Author Topic: sun tunnel  (Read 6446 times)

A mom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 63
sun tunnel
« on: March 18, 2014, 01:59:56 PM »
Do any of you have experience with a sun tunnel?  I am considering putting one of these in our windowless half bath.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5753
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: sun tunnel
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2014, 02:03:56 PM »
Zero experience, but interested in the replies.  We've got a dark corridor that could use one.

soccerluvof4

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4745
  • Location: Artic Midwest
  • Retired at 50
    • My Journal
Re: sun tunnel
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2014, 02:38:58 PM »
Easy install, Inexpensive and awesome way to get light into dark spaces like closets etc....

PMG

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1163
Re: sun tunnel
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2014, 04:38:41 PM »
Love them.  Improper installation can cause big water issues in the long run.  Sun tunnels don't seem to be quite the monsters that sky lights are, but be sure that you know it's installed well.  I tend to check out any vents, caulking or oddities at least once a year.

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8365
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: sun tunnel
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2014, 05:36:35 PM »
We put a solatube into an upstairs bathroom that wasn't as bright as we would have liked, and it has made a world of difference.  As an added bonus, it lets in enough streetlight at night that I no longer use the lights when using the bathroom in the middle of the night.

I think total cost was like $600, to have a guy come out, cut a hole in our roof, install the thing, seal it up, and clean up his mess.  Took him maybe two hours start to finish, including measuring and talking about what we wanted.  He said he'd don't about 300 and hadn't had one leak yet. 

We considered doing the install ourselves, for about half the cost, but quickly decided that it wasn't worth the lost weekend to figure it out, or the the risk of doing it wrong and making our roof leak.

We've been totally happy with it, even at the high cost.  It makes a huge difference in your perception of a room.  For the first month we had it, I kept thinking I had left the light on in there.  I would totally pay an extra $5k for a $300k house with 5 of these thing in it.

Hotstreak

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 770
Re: sun tunnel
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2014, 09:58:16 PM »
I've spent quite a bit of time in a house that has one of these in an internal (no window) bathroom.  It's really nice to go in at night and not need to turn the light on to see what's happening.  In the day time, the light in the room is never turned on.  It's a nice, low level of light that's never too bright or too soft.

greaper007

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1129
Re: sun tunnel
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2014, 10:05:51 PM »
I'd totally do it, except I don't want helicopterists to see me masturbating.

Rural

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4803
Re: sun tunnel
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2014, 03:36:51 AM »
We thought about solatubes for our home, which is earth-sheltered, but decided that light in bathrooms was not worth the risk that comes with an extra roof penetration. Sounds like they work better than skylights (maybe, but them skylights tend not to leak a when they're new, either).

hokiegb

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
Re: sun tunnel
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2014, 04:53:50 AM »
My in-laws have one in their kitchen. It lets in enough light that you don't need to turn on the light for most of the day. Adding one to our kitchen is on the list of projects being debated at our house.

soccerluvof4

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4745
  • Location: Artic Midwest
  • Retired at 50
    • My Journal
Re: sun tunnel
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2014, 08:34:37 AM »
These products have come along ways over the years. Buy the right product and utilize a reputable installer and leaks are no more to worry about than anything else popping through your roof.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5753
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: sun tunnel
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2014, 08:46:02 AM »

I put in a few of those "spinny vent thingies" years ago.  I'd suspect this is a similar install.  It's a bit of a no-brainer leak wise if it just has enough flashing on it to slide under the shingle that is "uphill" from it.  (This assumes the product itself doesn't have any leaks in it.)

A mom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 63
Re: sun tunnel
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2014, 12:28:47 PM »
Thank  you, everyone, for the replies. Sounds like we'll go ahead and put one in. :)

Greg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1449
  • Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Re: sun tunnel
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2014, 10:30:37 PM »
Solatube is a reputable brand around my area, and they offer not only sunlight tubes but ones with electric lights (for night time) and fans as well.  Attic access is helpful but not necessary usually.

meadow lark

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4831
Re: sun tunnel
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2014, 02:00:11 PM »
I loved our 2.  The installer used the wrong caulk and we had leaks, but they were easily remedied.  If I did it again I would buy the kind with the light inside.  Our ceiling looked "busy" with the ceiling light plus sola tube.

rnolz

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: sun tunnel
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2014, 04:24:18 PM »
Is there a problem with lowering your insulation's R-value with these, since its just a big open tube from the roof to the ceiling?

Horfmitz

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: sun tunnel
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2014, 09:35:40 AM »
Has anyone tried a DIY approach to building these?  $150-200+ for something that is essentially a piece of metal duct seems a little much.

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8420
  • Registered member
Re: sun tunnel
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2014, 11:41:06 AM »
If I was gonna do it myself, I'd just install a skylight.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5753
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: sun tunnel
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2014, 02:25:31 PM »
If I was gonna do it myself, I'd just install a skylight.

Nothing wrong with a skylight... but I think the interesting thing about the sun tunnels is they bend.  You don't have to build a drywall "chimney" up to it.  You can install the window portion in one place and snake it down to where you want the light.