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Solar tube lights

Post in 'The Green Room' started by wingsfan, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. wingsfan

    wingsfan Feeling the Heat

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    I have a bathroom in the hallway of our house that is in the middle of the house, so it has no window in it. I am thinking of installing a solar light tube in it... Just wondering if anyone has one in there home, and do they throw out the light? Also any DIYers ,, how was the install?

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  2. wingsfan

    wingsfan Feeling the Heat

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    Just seen the Green Room,,, Moderators please move.. Thanks
  3. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

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  4. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    I put two 14" Velux brand tubes in my living room. I'm quite pleased, but it was a special case....the living room is on the North side of my house, and has N facing windows with deep overhangs from a covered deck. IOW, you look out the windows and see a daylit scene, but get almost no light in the windows. Always makes the room seem dark during the day. The tubes are perfect cuz they 'track' the outdoor light level. If it sunny out, there is enough light indoors to make it seem ok. IF its cloudy out, the room still matches the window.

    Basically, an expensive designer item, not a pragmatic affordable lighting system. I wouldn't pay for them in a room unless I was going to spend a lot of time in the room AND cared about the 'look' of the room a bit. My living room, yes. A bathroom, nope.
  5. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    As for the light, I have measured each tube puts out about 3000 lumens at noon on the equinoxes, maxes out at 7000 lumens at noon in June. This matches the expected output from the manufacturer specs. For comparison, a 55W fluorescent torchiere puts out ~3000-4000 lumens.
  6. dave_dj1

    dave_dj1 Member

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    I have installed the light tubes for customers and the results are amazing! One was in the master bath and right in front of the shower, it was perfect. The other went down a closet to the first floor and in the middle of a kitchen (over the island). I would say for the cost of them and ease of install they are worth having.
    A word if you are not familiar, you will have to cut through the roof and flash properly and the tube material is VERY thin and flimsy. You have to ensure to keep dust and finger prints off it too. Get a good grade of "real" duct tape, not the cloth stuff that has become the norm, real stuff is metal and very sticky.
    good luck,
    dave
  7. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    I installed two Solatube lights in our house, one in an interior bathroom that was always dark and a light had to be turned on every time you went in, and the 2nd in an entry way with no windows and similarly dark. The bathroom tube is on the south side of the house with gable roof and the entry way tube is on the north side of the gable. Both work almost unbelievable well, accomplish their purpose, no more need to turn on lights during the daytime. They both function as night lights when the moon is out. One has been installed since 2006 and the other installed in 2011. No problems of any kind, don't fog up in our cold N MN climate, no roof leakage issues.

    But, they are expensive. I doubt they ever will pay their way in saved electricity, but they more than pay their way in convenience, comfort from near daylight in their respective locations, and keep the house bright. There are less expensive tube lights available than the Solatube. I have no experience with them.

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