No More Dark Rooms: How You Can See the Light

Written by Posted On Sunday, 29 July 2007 17:00

There are times when most of us have walked through a home and thought, "This would be a great room if only it had more light."

Leaving the dark side behind doesn't mean that you have to have a window that lets you see the light. There are plenty of times when a window to the outside either isn't possible or would still not reveal enough daylight. That's where Solatube International can literally shed some light.

"It really looks like a light fixture, only it's sunlight," says Cynthia Sener, Director of Marketing for Solatube International.

But don't confuse these devices with the more massive skylights. Instead, these dome-shaped products that sit atop homes direct light to specific areas inside.

Basically domes on the roof transfer light through highly-reflective tubing into various selected rooms creating diffused lighting.

These Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDDs) are gaining in popularity because of the ability to effectively capture even low-angle light and transfer it inside a room.

"It'll even capture moonlight. … That's actually one of my favorite things about it is that you can put it in your bathroom and you always have a nightlight," says Sener.

If it's daytime and you want to turn down the lights, it's just as easy as turning off an electric light. Using a Daylight Dimmer switch, homeowners can dim out the light. This comes in handy especially when homeowners place this type of lighting in major entertainment areas such as family rooms where people might want to watch TV or movies during the day.

Where are the best places to put these devices? Any room that you would want to let the light shine in. Sener tells me the most popular rooms are bathrooms, especially ones that may not have a window. Showers, laundry rooms, workrooms, and closets are also popular areas for these devices.

"Take a hallway, for instance; suddenly you can add art to the wall because now you can really see the art versus having to add a lot of lighting there," says Sener.

The company works to creatively bring light to any area. The product can bring light into a room through tubes that even have to turn sharp angles.

Sener says that the company recently installed TDDs in two areas for a client. However, the client had solar panels all over his roof making it hard to find a spot to put the systems in place.

"So we had to go quite a distance across for one of these two rooms; he put one in the bathroom and then in the hall immediately outside. Well, the bathroom was easy because we could get to the roof and angle it down through his attic space and then drop it into the bathroom. But the hallway was tricky because it was right underneath all these solar panels. We actually went about 10 feet over to where the area had light again -- it wasn't in the shade from the solar panels. We took that tube and two 90-degree and a 45-degree angles and it literally just shot down his hallway through his attic space and then dropped down and I'll tell you, you could not see the difference between the bathroom and his hallway and they were right next to each other; only the distance of the tubing was significantly different."

Sener says the TDD is engineered for the homeowner's peace of mind about a common concern. The domes don't leak because of their unique design. "We have a seamless flashing which allows it to have weep holes and such that takes that water right down the roof like you would any other rain; it wouldn't come into the diffuser or the product itself," says Sener.

So if you're tired of being in the dark, maybe it's time to go tubular and let the light shine in. For more information visit solatube.com .

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Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is an award-winning journalist, an author, customer service trainer/speaker, and founder of Setting the Service Standard, a customer service training and consulting program offered by Live Fit Enterprises (LFE) based in San Diego, California. She is the publisher of Live Fit Magazine, an online publication that features information on real estate/finance, physical fitness, travel, and philanthropy. Her company, LFE, specializes in media services including marketing, PR, writing, commercials, corporate videos, customer service training, and keynotes & seminars. Visit her magazine website: www.LiveFitMagazine.com.

Phoebe's articles, feature stories, and columns appear in various publications including The Coast News, Del Mar Village Voice, Rancho Santa Fe Review, and Today's Local News in San Diego, as well as numerous Internet sites. She holds a California real estate license. Phoebe worked for KGTV/10News in San Diego as a Newscaster, Reporter and Community Affairs Specialist for more than a decade. Phoebe's writing is also featured in Donald Trump's book: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buying Foreclosures. She is the author of If the Trash Stinks, TAKE IT OUT! 14 Worriless Principles for Your Success.

Contact Phoebe at (858) 259-3646 or phoebe@livefitmagazine.com. Visit PhoebeChongchua.com for more information.

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