I need more light in the windowless kitchen so I'm thinking of tubular skylights. One over the sink and one over the work area. While the installer is here, he might as well put one in each bathroom that have no windows.
I don't know anybody that has one nor do I know what to avoid. Any suggestions?
If you're handy, they're about 1/4 the price to build yourself, and pretty easy to build.
I put four of those in our new addition, building lumber and plywood tunnels from the skylight to the diffuser in the ceiling (some not in straight lines), then lining the tunnels with aluminized bubble wrap. They work a treat.
And for those who might suspect a labor-trade... no! At my shop rate for my time (at the time $75/hr, about 10 years ago), they were 1/4 the price of the commercial 'tube' units.
Our snowfall is a little light here in Florida, so that's not an issue.
Tom,I put 4 in, square pattern, 6ftx6ft. They are wonderful. At first, price resistance. I could do a 4x4 skylight much cheaper. Found out that because of hips and valleys not even a 2x4 skylight would fit. Bought 4 units at Home Depot and never looked back. Northwest but little snow. Ivan Vegvary
Definitely get an experienced installer to do it, preferably a currently licensed and insured roofer. They're quite simple to do, (cut two holes, screw together with flex tubing in between) but if they're not flashed properly, you'll get a wet roof (inside), soggy insulation, and perhaps a ceiling falling down on top of you.
In the winter, it's harder to bend roofing shingles to fit the top under them, so they break. And I've seen cut rafters from people who didn't cut in between them. Scary installers are all around us! I've tried to work directly under skylights and it's hell with eyeglasses. The reflection is bad.
I don't touch 'em due to insurance. They want to double my insurance costs if I do any roofing, so I totally avoid 'wet work', as it were. I'm good with that. ;)
If I were you, I'd look into LED strip lighting (indirect) instead of skylights. I've tried reading in homes with skylights and the clouds play havoc with that. It goes from too bright to dark in seconds. Solatubes cost $4-500 installed, each, so you can do a lot of lighting work for a lot less.
Oh, you know how I was touting the 20W bulbs last week? The second one died on me a couple days ago, 7 months old. It looks like the vendor has a 3mo warranty on a bulb which carries a 50,000 hour MTBF.
I need to learn how to build a proper LED driver which will last decades instead of months, I guess.
We had friends in Windsor that bought a house that had one in the kitchen. The kitchen was maybe 15 X 25 feet, and the part of this gadget that you see was maybe a 36" tube. It was situated on a north-facing slope of the roof, and the kitchen ceiling was sloped parallel to the roof, and the gadget was cut on an angle flush with the ceiling as I recall. It lit up the important part of the room pretty well. They never reported any problems with it, but that was a few years back and they became "empty-nesters" and moved into a condo, so I have no way to get a look at it again.
My suggestion is that you ask your contractor to get you in to have a look at an installation he has already done.
I have one in my living room. The house faces east so I get most benefit in the morning. When the sun is lower than the roof pitch there is not a lot of light. It is now 17.50 and sunset is at 19.10 so there is not a lot of light coming in due to the angle.
The biggest disadvantage for me is that it lets in a lot of heat. It is about 4 - 5 degrees C hotter in here than in the bedroom next to it, in the morning. There are some shrubs which do shade the bedroom windows from the sun, which helps keep it cooler.
Ensure that the flexible tube is well secured and has extra insulation around it to keep out attic/ roof space heat, or room heat in during winter. My water pipes run above the ceiling and by mid-day the water in them is over 60C in summer, as now, hotter than the HWS which is set at 50C.
Have it installed by a tradesman, I have roof tiles and the flashing was made to fit the tiles so there are no leaks. What is snow? VBG, it never gets that cold here, just an occasional frost, gone by 10am
We had some in Midland, Michigan. It was a story and a half with attic heat issues, so I spent 9 years raking the eaves every time it snowed. We had 6 skylights. The two in the living room leaked the first year due to ice dams, hence the roof raking. The two in the add-on dining room flooded that room when we got so much slush in 2008 that raking didn't help, then a big rain. The entire room had to be redone, ceiling, floor, and walls, including 3/4" maple flooring.
I hate putting holes in a perfectly good roof. And I hate currently popular roof designs, 17 gables with 30 valleys, about what our current house looks like. Give me a modified farmhouse roof every time, maybe a change in pitch, one gable each end. Roof leaks are a pain.