Tips On Tube Skylights


What’s not to like!? Tube skylights are all those things above AND they’re really inexpensive! If you’re a homeowner and you need illumination in certain areas of your home, why not consider tubular skylights? These are so much better than conventional skylights and they can be found in all the big boxes, online and even in some local hardware stores.

This technology is perhaps the most aggressive in all of the environmental and ecological work being done today. It’s not just about cutting a hole in the roof and nailing down flashing around a tube of some sort.

Today, manufacturers and research facilities are creating skylight designs that actually enhance the rays of the sun ad increase insulating values without creating excess heat.

Some restrict the harmful UV rays so that interior colors don’t fade and the home is a cleaner, safer place. Most diffuse the light so that there are no “hot spots”, meaning the light remains constant whether you are standing directly beneath the ceiling fixture or off to the side.

New materials ensure these units will withstand the elements whether you live in Texas or northern Alaska. And, if you want the light to continue through the night, simply get a model with a solar light fixture incorporated.

These operate the same way solar landscape lights work, by capturing the sunlight during the day in small solar cells (tiny solar panels) and releasing it when the sunlight is no longer present. Other models have low voltage fixtures with voltage reducers or low wattage light fixtures installed. Some systems even come with remote switches (ie. no expensive hard wiring) so that you can turn the lights off and on from anywhere in the room!

You can even buy the tube skylight and low voltage lighting separate and combine them yourself. If you are moving any electrical outlet, however, you must check and see if you’ll need an electrical permit. Note that if you are using low voltage lighting (9 to 12 volt DC) and have an outlet you can simply plug in to, you do not need a permit.

Even if you’ve never done anything like this before, you only need a few tools and an afternoon of good weather. The parts of a tube skylight kit are few, too. A roof dome, flashing, a tube and a ceiling diffuser. Every kit you buy will come with a complete set of instructions and each allows for some degree of “wiggle room.” You will have to get up on the roof, though.

If you live in Jacksonville, Florida and are interested in putting a skylight into your home, we recommend you check out Art Construction.

To compare styles, features and prices, search for “tube skylights” using Bing Search Engine. then search on Youtube for “skylight installation” on YouTube to see how easy this project really is.




Throughout recent history, from the late 1700’s, skylights (flat or dome glazed roof openings) and roof lanterns (rooftop multi-paned glass structures) have gained in popularity as sources of natural sunlight. Long before the electric light, these illuminated interiors of homes and commercial buildings. In the beginning, they were framed in wood, but by the nineteenth century were mostly metal clad. At the beginning of the twentieth century, nearly every urban dwelling had some sort of skylight or roof lantern.

More elaborate structures became bases for the roof lantern, in which the simple design of the skylight expanded into a miniature glass-paneled conservatory-style glass paneled tower. They, however, were very different from those being manufactured today. In New York City, for example, 100 years ago they all were made out of sheet metal, bent into structural shapes and soldered together. The glass was single pane and shattered easily.

Today, those framed in sheet metal with single-pane glazing are still available but, because of codes and environmental concerns, even historic replica units now are made with double-pane insulated safety glass. And the framing is made of high tech materials, precision cut to avoid leaks. The humble “roof window” has come a long way, baby.

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Updated: July 13, 2015 — 9:51 pm

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