We’re not going to say that skylights don’t deserve their bad rap. But is there a way to bring beneficial sunlight into windowless spaces in a home, to save on electric lighting costs, without inviting leaks or heat? You might consider tube-style daylighting systems.
Why bring more daylight in?
Firstly, from an energy use perspective, the most cost-effective lighting source is the kind you don’t have to pay the electric company for. If there’s an area of your home that’s too dark, before using a lot of lamps or wiring the room for an (often harsh and unflattering) overhead light source, it’s worth looking at a natural light option for sake of lifetime energy savings.
Of course this is only true if the daylight fixture you’re using blocks heat – older conventional skylights were notorious for heating up a room in summer and driving air conditioning costs. With a tube skylight, the materials used transit light while stopping it from warming spaces.
Then there are all the benefits of getting more natural light in your home. Colors read better and truer in everything from art to upholstery to clothing in daylight compared to artificial light. The sun helps regulate sleep cycles and mood which are in turn related to productivity and even appetite. Those combating seasonal affective disorder to sleep training a young child would do well to consider ways to bring in more sunlight during more hours of the day.
Leak-free, compact, and adaptable to fit most homes
Again, unlike old-style skylights, the footprint of a tube daylighting system is small for the amount of light you get – this is possible thanks to highly reflective coatings in the interior. These innovations can allow the tube to run a surprising distance, through an attic or wall space, even the back of a closet, to get to the desired ceiling location for the fixture, while still conveying bright light. New forms of seals and waterproof flashing on the roof level prevent leaks, and installers back this claim with a workmanship warranty.
Planning to go solar with PV on your roof too? The small size of the collector domes on these skylights is often easy to coordinate with solar, making them very compatible – even in situations where you’re adding one, two, three or more tubular daylight devices to your home.
Wondering what the quality of the light will be from the daylighting product? There’s a world of different fixtures to choose from depending on the lighting effect you prefer, from soft to prismatic, from maximum brightness to dimmable.
Recap, and a Bonus Reason to Choose Daylighting
Plus, there’s a way to save on your tube skylight too! Imagine you have a tube skylight in your home, and the sun is going down at the end of the day. Wouldn’t it be cool if there were a night light integrated into the fixture, that automatically sensed darkness coming on, and used a small solar pv cell to charge an internal battery pack to run the light all night? In fact, tubular skylight makers now offer a version of their systems with this night light kit built in, and it’s even qualified for the same solar energy product investment tax credit that solar energy systems get.
We hope that through this post you’ve learned about the surprising well-kept secret of tubular daylighting systems. We’re fans of the technology – and if it’s a ventilation fan you’re looking for, one tubular skylight maker has an answer for that too!
All this talk of harnessing the power of the sun got you interested in finding out if your home is a good candidate for solar electricity? Give us a call!