Tubular Skylight
Selection Guide

Selecting a tubular skylight can become a challenging task if you are planning to integrate them in your new or existing home. In fact that can add up to the value of your home along with improved aesthetics.

Let’s make this skylight selection exercise a fun way to learn something new. You’ll surely like it! There are just four easy steps in which you can easily install your tubular skylights.

First Step
Decide How much Light is needed from your Tubular Skylight

The light output obtained from a skylight solar tube will be varying according to time of the day, orientation of your roof and shaft length of the skylight. But you need to make sure that your roof is not heavily shaded.

Extreme weather can wreak havoc on your tubular skylight if they are not rated to with stand extreme climatic conditions like hail, hurricanes, extremely low temperatures etc. In such cases aluminum flashing is required which holds the tenacity to bear such type of extreme conditions. The use of protective domes is useful for protecting the lens from physical impact.

Now you have got the basic idea from this guide which will surely help you to buy a skylight tube & also during the installation.

Different skylights have varying light output capacities. A typical solar light tube can light up an area of 100 to 600 Sq Ft. This area coverage is dependent on the height of mounting (from the ceiling). Plus if you add a nice diffused glass near the output of the tube then you can achieve even more light spread.


Image by Janis Marinelli

Step Two
Consider your Roof Type & Roof Pitch

The tubular skylight will be fitted into your roof after knowing the roof details. There are generally three types asphalt shingle roof, torch down roofs and tiled roofs. Based on these types flashing will be performed on your roof. Flashing is a process in which water is directed on the exterior side of the building and to prevent moisture from deteriorating the tube.

Whereas the roofs pitch is how long the roof drops vertically for every 12" horizontal run. Thus for roof with asphalt shingles and roof pitch from 3:12 to 12:12 composite flashing is recommended. You can easily select standard 10”or 14” diameter tubular skylights. You can even go for other tube diameters’ based on your requirement.

For tiled roofs, asphalt shingle roof and flat roofs having a roof pitch in the range flat to 12: 12, seamless aluminum flashing can be done. You can use 10" or 14" diameter skylights for these types of roofs.

Specially tiled roofs which have roof pitch in the range 3:12 to 12:12 formable flashing can be used. Rubber flashing can also be used, but kindly take proper guidance in this regard from an expert.

Step Three
Determine Your Length Requirements

The length plays a critical role when you are considering the installation of a skylight solar tube. The light can be carried to the designated area in the room by using tubes of varying lengths. The tube lengths may be different from manufacturer to manufacturer.

You are aware that the tubes have a highly reflective finishing on the inner side. As the length of the tube increases the amount of light available at the other end of the tube decreases. The number of total internal reflections increases thereby reducing the light properties. Hence you must determine the length of tube required prior to the installation.

For installations which require a tube length of more than 6’ a supporting shaft required. And for small shaft installation small tubes are required. If you find interference from any cabling or piping the tubes can be adjusted. Many times these tubes can be angled up to 45° this angling makes it possible to locate the diffuzer in the best spot on your ceiling.

Step Four
Consider Exposure to Extreme Weather

Extreme weather can wreak havoc on your tubular skylight if they are not rated to with stand extreme climatic conditions like hail, hurricanes, extremely low temperatures etc. In such cases aluminum flashing is required which holds the tenacity to bear such type of extreme conditions. The use of protective domes is useful for protecting the lens from physical impact.

Now you have got the basic idea from this guide which will surely help you in the installation of your tubular skylights. Deciding which tube skylight to buy shall also be as easy as Installing it!



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