Just as Edison brightened a whole new world with the invention of his light bulb, Solatube International Inc. revolutionized the day-lighting industry with the invention of its tubular skylight product in Australia in 1984.
Engineered for superior quality and durability, Solatube’s patented design incorporates space-age materials that ensure maximum light transfer in direct sunlight as well as ambient lighting conditions. Solatube’s patented reflector systems inside the dome increase the amount of sunlight captured and transfers direct sunlight as well as indirect light on cloudy days. Its compact design and standard angle adapters allow for easy installation around attic obstructions. It is impact- and UV-resistant and best of all it’s easy to install.
* Reciprocating saw
* Drywall saw
* Drill/screw gun
* Tape measure
* Solatube kit
* 2-inch long screw
* Silicone sealant
* Safety glasses
* First, determine where you want the Solatube installed, the best advice is that it works best in the center of the room.
* Then, take a long screw and drill it up through the ceiling into your attic.
* Go to the attic, find the screw, and make sure it’s at least 7 ½” away from the nearest joist (if you’re installing a 14” unit). This is important because if you don’t have this much room, when you cut your hole for the Solatube it won’t fit.
* Then, take a flashlight, place it next to the nail pointing up at the ceiling. In the center of the light make a mark, and screw another long screw through the roof. This will be your reference point to cut the hole in your roof.
* Next, go up on the roof, take the flashing, place it over the screw so the screw is centered, then use a lumber crayon or marker to trace the inside of the flashing. This marks the hole for the dome.
* Then, use a reciprocating saw to cut out the hole.
TIP: When you are nearly finished with your cutting, use one hand to grab onto the screw. The screw acts as a handle so that when you finish your cut, the heavy wood won’t fall down into the attic and possibly through your ceiling.
* Use a pry bar to gently pry up the shingles around the hold you’ve just cut. Then seal the bottom of the flashing with silicone sealant, and slide it in up under the shingles aligning it with the hole. Then attach the flashing to the roof with four screws (included in the kit) and re-seal the shingles and top of flashing to prevent water leaks.
* Return to the kitchen, and remove the screw from your ceiling. Then use a scribe to mark the hold you’ll cut in the kitchen ceiling. Basically a scribe is like a compass, and you can use this to easily mark the ceiling where you want to cut. Just set the distance for half the diameter of your Solatube plus ½” (7 ½” for a 14” Solatube). You want to allow an extra half-inch in your cut so the base will fit into the ceiling. Then put the pointed end of the scribe into the hole left by the ceiling screw, and trace around to mark your area to cut.
* Use a drywall saw to cut. It’s quick and easy.
* Then, follow the kit instructions on taping the tubing together to make it energy efficient.
* Slip the tubing up into the attic, twist it together (you won’t have to go back into the attic it really does slip together) and you’re almost finished. Screw in the Fresnel dome, which focuses the sunlight down into the tube, onto the flashing on the roof and you’re done there.
* Return to the kitchen and attach the base with four more screws. Last step is to attach the diffuser to the bottom of the base and it just snaps in place. You’ll be amazed at how much Solatube can brighten up a room. Prices range from $399 to $550 installed.