Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can a Solatube skylight be installed on a flat roof?
A. Yes, we can install Solatube Daylighting Systems on most any type of roof.
2. Is there an option to change the color of the light?
A. Yes. We have our Warm Effects Lens, which gives the light a nice, warm, incandescent light bulb tone.
3. Can Solatube Daylighting System skylights be installed on a non-south facing slope of the roof?
A. Yes, with Solatube’s patented Raybender 3000 technology, we can install the skylight on any side of the roof without losing light quality.
4. Can I change my decorative fixture in the future?
A. Yes. Solatube is great at making sure their previous generation products can be retrofitted for future designs. There may require some additional labor, but it is an option.
5. What is the Solar Electric Nightlight?
A. It is an integrated solar-powered nightlight that offers soft, ambient light that helps homeowners navigate their home at night.
6. How long does the Solar Electric Nightlight stay on?
A. Under ideal conditions, the nightlight should provide gentle illumination throughout the dark hours of the night until early morning hours.
7. What will I have to do for maintenance on the roof for the dome?
A. With the rains that we get in New Mexico, that typically cleans off the dome enough, so you should not have to get up on your roof to clean them off.
8. Can we install one-roof penetration and two daylighting systems?
A. No. For optimal light quality, it is recommended that you install one tube for each roof penetration.
9. Will the Solatube Daylighting System help grow my plants?
A. It may. If plants need general brightness, it may help them grow. However, if they need specific nano-meters that are blocked by the Solatube for UV protection, it may not. Please contact us if you need additional information.
10. Will I get heat coming in from the Solatube?
A. No. It blocks the infrared wavelengths from the sun, which reduces the possibility of heat gain from the tube.
11. Will I lose heat in the winter time from my Solatube?
A. No. Solatube Daylighting Systems have a duel-lens system, which reduces the loss of heat in the winter time.
12. What is the minimum and maximum distance of tubing required for the Solatube skylight?
A. We need a minimum of 10 inches, which, if your flat roof does not have, we can accomplish on the roof through the roof flashing. Solatube Daylighting Systems can go up to 30 feet before losing light quality. So chances are, in New Mexico, you won’t lose any light quality.
13. How does the Solatube Daylighting System stand up to hail?
A. The dome is constructed in impact-resistant Acrylic, and we’ve found it stands up really well to golf-ball size hail. That being said, if the hail should crack your dome, we carry replacement parts in stock, and you can be weather tight right away.
14. How does the Solatube Daylighting System stand up to wind?
A. Our domes are hurricane-rated and when installed properly, the domes won’t fly off with the winds we experience here in New Mexico.
15. How does the Solatube Daylighting System stand up to our dry climate and harsh sun?
A. We’ve been installing in our area since 1996, and many of our skylights are still intact today and brightening people’s homes,
16. How large of an area does the Solatube Daylighting System light?
A. The light coverage area for Solatube 160 DS (10 in/250 mm Daylighting System) is approximately 200 square feet ( 19 square meter), for Solatube 290 DS (14 in/350mm Daylighting System) it is approximately 300 square feet (28 square meter).
17. Will the New Mexico sunlight/UV cause damage to my home?
A. No. Solatube Daylighting System has UV protection built into all the components from the dome to the fixture. You don’t have to worry about the fading of your clothing, paintings or pictures, artwork, etc.
18. How do I remove my Solatube Daylighting System diffuser?
A. Your ceiling diffuser is quite easy to remove and clean. Please note that older Solatube Daylighting Systems (installed before the year 2000) have twist-lock diffusers for the 10 in/250 mm & 14 in/350 mm. 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″ (7 mm) gap or so all the way around. Then simply grab onto the edges and pull straight down. The diffuser lens can be cleaned with soap and water. Te 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 between 2007 & 2010, simply pull the diffuser down.
If you have a unit that was purchased after September, 2010, you’ll need to twist off the diffuser counter-clockwise.
19. Can Solatube Daylighting Systems be installed in the shower?
A. Yes, and the owners of the business have them installed in both of their showers at home.
20. Can a Solatube Daylighting System be used for the first floor of a two story house or in a basement application?
A. It depends. This is on a case by case basis, and we’ll need to have a consultation to see if this is an option for you. We are currently experiencing about a 50% success rate.
21. Can I install a Solatube Daylighting System myself?
A. Yes. (See our DIY kits page for more information)
22. How much air can the Ventilation Add-On Kit move?
A. The Solatube’s Daylighting System’s proprietary fan/motor is rated at 110-CFM (cubic feet per minute; 3 cubic Meters per minute) which is of a much higher performance than a standard bathroom vent that most of us have in our homes. This ensures quick and effective ventilation.
23. Will I get light from my Solatube on full moon nights?
A. Yes. On a full moon night you will see a soft glow. We also offer the integrated solar nightlight for additional night lighting.
24. How long does it take to install a Solatube Daylighting System?
A. Most installations can be installed by our certified installation consultants within two hours. Remember that some installations go quicker, some may take a little longer, but know that you are getting a quality-installed product.
25. How quiet is the Solatube Ventilation Add-On Kit and does it have a sones rating?
A. A key feature of this product is that the fan/motor is not positioned at the ceiling, but in-line up in the attic. This significantly reduces the noise level in the room below.
At this time there are no sone level test standards available due to the fact that remote mounted fan noise levels are in proportion to the following: Type of duct, length of duct, fan distance from the intake source and other miscellaneous factors. However, it is generally accepted that remote mounted venting is usually quieter than standard (in-room) venting.
26. Is the Solar Star Attic fan quiet?
A. The Solar Star Attic fan is quiet and would likely not be audible from within the house when proper insulation has been installed, or in the yard.
27. What is the warranty?
A. We offer a 5-year leak proof guarantee, when installed by us. There is a 10-year manufacture’s product warranty, which we maintain in house (so anything that’s not human caused or mother nature caused, we can warranty in our showroom).
28. What is the light like on cloudy days?
A. Because of the technology in the dome, Solatube Daylighting Systems deliver low-angled light (such as cloudy days) adequately into a space. In the showroom, we don’t typically turn on electric lights unless it is raining outside (so pretty much never).
29. Is there any way to have the dome sit higher on the roof?
A. For pitched roofs, we can extend the flashing either 2 or 4 inches with our Turret Extension Kit. On flat roofs, we can extend the flashing 2, 4, 12, 24, 36, or 48 inches.
30. Does the Solatube Daylighting System store energy for nighttime use?
A. No. This transfers daylighting during the day, and then you can add our optional Light Add-On Kit, if you’d like to have electric light at night through the same reveal as your daylighting system.
31. Can a Solatube Daylighting System be installed on a mobile home/manufactured home?
A. Yes. Solatube Daylighting Systems can be installed in mobile and manufactured homes.
32. Can a Solatube Daylighting System be installed in a barn or shed?
A. Yes. We install in lots of structures as long as there is a solid roof deck underneath the roof.
33. Will installing a Solatube Daylighting System save me energy?
A. By daylighting your house with a Solatube Daylighting System, it reduces the need for electric lights, which in turn cuts down on your electricity use during the day.
34. Can the Solatube Daylighting System and Attic Fans be installed on a metal roof?
A. Usually installation on a metal roof can be done. It takes a little more time to install, and there is an additional cost, due to the need of additional material and safety gear.