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
May 26, 2008
GetWithGreen.com 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:
- 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.
- 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
July 15, 2007
Skylights are likely something you are considering during your remodel. Skylights enable you to turn on fewer lights during the day, and offer natural lighting (“daylighting”) to your home. There are a host of solution providers that offer “tubular skylights” or what are now called “daylighting systems” for home remodeling situations where space is an issue, or perhaps there is considerable distance between your roof and the point where you want the light (e.g. a tall attic). For this situation, a tubular skylight is ideal to “pipe” in natural lighting.
A daylighing system/tubular skylight is composed of three parts: an acrylic rooftop dome and flashing, a reflective light pipe, and an interior diffuser (images below from ODL, Inc.). With most of these products, the reflective tube can bend around obstructions, or connect nonaligned roof and ceiling penetrations. Some products include other features such as compact-fluorescent lights or ventilation fans.
Below is a list of manufacturers. If you have experience with any of them please leave a Comment for GetWithGreen readers!
Solatube International, Inc. – Brighten Up Series or SolaMaster Series
HUVCO, Daylighting Solutions – offer an online tool to configure a skylight
ODL, Inc. – ODL Tubular Skylights
Velux – Sun Tunnel Tubular Skylights
DayLite, Natural Lighting Technologies – DayLite Tube
Daylighting Technologies – Sun-Dome Tubular Skylights
Sun-Tek Manufacturing – Sun-Tek Tubular Skylights
Sun Pipe Co., Inc. – Sun Pipe Tubular Skylights
Sunscope Natural Lighting Systems – Sunscope Tubular Skylights