General Questions (12)

Are Solatube Daylighting Systems maintenance free?

The Solatube Daylighting System is designed to be a sealed unit. All assemblies (dome, flashing, tubing, diffuser) have seals to stop bug and dirt infiltration. The maintenance free design and shape of the dome and flashing eliminates debris build-up. Unlike traditional skylights, there is no open drywall shaft that requires cleaning and re-painting.

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Will I save energy with a Solatube Daylighting System?

With the Solatube Daylighting System operating during daylight hours, electric lights are off which means no energy consumption. Also the Solatube Daylighting System has insignificant heat gain, so air conditioning or heating are not affected. Alternatively, more heat would be lost through a small closed window.

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How long does it take to install a Solatube Daylighting System?

It takes approximately two hours or less on shingle asphalt roofs, while other roof types may take slightly longer. The Solatube Daylighting System feature factory assembled parts for faster, easier, more professional looking installations.

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How large of an area does the Solatube Daylighting System light?

The light coverage area for Solatube 160 DS (10 in/250 mm Daylighting System) is approximately 150 square feet (19 sq meter), for a Solatube 290 DS (14in/350 mm Daylighting System) it is approximately 250 square feet (28 sq meter). The Solatube SolaMaster Series 750 DS and 330 DS (21 in/530 mm Daylighting System) illuminates areas up to approximately 400 square feet (46 sq meter).

• These estimated lighting areas are based upon an average 6′ (1.82m) tube length and 8′ (2.4m) ceiling height, with the dome being in direct sunlight.
• Light output will vary depending on the intensity of the sun. For example, there will be more natural daylight at mid-day than in the early morning or evening. Light output may also decrease as the length of tube increases beyond the recommended distances.

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What happens on a cloudy day?

Our proprietary LightTracker™ technology inside of our dome with RayBender® 3000 Technology, along with Spectralight® Infinity, help to transfer the maximum amount of ambient light down into the room with minimal light loss even on cloudy days.

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Why is Spectralight® Infinity important to me when buying a Tubular Daylight Device?

Spectralight Infinity has the highest reflectivity of any material used in Tubular Daylighting Devices – 99.7%* – There is no significant light or color loss as the sun’s rays are transferred through the tubing. The result is the brightest, cleanest, natural light possible today.

*Specular reflectance greater than 99%, with wavelength-specific reflectances up to 99.7% for the visible spectrum

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How short can the Solatube be?

There is no minimum distance. Solatube Daylighting Systems are designed for installation even where there is no access to the roof space or no roof space at all. Our unique tubing allows complete installation from the roof and inside the building.

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Can I split the tubing and light two rooms from only one dome?


It is not possible to connect 2 diffusers to one dome. In order to gain the maximum light possible to your room, Solatube International uses a 1-to-1 product design matching the dome to the diffuser. There is no “Y” adapter available for Solatube Daylighting System.

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Will the Solatube Daylighting System work for a basement application?

Yes, if there is a closet, existing chase or place for the tubes to run through the house from the roof to the basement.A Solatube 290DS is recommended due to the long distance from the roof to the basement. Usually a chase is built around the daylighting system for added protection.

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Can the dome be raised higher above the roof?

All flashings can be modified by adding a turret extension. The turret extension raises the turret of the flashing so the dome will clear thicker roofing materials or roof obstructions, such as multiple roofing layers, HVAC units or extra thick shingles. Turret extensions are available in 2″, 4″, 12″, 24″ & 36″ and 48″ heights.

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Do tubular skylights work at night?

The Solatube Daylighting System offers two available light kit options for the Brighten Up® Series so the product can double as a standard lighting fixture.

1. Incandescent Light Add-on Kits: The Solatube 160 DS accepts one bulb up to 100-watt. The Solatube 290 DS accepts two bulb up to 100-watt. While there is minimal blockage of sunlight when a light kit is used, this can be minimized by using a clear bulb.

2.The Solatube Smart LED incorporates LED technology to provide an adequate amount of light from your Solatube at night time. The 4 LED bulbs provide 595 lumens running at a mere 17 watts of power.

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Can a Solatube Daylighting System be installed through a wall?

This is not what the product was designed for and is not recommended. The advantage of Raybender 3000 is that it captures light throughout the day for consistent light source. Placing the dome in a vertical position strongly decreases the light output potential.

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Water Problems (2)

Are there any condensation problems?

Condensation in buildings is mainly a winter problem particularly where warm, moist air is generated in areas of occupancy and then penetrates to the colder parts of the building. This can result from a number of things including cooking, bathing, washing dishes and/or clothes, heating, humidifying, etc. Condensation may be more acute in buildings with inadequate ventilation.
In relation to Solatube Daylighting Systems, the condensation occurs when warm moist air enters into the tubing. Most likely, if there is condensation occurring in the Solatube Daylighting System, there is probably condensation around other parts of the building such as on windows, doors and skylights.

Because there are so many variable factors that may contribute to condensation in a home, Solatube International, like most window and skylight companies, does not cover condensation under the manufacturer’s warranty.

Recognizing that condensation cannot be eliminated, Solatube International has made design changes to its Daylighting Systems over the years to help address this subject. Additional components have been developed to minimize condensation such as a Dome Upgrade Kit, Flashing Insulator, Climate Control Lens or Severe Climate Glazing.

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Are there any issues with leaks?

The Solatube Daylighting System circular one piece seamless flashing design allows rain and debris to naturally bypass the unit. The Solatube flashings have no joints or weak points that may separate and allow water to enter.

Traditional skylights have a reputation of leaking. Many times this is an issue of incorrect installation, but their square design invites problems. First, the flat up-slope side collects branches, leaves and other debris, which interferes with proper drainage. As the water dams up, it migrates under shingles or tiles to find an escape route, causing leaking.

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Maintenance (1)

How do I remove my Solatube Skylight diffuser?

Your ceiling diffuser is easy to remove and clean. Please note that older Solatube Daylighting Systems (Installed before the year 2000) have twist-lock diffusers for the 10″ & 14″ models. For these older units, the diffuser twists off counter clockwise when looking up at the diffuser.

If you have a unit that was installed between 2000 & 2007, to remove the diffuser simply pry down one edge of the white trim ring using something flat such as a butter knife. Continue to work your way around the ring until you have a 1/4″ or so gap all the way around. Then simply grab onto the edges and pull straight down. The diffuser lens can be cleaned with soap and water. To re- install the diffuser position the 4 zip style ties into the 4 holes on the ceiling ring and push up until the diffuser is flush with the ceiling.

If you have a unit that was installed in 2007, simply pull the diffuser down.

For diffusers installed after 2011, remove the diffuser or decorative fixture by carefully twisting counterclockwise to separate it from the ceiling ring. To clean, wipe the diffuser or decorative fixture with a tissue or soft cloth. To reattach the diffuser or decorative fixture, simply align the tabs on the diffuser or decorative fixture to the ones on the ceiling ring and twist clockwise to secure.

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Testimonials View All

“We are very happy with our Solatubes and would recommend them to anyone.”

Reg, Edmonton