If your bothered about the lack of natural light in certain rooms of your house and you’re thinking about installing skylights, think again. Installing a skylight is one of the worst things you can do to your home. Install a Solatube instead. www.solatube.com
Reason one: The roof is the most important part of your home structure. You never want to penetrate your roof unless you absolutely have to. Good home design takes into account our need for natural light. Proper orientation of a new home and smart placement of windows will provide all the natural lighting we need. The truth, however, is that most existing homes out there, even most new homes under construction, are not well designed. The only option to get natural lighting is to penetrate your roof with a skylight or a Solatube. Skylights are square or rectangular and it is this shape that leads to lots of roof damage. Water from rain will inevitably gather on the top sill of the skylight. No matter how well it is flashed or covered in tar, water that is not immediately shed will eventually penetrate your flashing and rot the roof sheathing. Solatubes on the other hand are round. Water doesn’t collect around the flashing; it immediately drains away. Problem solved.
Reason Two: Skylights don’t diffuse light. They do effectively eliminate that caged feeling by giving us some openness -the feeling of the sky just above our heads – but the light stays right there in that square box. Solatubes on the other hand use refraction and lens to diffuse light. Problem two solved.
Finally, Skylights are massive energy drains. Hot air rises in the winter and finds the fastest way out, whether through a surface (your skylight window pane) or through penetrations. The more surface, the more energy loss. With a Solatube, the surface area is much smaller (10″ 0r 14″ diameter). Certainly you’ll lose some energy there, but not as much. And in the summer, when the air is hot, there is nothing you can do about the magnifying effect of your skylight. (Ever feel like an ant under the microscope of a destructive 7 year old?) With certain models of Solatube you can close the system to adjust incoming light.