Sunday, September 16, 2012

Solar tube

One end of the kitchen is always in the dark.  The builder should have put a second window  into the kitchen wall, but then the builder should have designed the kitchen altogether differently, so there’s no point to start griping.  I bought a Velux 10” solar tube about a month ago when it was on sale at the big box lumberyard.  Saturday was cool and cloudy -  the perfect day to install the tube.
A solar tube is simply a tube with a silvered coating inside and a weatherproof clear cap on top that transmits and reflects light into a room.  Well there’s a little more to it than that – elbows, flashing, ceiling diffuser – but you get the idea.

Let me say that this is not the kind of project an amateur should attempt.  If you don’t feel comfortable cutting a hole in your roof and removing shingles you probably shouldn’t try a project like this.  The job went smoothly but took most of the day.  There was an added level of difficulty since the tube went about three feet from the outside wall, making it impossible to access from the attic due to the low pitch of the roof.  So everything had to line up perfectly. 
The dome.

Inside, no lights on.
Does it light up the space?  Yes, it makes big difference.  It’s like having a light on throughout the day.  Right now the dome is shaded most of the day but it still lets a lot of light in.  The ceiling diffuser has two layers of clear plastic with a dead air space between.  That should provide ample insulation.     

1 comment:

Dave said...

Our neighbors put several of these in their new house. It's amazing how much light they let in!

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