Your Turn: I’m interested in using a solar tube to light a half bathroom. It sounds like a smart way to capture free sunlight. We are building a one-story addition onto the north side of the house where there’s no sunshine in any season. Is it still possible to get enough natural daylight? I like the size and privacy of the frosted glass in the solar tubes better than regular skylights. What do you advise? -Joalice, North Shore

My Turn: Besides the excellent light quality, day lighting your bathroom with a solar tube is very energy efficient, so I think it’s an excellent idea!

Even though the sun probably won’t shine directly into the bathroom window, sun will still fall upon its roof. Other obstructions like large trees, or buildings could block some light so before installing it, study the outside and trim or shift as needed.

On the roof, I would locate this tubular skylight as far away as possible from the main house. A solar tube dome gathers diffuse light and funnels it down into the house – this means that daylight is still supplied inside whether or not the sun shines directly upon the dome.

You could consider a model that can hold an Energy Star light kit. That way, you get free light during the day and at night, it doubles as an electricity-sipping ceiling light. Instead, if you want electric light over the sink, many decorative compact fluorescent vanity lights pair nicely with a regular solar tube too.

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It’s simply one of the fastest and easiest ways to leverage hidden potential in your home.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Joalice August 2, 2010 at 11:56 am

You gave very encouraging solar tube advice for those of us with locations that have limited sunshine. I’m eager to try the tube…The quality of light from the ones I’ve seen installed is soft ad surprisingly bright. Thanks for your encouragement! – JSG

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