Solar Tube Lights Up a Room

The installation of a Solar Tube can be an excellent home improvement at a low cost.   Whether you are putting it inside the house, or in a garage or out-building, they provide sunlight (for free) and they brighten the atmosphere without adding heat, like sunlight through a window. 

Solar tubes are sold as a kit in the range of about $200-$400.  They normally include the decorative fixture for inside on the ceiling, a flexible aluminum tube about 10-14″ in diameter which allows the light rays to bounce down the mirrored inside surface, a plastic dome that covers the top of the tube outside, and an engineered flashing collar that seals against water leaks where the tube goes through the roof.   A complete kit makes it easy for a handy homeowner to install the solar tube himself, but you could have it professionally done in a few hours by a handyman service, a roofer, or a carpenter.

This author added a solar tube to my detached garage a few years ago and it took about 3 hours to install.   My fixture was located directly over the workbench in a dark corner, so during the daytime, I had plenty of natural light and I really enjoyed it.  When it was time to sell the house, several prospective buyers commented on the solar tube and remarked what a unique feature it was and how much it improved the garage.

The installation consists of cutting a hole outside in the roof and another hole inside in the ceiling, then running the tube between the two holes, adding the upper and lower fixtures, and sealing around the roof opening.    If the space between the roof and ceiling contains rafters or other obstructions, you will need to route the tube around them.   However, if you choose a location where there are no rafters or obstructions as I did, the job will be fairly easy to finish.

This is not a service that we provide at Frye Electric, but we are always interested in our customers having good lighting. This type of natural lighting is good, and it is also FREE; use as much sunlight as you want and your utility bill will never go up!

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