Skylights vs Sun tunnels in kitchen ?!!!
aalaya
November 15, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Narrow kitchen with minimal natural light. Should I get two 16x22 skylights or two sun tunnels?
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HERE Design and Architecture
Sounds like the skylights are larger which would theoretically be better. Presuming that you can locate skylights or tubes more or less where you want, I would try to put them where they will illuminate the wall in order to maximize the effect of the light. If it is difficult to put the skylights where that will work, then the tubes might be better.
November 15, 2013 at 8:56PM        Thanked by aalaya
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cookingistherapy
while I adore the sun tunnel in our windowless bathroom, the light does have a bit of a blue tinge to it. i would prefer a skylight in my kitchen.
November 15, 2013 at 9:00PM        Thanked by aalaya
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Curt D'Onofrio
Agreeing with skylight in kitchen
November 15, 2013 at 11:55PM      Thanked by aalaya
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Dytecture
Yes, go with skylights which provide greater amount of daylight even when the sun is not direction above it.
November 16, 2013 at 5:40AM        Thanked by aalaya
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Linda
If you are a person who hates dirty windows, think about how you will keep the skylights clean. The domed top tubes won't show the dirt as much but you may not like how they look from the exterior. Solar tubes let in an amazing amount of light and the tubes do a good job of dispersing the light. I was pleasantly surprised by how much light came through such a small hole in the roof
November 16, 2013 at 8:51AM        Thanked by aalaya
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Curt D'Onofrio
Synopsis: In my experience, i actually seen skylights in action, but not solar tubes. Thus, i prefer skylights over solar tubes.

Thanks for word of mouth advertising Linda about going with solar tubes. My first choice was skylights, and it is still is my first choice, but thanks for the draw backs of having them and the positive feed back of having solar tubes.
November 17, 2013 at 10:02PM      Thanked by aalaya
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HERE Design and Architecture
I have used both and they are more or less equivalent in terms of letting light in, as long as the size is the same. The main reasons to use solar tubes are (1) if the place where you want the light and the place where you are able to install the unit on the roof are not immediately above and below one another, solar tubes allow some flexibility and (2) because solar tubes are small, they fit between rafters and ceiling joists, making the installation less complicated than for a larger unit.

One of the important issues when considering how to bring light into a space is the fact that the amount of contrast you create is critical. (Think about coming inside when you have been outside in the middle of summer.) Precisely because solar tubes are smaller than most other skylights, it is critical to install them in locations where the light can be bounced against a broad surface, or where there are additional sources of natural light. Otherwise, what you get is a small spot in the ceiling that is nearly as bright as the sun, and this condition is blinding.
November 17, 2013 at 10:29PM        Thanked by aalaya
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ASVInteriors
HERE raises some excellent points and insight. I have used Skylights - or Velux windows - and I like them because I can open them to let fresh air in on sunny hot days.

I suggest you conduct a search in the discussion thread for "skylight" "velux" and "solar tube" to get more insight on the pros and cons - there is quite a lot of valuable information.
November 17, 2013 at 11:09PM        Thanked by aalaya
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rawketgrl
Nothing like a power outage to make you appreciate your skylights in the hall and kitchen. Although cleaning the cobwebs out of the sky well is annoying, I do like them in those 2 areas. Had a solar tube in an old house, upstairs master closet and loved it also, but did not like either in my bedroom or bath, they were too hard to cover for black out or privacy and who wants to look up in the bathroom and see spiders in the skylight.

Velux sound lovely.

Flat skylights are not good for here, too many fir needles would build up and you would be on the roof weekly. I have 3 domed skylights in current home and cleaning the roof around them is a bit of a hassle but the windows stay pretty clear, well they turn green here but then everything does. Living in the forest, it is beautiful but everything gets a green tint.
November 17, 2013 at 11:22PM      Thanked by aalaya
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aalaya
Thanks a lot all of you. Approximately the ceiling dimensions are 2.5ft x 12 - 14ft ( barring the cupboards). Kitchen is on the west side. Our initial plan was for skylights. But then I wasn't sure, as the ceilings are 8ft high which means the skylights will have to go through the attic space.
November 18, 2013 at 12:43AM   
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chookchook2
Get solar tube if u live in a hot place, lets in light but less heat. Also good to go through two storeys.
November 18, 2013 at 12:49AM        Thanked by aalaya
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Norm Walters Construction Inc.
From a maintenance standpoint the solar tubes are less likely to leak over time. The flashing for the dome is round, therefore dispersing the water better. Skylights are square and create a dam at the top, backing up water.
November 18, 2013 at 3:53AM        Thanked by aalaya
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Curt D'Onofrio
Thanks people. Between the amt of leaves we get i would go solar tubes. Yeah, i didn't think about the amt of heat that a skylight will let in
November 18, 2013 at 12:39PM      Thanked by aalaya
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jill_h
Solar tubes sound more beneficial/user friendly in alot of ways but just make sure you don't mind the tone/color of light they tend to create. If you are sensitive to the color of the light you might not like them.
November 18, 2013 at 12:58PM      Thanked by aalaya
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Amy Stokes
I put a velux sky light over my tub during my remodel. It is the best thing ever since I don't have any windows. I got one that operates and it has a Venetian blind since I was worried about heat gain in a texas summer. It wasn't necessary, since it faces east. I love that I can open it to get a breeze through there. Love love love.
November 18, 2013 at 1:11PM      Thanked by aalaya
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fos5
I have skylights in my home and in the past 3 homes we built. Love them. It depends on the slope of your roof how much light you are going to get from them. Right now I have a large one over my kitchen island and work area. You can look at the sky, see birds flying over some times, the clouds and it gives great added daylight to a home. I have Velux, good quality and never had a problem. Highly reccommend them.
November 18, 2013 at 1:23PM      Thanked by aalaya
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fos5
You don't get the amount of light from the solar tubes like you do from skylights. Never had a problem with skylights leaking.
November 19, 2013 at 4:50AM   
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soberg
I have 4 Solatubes and would never go with anything else. A few houses nearby have skylights so I'm familiar with the tradeoffs. I've never seen a big skylight in a house that was not covered with dirt, leaves and/or amazing bird droppings (like, 6" diameter and bright orange). Solatubes can be provided with electrically-operated vanes for dimming. They also present a much smaller area that would attract droppings. Solatubes, being domed, can't collect leaves or dirt.

Sun Tunnel is a different type of tubular daylighting. It does not have the same light throughput as a Solatube.
November 19, 2013 at 5:07AM   
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fos5
Soberg thanks for your info. I live up north so do not have bird poop problems. I am on the water and in a woodland setting so we do have leaves but not on the skylights. Wash my skylights twice a year. Love them. I guess alot depends on ones geography.
November 19, 2013 at 5:30AM   
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Solarise Tube Skylights
It seems there is alot of confusion on how much light a solar tube produces compared to a traditional skylight.

A skylight is basically a roof window. The amount of light that comes in is not enhanced with any technology. Skylights though more efficient than they once were still allow heat to enter and people usually put blinds or shades to block the glare it can cause in direct sun.

If you put a 10" skylight in, would it produce as much light as a 10" tubular skylight?
Impossible, for a tubular skylight uses reflective technology to enhance and magnify the light that enters the dome. This is why skylights are 2'x2' or 2'x4' or bigger.

A good rule of thumb is this: If you want to see out of your skylight and see the stars or have it vent-able then a skylight is a good choice.

If you want to have an abundance of light out of a small fixture then a tubular skylight is a good choice.

You can have glare with tubular skylights but this is usually resolved with an upper prism placed under the dome on top of the tube.

I have seen skylights as well that are very hard to look up at because of the glare.
You can get prismatic skylights but then you would not be able to see out of them.

Hope this helps clear up the confusion
August 1, 2014 at 9:48PM     
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chookchook2
I have had solar tubes and heartily recommend them.
August 1, 2014 at 10:47PM     
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fos5
I have never seen a 10inch skylight. If you spend a lot of time in your kitchen cooking etc. skylights are the most bennificial and visually enlarge the space. Personally I do not like the blueish light the solar tubes cast. Personal choice.
August 2, 2014 at 2:56AM   
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Solarise Tube Skylights
Only cheap solar tubes like the ones at home Depot, or flexible tubes produce a blue hue and poor light quality. High quality solar tubes produce white light.
August 3, 2014 at 9:27PM   
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Solarise Tube Skylights
My point about the 10" skylight was not that there is a 10" skylight but that in comparison inch for inch a solar tube will produce more light than a typical skylight.

(2) 16x22 skylights will not outperform (2) 14" solar tubes. As long as the tubing is Alanod.

And yes i have installed skylights as well as solar tubes, even though our primary business is tubular skylights.

Like i said before. Do you want a view of the sky or be able to vent your unit? Then a skylight is for you. Do you want maximum light out of a small low profile fixture and not spend a ton of money? Then you would want a tubular skylight.
August 3, 2014 at 9:43PM   
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fos5
Solarise thanks for explaining the difference.
August 4, 2014 at 1:37AM     
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