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Subject: Topics of Interest for the Middle-Aged: Solatubes rss

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Josh
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What's a Solatube? It's a tube that sticks through your roof into your ceiling. I'm going to assume that fiber optics are involved, but basically through the magic of Science, dangerous Space Photons are converted into harmless household light. Solatube is a brand name, but other products do the same thing.

How long do they take to install? A couple hours per. I guess you could do-it-yourself, but then I'd think you were an idiot.

What's the end result? A porthole in your ceiling with light coming out of it. Unlike a skylight, you can't see out of it, and it does not get hot. The amount of light coming out is in direct proportion to the outside light. The moon can beam light inside.

Any surprises? They are really, really bright. The light is really white, and looks surprisingly artificial, which is a real irony. In an enclosed area I'd call it Kubrickesque (2001, not Barry Lyndon). It's possible to get model that will prevent light from entering by being controlled by a switch. I would not under any circumstances install one of these in a bedroom unless it has the switch.

How much dinero? We paid about $450 each for the basic ones, and $850 for the ones with the switch. This was part of a larger roof project, and insurance was involved, so there could be many layers of wonkiness.

Do they leak energy from your house? Dunno. Good question.

Will your attic or ceiling leak water? They aren't supposed to.

Any closing remarks? Ultimately they are powered by nuclear energy, so there's always that to worry about, I guess.
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Richard Hedke
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JoshBot wrote:
...through the magic of Science


Call it what it is...witchcraft!
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Um... can they be installed in the wall instead. Or the floor?
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Chris Tannhauser
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I would pay good money for a switch that would make the sun shine out of the toilet.
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HiveGod wrote:
I would pay good money for a switch that would make the sun shine out of the toilet.

What for? The sun already shines out of your ass.

//Couldn't resist
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JessA
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And the low-tech version:

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Josh
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I forgot this: If it's night, and your inside lights are on, you will have glowing onion-bulb thingies on your roof. Me likey.
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Robert Wesley
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You could even add 'food coloring' to enhance "ambiance" and I wonder if that 'lava'-stuff were able to become "activated" though this somehow?
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Heron Abroad
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This is great! I was just thinking this past week how nice it would be to install one of these in our upstairs hallway, which is terribly dark if all the doors up there are shut.

We do need to get the roof re-done sometime, but I don't know if I'd want to spend that much on it. Thanks for sharing your experience!
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Josh
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HeronAbroad wrote:
This is great! I was just thinking this past week how nice it would be to install one of these in our upstairs hallway, which is terribly dark if all the doors up there are shut.

We do need to get the roof re-done sometime, but I don't know if I'd want to spend that much on it. Thanks for sharing your experience!
That's why I posted! I figured someone else might be thinking about it.
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Xander Fulton
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JoshBot wrote:
Any surprises? They are really, really bright. The light is really white, and looks surprisingly artificial, which is a real irony. In an enclosed area I'd call it Kubrickesque (2001, not Barry Lyndon). It's possible to get model that will prevent light from entering by being controlled by a switch. I would not under any circumstances install one of these in a bedroom unless it has the switch.


I assume - to complete the effect - you've re-painted all your walls, floors, and ceilings pure white? Oh, and then there is the furniture, too...
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JoshBot wrote:
What's a Solatube? It's a tube that sticks through your roof into your ceiling. I'm going to assume that fiber optics are involved, but basically through the magic of Science, dangerous Space Photons are converted into harmless household light. Solatube is a brand name, but other products do the same thing.

How long do they take to install? A couple hours per. I guess you could do-it-yourself, but then I'd think you were an idiot.

What's the end result? A porthole in your ceiling with light coming out of it. Unlike a skylight, you can't see out of it, and it does not get hot. The amount of light coming out is in direct proportion to the outside light. The moon can beam light inside.

Any surprises? They are really, really bright. The light is really white, and looks surprisingly artificial, which is a real irony. In an enclosed area I'd call it Kubrickesque (2001, not Barry Lyndon). It's possible to get model that will prevent light from entering by being controlled by a switch. I would not under any circumstances install one of these in a bedroom unless it has the switch.

How much dinero? We paid about $450 each for the basic ones, and $850 for the ones with the switch. This was part of a larger roof project, and insurance was involved, so there could be many layers of wonkiness.

Do they leak energy from your house? Dunno. Good question.

Will your attic or ceiling leak water? They aren't supposed to.

Any closing remarks? Ultimately they are powered by nuclear energy, so there's always that to worry about, I guess.



I used to work for a roofing company that sold these. There are no fiber optics involved. The light that comes from them is just sunlight that gets reflected down a tube (some are flexible like a dryer vent, others are not depending on the manufacturer). The work really well and are easily installed - especially when replacing a roof.

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