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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i don't know if this is strictly green living or maybe frugality, but we are considering adding a solatube to a dark staircase-- this is a much more cost effective solution vs. a skylight. it is green, insofar as you won't have to use lights during the day, as the solatube brings the outside light, inside. the before and after photos at solatube.com are so striking - it looks awesome, and i'm just wondering if anyone has any "real life" experience with a solatube, ie., is it really as dramatic as a light source, as it seems to be? thanks in advance for any feedback!
 

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I have no personal experience, but I know two people who have them - both have commented that when they have company over, the company looks for the lightswitch to "turn the light off".

I also read somewhere that a standard skylight is like having R-4 insulation in your ceiling - it was also compared to putting a piece of cardboard in a hole in your roof, in terms of energy loss.

I know that when we have a house, I intend to use these in the bathroom, kitchen, and hallways.

Hopefully you find others who have solatubes to offer advice, but I'd go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
update: we are going to meet with a solatube dealer on thursday. we discussed it with our construction guy as well. both vouched for the fact that they give out impressive light. the construction guy said he's had people complain that the light it "too bright" when there is a full moon.

see, for me, that's like bringing nature into your home. i think it will be *nice* to have a lite-up bathroom on the nights of the full moon. (we are definitely already getting a solatube in the bathroom (where we are losing a window with our construction)) and are leaning strongly in favor of adding one to the stairwell that is otherwise dark in the day time.

i'll update again when i know more. maybe this will also serve as a "bump" in case someone else with any knowledge of solatubes will see it.

i honestly didn't know there was such a thing. if you want to be impressed, go to solatube.com and look at their before and after gallery.
 

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We had one in the living room of the house we lived in about 5 years ago. It was a large living room with a vaulted ceiling, but was dark because of the layout of the windows and screened in porch. DH installed the Solatube himself one afternoon, it was a straightforward install with no problems. It really did brighten up the room, we really liked it and would like to install another one in the house we currently live in.
 

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I did a story on them when I worked for HGTV several years ago. We watched a complete install, saw the before and after. VERY impressive. It really was THAT easy and quick, looked good, and truly delivered on the light.

Take some before and after pics if you decide to do it and post them!
 
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