Solar Light Tunnels

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Trillium

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Solar Light Tunnels
« on: September 28, 2010, 16:05 »
Yesterday we installed a solar light tunnel in our kitchen to help cut back electricity costs. The tunnel is literally a longish tube, about 8-10" wide (20-25cm) that opens into the room from the ceiling, goes through the attic and out the roof with a dome cap. The tube's interior is lined with a very reflective material that enhances any daylight into the room. The kit cost was about $250 plus taxes, and about 4 hours work with 2 people.

It wasn't difficult to install but you do need a good jigsaw to drill through the ceiling and the roof, and you need spare roof shingles in case of any mistakes. The worst part was crawling in my crawlspace height attic to adjust the sections and then wrap aluminum tape around all joints right against rafters. You can't do this earlier as the tube has rotating angles to compensate for any small diversions you must make in the attic area. I spent 2-1/2 hours wrapping super sticky aluminum tape  on tube seams >:(

The light we get isn't bad really, but not quite what is advertised. The diffuser that comes with the package isn't the best so we're looking for something better. You'll get some light right until full nightfall, and then it's dark. A full moon would give some night light though, so money saved on anyone needing a midnight loo run depending on the tunnel's location.

 If you live in an area which is frequently overcast, it might not be your best investment. Sunny areas like California or France are perfect for them. My winters aren't very sunny so we'll be using the light switch more, but summers should be great as the tunnel's location is in the darkest area of of our house. It'll take a bit of getting used to as it always looks as if someone left the light on, albeit, a bluish light.

Would I do it again? I don't know. I'll live with this one for a while and see how I like it before I answer that.

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Poolfield2

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Re: Solar Light Tunnels
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2010, 22:19 »
We did a similar one last year to bring light onto our landing, it is quite effective but not as bright as I had hoped and it does seem to let the cold in a bit or should I say the heat out a bit? After a year and a bit the tape must be coming unstuck cos we now have a couple of dead flies in it :mad: I'm not looking forward to getting back into the tiny space to sort it.

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GrannieAnnie

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Re: Solar Light Tunnels
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2010, 22:32 »
We saw these at one of the Self Build Shows in London some years ago, but Brian wasn't overly keen on the price for the amount of light it gave.

Good idea though if they make one that lets in more light!

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Junie

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Re: Solar Light Tunnels
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2010, 09:33 »
I had thought about these for a walk in wardrobe area when we do the boys bedrooms.  Reading this, are they likely to supply enough light? 
I thought they would be good to stop the lights being left on all day!

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Trillium

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Re: Solar Light Tunnels
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2010, 23:27 »
Today was quite sunny and the kitchen, where we installed the solar light, is very bright and cheery, unlike when it's overcast. But some light is better than no light or the electricity left on most of the day. So for a walk in closet it would do a good daytime job.

Pooley, I made sure the aluminum (never duct) tape was on very securely - you pretty much have to scrape it on rather than simply apply it. OH checked the attic today as it rained all yesterday and it's all dry, so now we'll be packing all cracks with insulation as well as wrapping the tube itself with insulation and keep fingers crossed that the inner tube itself doesn't shift down cold air. Mind, we get so much snow in winter that it will act as another insulator  :D I'm anxious for full moon nights to see how that works.

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Junie

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Re: Solar Light Tunnels
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2010, 07:26 »
Thanks for that Trillium - when the time comes wr will look at that - hopefully planning will not be a problem here!

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Poolfield2

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Re: Solar Light Tunnels
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2010, 23:11 »
I'm still putting off going back in the "loft" ::)

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Trillium

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Re: Solar Light Tunnels
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2010, 15:24 »
Don't blame you, it's not my favourite place either - I suffer with claustrophobia and my attic is very low and tight Brrrrr!! I have to force myself up there, hydraulic jack and all  :D

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Fork handle

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Re: Solar Light Tunnels
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2012, 22:23 »
 Please can anyone say the best solar light tunnel to go for,our hall is rather dark and I think a light tunnel might improve it.

Minty

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arugula

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Re: Solar Light Tunnels
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2012, 08:47 »
Please can anyone say the best solar light tunnel to go for,our hall is rather dark and I think a light tunnel might improve it.

Minty

This is a very old thread, but hopefully someone can help you. Have you tried searching the internet recently? Things will have moved along in over two years...
"They say a snow year's a good year" -- Rutherford.

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Trillium

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Re: Solar Light Tunnels
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2012, 21:08 »
We got ours from a big box store as there were only a few manufacturers. I suspect there are still only a few out there but hopefully previous problems have been ironed out. No idea how prices are though. You can look online for ideas on prices and sizes.



 

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