Interior and north facing rooms generally lack the natural daylight we all enjoy. It used to be a homeowner had very limited options. Homeowners wanting to add light thought about adding a window, having the lights on every time the room was used, and even moving to a new home. What many people are discovering is that ‘daylighting’ from the top (or from the roof) is a great option. “Daylighting systems (or Tubular Daylighting Devices, TDD’s for short) are one of the best home improvement options for people with existing homes in established neighborhoods and condominiums,” says Gina Richardson, Manager of Brighter Concepts Ltd.
Daylighting Systems are Popular
The trend for brighter rooms is on the rise especially in more northern climates where the sun can be limited certain times during the year. In established neighborhoods where older homes have less windows, and homeowners do not want to move or delve into a larger remodeling project, a TDD can give even the smallest area an open, brighter feeling. “The tube design allows the sunlight to be directed to the areas that needs it,” says Richardson. A 10″ diameter tube funnels in enough light to brighten up a 10 x 10 square foot area, while a 14″ diameter tube brightens up a 14 x 14 square foot area. The great thing is these systems are designed to retro fit homes and generally can be installed within two hours. In addition to that, if a brand has an Energy Star rating, like the Solatube brand for, example, a homeowner can receive a 10% tax credit for the installation costs, up to $200.00. If someone is looking for an easy way to make a dramatic difference in their home, Daylighting Systems are a great way to go. These units vary in cost, but can be installed for under $500.
Favorite Places to Install
Although daylighting systems can be installed in almost any location, there are popular areas within a home where people tend to install them. These include:
- Living Rooms
Use a Professional
Daylighting systems “…are a great product and seem easy to install for qualified professionals,” Richardson continues, “However, my advice to homeowners is not to be penny-wise and pound foolish. Be sure to get a proven system as well as a factory certified installer to do the installation. The potential for damage to your home through leaking water and condensation is nothing to take for granted. After the fact, there is no acceptable recourse when you have costly water damage, roof issues or drywall problems. Be sure to use a certified installer.”
Round daylighting systems are less likely to leak than a traditional skylight because of the round one piece flashing. Make sure that the flashing is seamless and is made of metal. Also make sure that the company and installer offers a warranty on the installation to ensure no leaks will occur. TDD’s also have several features that allow you to use it for multiple reasons. For example, there is a light kit available so you can turn your TDD on at night. You can also purchase an exhaust fan, or a daylight dimmer, depending on the brand of TDD. When all options are considered TDD’s are a great cost effective way to add light to most spaces.