Does anybody have experience with skylights/solatube's??- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Does anybody have experience with skylights/solatube's??

    I have an attic that I finished and turned it into a home theater. It's amazing, but it does get pretty dark in there during the day. During football season I'm literally in the room all day on Sunday watching the games and tracking my fantasy teams. (I'm down to join some leagues if anybody want's an extra player.)

    So, instead of having some electricians over to wire a bunch of artificial lighting, I'm thinking about going with some kind of skylights. Does anybody have any suggestions? What about solatubes? I'll take some pictures later and attach them. The room is about 500 sf. I would also like some kind of blind system for the times I didn't want the light in the room. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by StopTheExcuses View Post
    I have an attic that I finished and turned it into a home theater. It's amazing, but it does get pretty dark in there during the day. During football season I'm literally in the room all day on Sunday watching the games and tracking my fantasy teams. (I'm down to join some leagues if anybody want's an extra player.)

    So, instead of having some electricians over to wire a bunch of artificial lighting, I'm thinking about going with some kind of skylights. Does anybody have any suggestions? What about solatubes? I'll take some pictures later and attach them. The room is about 500 sf. I would also like some kind of blind system for the times I didn't want the light in the room. Thanks!
    if it is just a framed roof with finish under the rafters, go with a plain old skylight from home depot or lowes or whatever. If there is a ceiling soffit and you need to go down a few feet go with the solar tubes. The Solartube brands have a really nice refractor that throws a lot of light. They should have a sizing program on their website to determine how many you need. They aren't cheap, certainly won't be as cheap as wiring in some lights, but they will keep the temperatures down and won't cost anything again.
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  3. #3
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    Yup, like RC said, Solartubes are great at getting light far, like right throu the attic space and then the attic floor/ceiling of the room below. Also great if the view outside isn't desirable because you don't see out them, you only get the sun light from em. You can even put angle on the tube to get them throu some tight situations and loose very little light because of the reflecting qualities of the tubes.
    Id go with a quality venting skylight so you can open it if you like, as well as get light and see out of it. It'll also help cool the whole house if it vents. Also a good idea to get the window blinds in between the layers of glass to block some or most of the light if you chose.
    My .02
    Last edited by theMeat; 07-28-2012 at 06:08 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    if it is just a framed roof with finish under the rafters, go with a plain old skylight from home depot or lowes or whatever. If there is a ceiling soffit and you need to go down a few feet go with the solar tubes. The Solartube brands have a really nice refractor that throws a lot of light. They should have a sizing program on their website to determine how many you need. They aren't cheap, certainly won't be as cheap as wiring in some lights, but they will keep the temperatures down and won't cost anything again.
    I think it's just plain old framed roof under the rafters....Hence why it gets kinda hot up there sometimes, even with a window unit helping out my main unit. Wiring in some lights is my next option, but I would like to have natural light if possible, get some vitamin D while I'm watching football/tv. I'll check Lowes.com here in a little bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by theMeat View Post
    Yup, like RC said, Solartubes are great at getting light far, like right throu the attic space and then the attic floor/ceiling of the room below. Also great if the view outside isn't desirable because you don't see out them, you only get the sun light from em. You can even put angle on the tube to get them throu some tight situations and loose very little light because of the reflecting qualities of the tubes.
    Id go with a quality venting skylight so you can open it if you like, as well as get light and see out of it. It'll also help cool the whole house if it vents. Also a good idea to get the window blinds in between the layers of glass to block some or most of the light if you chose.
    My .02
    Sweet, I'll check into the venting ones that could let in some fresh air. Plus, some kind of blinds are a MUST as there will def be times when I need it dark, like watching a movie or taking a nap. Thanks for your input fellas, posi rep coming your way.

    The room itself can be seen in this thread...
    http://forums.mtbr.com/off-camber-of...ml#post9544970
    Last edited by StopTheExcuses; 07-29-2012 at 06:18 PM.

  5. #5
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    You're very welcome, no sweat.
    A venting skylight can surely let fresh air in, but when the air in the house is hotter than the air outside it's venting air out. Hotter air will naturally rise, and it'll rise better/faster throu open doors and stairways, eventually end up in the attic, and with a vent to escape it'll certainly help keep the whole house cooler. An open door/windows, preferably on the shady side of the house, on the bottom floor will boost that flow significantly.
    Also consider that if you're on the northern hemisphere, a more southern facing skylight will let more direct sunlight in which may or may not be more desirable, and of coarse blinds can help control that. It's also amazing how much heat can be generated by a skylight with the right placement, and direct sunlight, if heat is wanted.
    A well placed, venting skylight can pay for itself with the lighting, heat/ac savings easily, and IMO adds value and enjoyment to most any space. Good move.
    Oh, there's also rain sensors available on some skylights that close it automatically, whether you're home or not, if it starts to rain.
    Last edited by theMeat; 07-30-2012 at 09:31 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by theMeat View Post
    You're very welcome, no sweat.
    A venting skylight can surely let fresh air in, but when the air in the house is hotter than the air outside it's venting air out. Hotter air will naturally rise, and it'll rise better/faster throu open doors and stairways, eventually end up in the attic, and with a vent to escape it'll certainly help keep the whole house cooler. An open door, preferably on the shady side of the house, on the bottom floor with boost that flow significantly.
    Also consider that if you're on the northern hemisphere, a more southern facing skylight will let more direct sunlight in which may or may not be more desirable, and of coarse blinds can help control that. It's also amazing how much heat can be generated by a skylight with the right placement, and direct sunlight, if heat is wanted.
    A well placed, venting skylight can pay for itself with the lighting, heat/ac savings easily, and IMO adds value and enjoyment to most any space. Good move.
    Oh, there's also rain sensors available on some skylights that close it automatically, whether you're home or not, if it starts to rain.
    Gotcha, more excellent points. I live in North Carolina and when using a compass, the back of my house faces Northeast and the front of my house faces Southwest. I would preferably put two skylights on the backside of the house. My only concern is if it will look like uneven lighting not having them on both sides. I also wonder if I could get away with just one of them. Say something this size...Shop VELUX 46-1/2-in x 46-1/2-in Fixed Tempered Skylight at Lowes.com
    But vented if I can swing the extra money. The room is technically only 300 SF because of the short side walls. But, in reality around 500 SF. The ceiling is short though. So many points to consider, haha. Also, before I forget, the bubble vs the flat skylight is just for better looks on the ones that don't vent? The bubble would look horrible on the front side of the house, lol. Thanks!
    Last edited by StopTheExcuses; 07-29-2012 at 09:12 PM.

  7. #7
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    Bubble top skylights are better for flat or flatter roofs so no pooling happens on the skylight. You've got plenty of roof pitch, not a concern for you.
    As far as how it looks from outside maybe a dormer instead?, as far as skylight sure I'd consider how it looks from outside, but more what the inside looked like as far as placement. Also think with the short wall top to bottom as you have there, 2 or more smaller, symmetrical from inside, is the way to go.
    Last edited by theMeat; 07-30-2012 at 02:11 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by StopTheExcuses View Post
    VELUX 46-1/2-in x 46-1/2-in Fixed Tempered Skylight at Lowes.com
    I have several 2x4 skylights in my house and love em. The Velux units I now have look simular to the skylight you have linked above.

    Definitely spend the extra money and get the Low E dual pane glass units. I started with the cheaper dome style. They let in a LOT more heat and less light. We get a lot of wind here. 65+ is common a couple times a year. One night the wind blew a pinecone into one of the domes. Blam-o - shattered. Great now I have a hole in the roof in a storm... Turns out the plastic was sun-rotted and weak.

    In the kitchen we have 2) 2x4s side by side separated by 2. I think the 4x4 would work well in your room. What are you going to do about the rafter in the middle. Frame around it? We went with the 2 skylights for strength. I would not worry about having the skylight only on one side of the roof. The sun moves and changes the way the light comes in anyway.

    The Flat Style looks a look better from the outside of the house than the dome.

  9. #9
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    So, this is what I ended up going with. Velux Low E A06 skylights. They fit perfectly between the rafters on the slope of the ceiling which made them easier to install. I only put two on the back side of the house but they really do let in a bunch of extra light, even though it was overcast today. I'm very happy with my purchase. Thanks to everybody who helped in the thread.

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