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Solar tubular skylights

We finally decided to bite the bullet and replace our over 30 year-old two layer roof. We really didn’t want to live through another bout of Chicago freeze and thaw anxiety of “is it going to leak this time?”

We have had our roof  patched a few times for minor leaks,and they had held, but we just didn’t want to chance it with one more year.

 For years I had wanted to find a way to add more light to our dark kitchen and upstairs hallway,and with a new roof,it seemed like the perfect time to add solar tubular skylights.

We shopped around and found a brand with a 10 year no leak warranty, and the roofing company was comfortable installing them and had done quite a few in other homes.

I am excited that they will pay for themselves in about 3 years with the electricity we’ve saved not having kitchen lights on all day.

Ceiling for a solar tube sky light

 While there is something a little disconcerting about putting holes in your ceiling on purpose, it was a pretty fast job and only took the guys about 5 hours to do all three.

I had wanted them centered over the sink and oven, but due to where our rafters were and the electrical conduit, we had to cheat by scooting them a bit one way or the other.

Tubular sky lights

We put two in the kitchen and one in the upstairs hallway. I couldn’t believe not only how instantly bright the kitchen was. It was like we had lights on all day. Now I kind of wish I had put in one more in the kitchen, but I am not about to cut through a brand new roof to add one in now.

Before the skylights, we would have to have the lights on from noon on. Tonight we didn’t flip them on until 5 pm!
And I like that they look like recessed lighting. We opted to get the 10 inch ones instead of the 14 inch. Those seemed huge to me, and I am glad we didn’t since we couldn’t totally center them.

Skylight in hallway

The hallway had the hugest difference!

Before the skylight there was almost no  light at all and the hallway was dark all day long, even with bedroom doors open, which believe me,we normally did not want open!

It was amazing to not have it be such a black hole.

It’s also nice to have a new roof safe and snug over our heads. hopefully winter this year won’t be as brutal as last year!

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  1. I have wanted to add these to a couple areas myself, so thanks for posting about them.
    Incredible amount of light!

  2. We have these in our new home and love them. It did take me weeks to stop looking for the light switch to turn off the lights.

  3. We live in a row house, and had one installed on the upstairs landing at the top of the stairs (where with all doors closed there was no natural light at all) – best money we ever spent! What a fabulous invention these were – would always recommend them for a dark corner.

  4. My inlaws have several of those tube lights. It’s incredible how much light they let in and they look nice too. That was a great move!

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