Nothing beats natural light. And nothing is more depressing than a gloomy room forced into darkness by the neighbor’s wall. Windows help add warmth to any room, while the natural lighting allows homeowners to run around the house without the need to turn on as many lights. Not only that, but the ventilation provided by an open window slows the growth of the fuzzy green molds known for taking over the soggy windowless bathroom walls found in your first apartment and many dorms.
Solatube International, founded in the early 80s and one of the first companies to design a tubular daylighting system, allows homeowners to bring natural light to any part of their home by running a flexible tube from their roofs to other areas of the building. Extra windows and skylights are a burden to install and can be incredibly costly. Not only that, but small bathrooms, centralized rooms and hallways may not have space or the option of installing an extra window. Solatube uses light reflective technology that forces light to reflect down a tube that can wind into practically any room of the house. The length of the tube is limited to 12 meters which is long enough to travel from the roof to the ceiling of your room. The light reflected out of the glass plated end of the tube (which looks just like an electric light) is comparable to the lighting power of a much larger sunroof.
Light isn’t the only thing Solartube has to offer: These unobtrusive systems come with optional ventilation systems-perfect for a stuffy bathroom or hot, moisture absorbing attic. The solar powered versions ensure that the electric bill is reduced even farther by using a quiet fan that takes advantage of a no-cost renewable resource.
Over-lighting may be a concern to those who may want a dimmer setting for a relaxing bath or warmly lit hallway. This isn’t a problem either, with the optional dimming system.
One of the best things about Solatube is how easy it is to install. According the Solartube website “They require no structural reframing, tunneling, drywalling or painting. A professional can install the product in less than two hours and most Do-It-Yourselfers can finish the project in one day.”
The only problem so far, are overzealous homeowner installing way too many of these wonderfully innovative systems in their homes.