks like a great idea. You even get a tube incl. light so you could get rid the existing ones.
I'm wondering if somebody installed that system and is willing to share the experience.

Thanks
Carl

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Joined: Apr 19 2007

i remember the first time i saw a display of the solatube (goodman's in SF about a decade ago) and i've seen the solatube installed in a few applications -- most recently at a friends bungalow in berkeley. because of the construction and shape, it actually looks more like a recessed florescent light than a source of natural light (theirs is just a tube -- no light... i've not seen the combo units). there's just something about the uneven light that a skylight produces that seems more natural -- and the fact that they are typically a bit more dimensional whereas the solatube's face (again, the ones i've seen installed) are a opaque, diffused glass. having said that, the install of these units is wicked-easy so if it were a choice between nothing and something, these might be better than nothing. our eichler had 2 original skylights in the bath and we added an extra, matching one in the hall come re-roof-time and could not be happier.

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Joined: Jul 14 2006

You have a good point there. It can't replace a window or skylight. It's more of an other light source which works for free after you spend the money upfront. I have some wacky lights in my hallways and was looking for light with a daylight spectrum. Recess light would do that with the right light source but I'm not willing to drop the ceiling to far. The tube thing seemed a smart combination of "skylight" and recess light.

redneckmodern wrote:
i remember the first time i saw a display of the solatube (goodman's in SF about a decade ago) and i've seen the solatube installed in a few applications -- most recently at a friends bungalow in berkeley. because of the construction and shape, it actually looks more like a recessed florescent light than a source of natural light (theirs is just a tube -- no light... i've not seen the combo units). there's just something about the uneven light that a skylight produces that seems more natural -- and the fact that they are typically a bit more dimensional whereas the solatube's face (again, the ones i've seen installed) are a opaque, diffused glass. having said that, the install of these units is wicked-easy so if it were a choice between nothing and something, these might be better than nothing. our eichler had 2 original skylights in the bath and we added an extra, matching one in the hall come re-roof-time and could not be happier.

Joined: Apr 20 2006

My feeling is that solartube skylights were designed for sloped roofs with attics. The 'tube' eliminates the need for the costly framing and sheet rock work required to make a rectangular hole through the ceiling and roof members. Because of this they are easy to install, compared to regular skylights. Solartubes are small and not as attractive, giving much less light than a regular, larger skylight. Their plastic panel is flush with the ceiling. There is no 'box' like in your Eichler. The 'depth' and 'drama' are just missing here.

Search solartube images for a look on-line....this is not Eichler fare.

ABC
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Joined: May 8 2004

Has anyone out there installed or know someone who installed an ODL, Velux and Solatube on an Eichler flat roof?

thanks,

Bob

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Joined: Jul 6 2003

We put a solar tube sky light in place of where the original roof mounted fan was in our kitchen on a sloped roof.  Added $200-$300 to our remodeled kitchen (cheap), provides nices light and plugged an ugly hole. Win, win.

Mark

Mark Hoy Sunnyvale Eichler Owner

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