Solatube eChoice makes tubular skylights more efficient & less expensive

June 30, 2009

Solatube recently announced upgrades to two models of their tubular daylighting devices (tubular skylights).  The upgrades qualify their products for a 30% Federal Tax Credit under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The two qualifying products are the 160DSe and the 290DSe.  Both are improvements upon the 160DS (the one I installed in my home), and the 290DS.

Solatube is the first company with tubular daylighting devices that exceed low Solar Heat Gain Coefficients (SHGC), and U-Factor ratings specified in the federal Act.     This is why their products qualify for the Federal tax credit!

What are SHGC and U-Factor you ask?  These ratings come from the National Fenestration Rating Council. We demystify both terms in detail for you in a previous article here on GetWithGreen.  Essentially, a low Solar Heat Gain Coefficient means that your window or tubular device will block heat from sunlight.  A low U-Factor means that heat has a difficult time escaping.  These ratings matter to you because the tube from these skylights runs through your attic.  You want to prevent as much heat from coming in during the summer, and limit the amount of heat lost during the winter.    The lower these ratings, the less your attic Read more

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DAYLIGHTING SYSTEMS: A Solatube installation review

August 16, 2008

solatube 160 DS daylighting systemEarlier this Summer, selected a Solatube Model 160 DS Daylighting System for a residential hallway installation. A daylighting system was selected because a dimly lit hallway constantly required energy consumption for lighting — even during daytime hours.

Solatube was selected by because of the sheer amount of clear information on the company’s and reseller’s website, and because it was so easy to find the product locally. It’s now time to update you on the install, and our final opinion of this specific daylighting system.

The Solatube 160 DS installation was a snap. Our contractor installed the daylighting system within 90 minutes, and if you use a Solatube dealer this time could likely fall well below an hour! Our installation did require the wiring of electricity to the daylighting system, so that it could be used during the Read more

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TUBULAR SKYLIGHT: Start saving lighting electricity with Solatube today

May 26, 2008

solatube 160 DS tubular set out last week to purchase a tubular skylight. We needed a tubular skylight for a remodel we are doing, and we chose a tubular daylight device because we wanted to reduce the need for electricity to light a hallway.

Using the list of tubular skylight manufacturers GetWithGreen compiled last year, we selected Solatube. Solatube was selected solely because their website provided the most complete information about tubular daylight device. After a great introductory conversation with Marjorie Clark at Sunlight Concepts, Inc. (Solatube reseller and installer), we decided to drive down and make our purchase.

There are many options when purchasing a tubular daylight device. Here are the items you will need to consider:

  1. How much space are you attempting to light? The Solatube products come in a 10″ diameter (Model 160 DS) and a 14″ diameter (Model 290 DS). Tricky in their naming, the 160 DS means that it lights roughly 160-200 square feet, and 290 DS means it provides coverage for 300 square feet. For our hallway we decided that a 10″ skylight would fit the bill. The 160 DS retails for $350, and the 290 DS for $450. Your contractor will likely receive a discount on these products.
  2. Light or No Light. Solatube sells an optional electrical light fixture that installs inside the skylight for night-time use. This is a really nice option if you are Read more
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