Solatubes, Velux Or Skylights

 
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Old 02-04-2018, 01:46 PM   #1
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Solatubes, Velux Or Skylights


I have an HO interesting in bringing more lght into her home via the roof.

I've installed plenty of skylights and personally I like them and when done right (and mantained properly) they don't leak. And you know for sure it's going to bring in a nice amount of real sunlight.

The HO is asking about these solartube products so I've been reading up on them, the proper install methods and I'm trying to seek out the pros and cons of them. After hours of reading articles and reviews (and as usual) I've come to no solid conclusions about them.

Has anyone installed any of them? If so what brand name ? And what's the pros and cons ?

Some say the light is a glaring blueish color, others say the light brought in is minimal. And others say they are very nice overall. Some say the Velux brands are cheap junk.

It appears that Solatube was the first to produce them and they do get some good reviews but also some bad ones. There is talk of different brands using different refractory materials in the tubing which alters the light intensity as well as glare issues. They've supposedly come out with filters than eliminate some of the problems. Condensation is another issue which can accumulate up on the dome but some say that has been remedied.

I'm a bit skeptical about these things. Any advice or experienced with these things would be appreciated.

Last edited by kirkdc; 02-04-2018 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 02-04-2018, 05:07 PM   #2
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Re: Solatubes, Velux Or Skylights


The human body doesn't really care if it's "real sunlight" or full spectrum artificial light, and skylights waste more energy than they save by compromising the structure's insulation.

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Old 02-04-2018, 05:27 PM   #3
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Re: Solatubes, Velux Or Skylights


Solotubes work great at bringing light in without many of the downsides associated with skylights - I am not a big fan of putting lights, etc... in them so I would say stick with pure vanilla model & make sure you install it properly.

For humidity - if in a bath etc... make sure they use the exhaust fans & run them after finishing with bath
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Old 02-04-2018, 06:25 PM   #4
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Re: Solatubes, Velux Or Skylights


Solatubes kick a$$, they bring in a lot of light, so much so that oftentimes one is looking for the light switch to turn off the light.

With the lens and tube insulation really isn't compromised. They range in size from small to big, the big ones can be offset quite a bit from the vertical (where the light comes out vs. where the light comes in).

They have systems that will shade the tube also if you don't want it lit when the sun comes up.

Last edited by Rio; 02-04-2018 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 02-05-2018, 09:52 AM   #5
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Re: Solatubes, Velux Or Skylights


Which are better ? Solatube or Velux?
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Old 02-05-2018, 10:07 AM   #6
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Re: Solatubes, Velux Or Skylights


Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkdc View Post
Which are better ? Solatube or Velux?
I think either one would be fine, they're both well known companies with good reputations, maybe see which one is more readily available in your area, look at what you're specifically doing and what products each company has that will most closely align with that.
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Old 02-05-2018, 06:35 PM   #7
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Re: Solatubes, Velux Or Skylights


I have put a bunch of Solatubes in. Always pleased with the results.
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Old 02-05-2018, 06:43 PM   #8
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Re: Solatubes, Velux Or Skylights


I've installed several Solatubes as well...no thanks. Do they get light in the room? Yep. That said, an LED costs next to nothing to operate, doesn't leak, condensate, or have a 12-16" uninsulated tube letting heat escape. I know, you insulate the tube and prevent condensation and minimize heat loss, but ultimately there's a polycarbonate lense at the top, and a piece of plastic at the bottom with a large insulation void.

Could just be me, but an LED fixture seems like a better deal?
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Old 02-05-2018, 06:45 PM   #9
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Re: Solatubes, Velux Or Skylights


A can light with led bulb with its own switch for under a hundred Alex.
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Old 02-05-2018, 07:21 PM   #10
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Re: Solatubes, Velux Or Skylights


I did a tenant finish for our local solatube dealer about 8 years ago. They are a good product, and I wouldn't hesitate to put one in my house.

I've also installed about a hundred or so of the Velux. This was about 7 years ago that one of the window retailers I worked with was also offering installed skylights and suntunnels. I was the lucky guy that got the subcontract for that for a year or 2.

The Velux was also a great product, and have had no problems with the clients I am still in contact with.

As was mentioned, find out who is better represented closer to your area. I know Velux is readily available everywhere. I have heard that the Velux suntunnels that you get from Home Depot etc are not of the same caliber as what you would get from a real lumberyard/roofing supply/window retailer. I can't verify that though.

The Solatube company I did the tenant finish for had a business model that when someone called for info, they would send out a guy with a van full of product, and would Hi pressure sale the client and install right then and there. So maybe feel em out first so they don't snipe your client.
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Old 02-05-2018, 07:25 PM   #11
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Re: Solatubes, Velux Or Skylights


This is the company that I had done some work for. They are in a new location and may even have different owners at this point. But their FAQ page could be of help to you.

http://denverdaylighting.com/solargr...resources#faqs
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Old 02-05-2018, 09:16 PM   #12
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Re: Solatubes, Velux Or Skylights


Thanks everyone. I told the HO I'd do some digging on the pros and cons of these light tubes and get back to her. The gal wants natural light, no LED's etc. And some added heat too. It's about a 10x12 room that she wants to make into a reading/relaxing room, and have some plants in there as well. Kinda like a Man Cave... but this being a Lady-Cave.

Do the Solatubes and Velux gather in a fair amount of heat as well as light?

She has an east-west facing roof. Can these domes be angled to better catch the southern exposures?

Last edited by kirkdc; 02-05-2018 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 02-05-2018, 09:29 PM   #13
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Re: Solatubes, Velux Or Skylights


No heat coming in at all.

Maybe upsell to a heated floor.

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Old 02-05-2018, 09:49 PM   #14
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Re: Solatubes, Velux Or Skylights


No heat, just heat loss. I agree though, sell a heated floor, they're amazing!
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Old 02-06-2018, 04:48 PM   #15
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Re: Solatubes, Velux Or Skylights


They are very common in So Cal, mostly see the SolaTube brand around here. You can buy knock offs but they are generally garbage. I do not recall ever seeing or installing the Velux version though which is odd. We mostly see the typical skylight and the Velux brand do seem to be the better product compared to others available.

We do not get much rain here so i suspect this is the reason they are popular.
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Old 02-06-2018, 04:56 PM   #16
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Re: Solatubes, Velux Or Skylights


Thanks all !
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Old 02-07-2018, 06:58 AM   #17
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Re: Solatubes, Velux Or Skylights


I did a solatube on a bathroom job over the summer. The install wasn't too bad, and it let's a lot of light in. The homeowner bought one with a remote mounted exhaust fan and a shade to adjust the amount of light.

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