Let’s assume that, given the floor plan of your home, it would be possible to install a window in the hallway. Traditional skylights are an option but an unequivocally expensive one, as they require significant structural changes and remodeling work. An option that works for virtually any hallway is the Solatube Daylighting System. The brighter alternative to traditional skylights, the Solatube system operates in a cleverly effective way. After capturing sunlight on the roof, the Solatube device channels it down through the home in a tube made of highly reflective material that delivers 99.7% of the sun’s visible light. Best of all, tubular daylighting devices from Solatube International, Inc., install with minimal hassle. No changes need to be made to the framing, and no ceiling or wall repairs are necessary indoors. A conventional skylight usually takes days to install; Solatube takes only a couple of hours.
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If your goal is to transform a space quickly, easily, and cheaply, the most powerful tool at your disposal is the paintbrush or roller. Before you get started, though, think carefully about your color selection. In a small, dark, forbidding hallway, the right color can help the space feel lighter, brighter, and more welcoming. You don't have to choose white, but to maximize your chance of success, narrow your search to focus only on light, muted hues.
You may be tempted to fill your windowless hallway with framed artwork and photographs. After all, added visual interest might distract from the close quarters and lack of light. Tread carefully, though, as you risk calling attention to the same imperfections you're trying to conceal. Keep the mood controlled and unified by ensuring that at least one common element, whether it's a color or a texture, appears throughout your hallway design. In other words, choose a theme and stick to it.
The Night Shift
There's really no substitute for natural light and its many design and personal health virtues. That’s why skylights exist even in a world with artificial lighting. But of course, for all their positive attributes, skylights have always gone dark when the sky does. That means you would need to pair a conventional skylight with at least one electric light, depending on the dimensions of the space in question. In some rooms, it wouldn’t look amiss for the ceiling to feature multiple fixtures, but in a sensitive area like a windowless hall, the space would seem cluttered. Here, bear in mind that there’s another possibility: When equipped with an optional light kit, the Solatube Daylighting System becomes the one lighting solution that can respond to all your needs, no matter the time of day. In a formerly dim hallway, the Solatube system delivers natural light from dawn to dusk. Then at night (or in the event of cloud cover), the same device outputs electric light via embedded incandescent or CFL bulbs. Add in the occupancy sensor, and you can ensure the electric lighting turns only when necessary. In this way, Solatube provides a single, streamlined, multifunctional fixture capable of around-the-clock illumination.
Here's a simple strategy to help you cope with a hallway whose cons outnumber its pros. Draw the eye toward the floor by laying down a brightly colored or boldly patterned runner. The more eye-catching, the better. Besides lending a soft layer underfoot, an appropriately sized rug can work to steal attention away from the less flattering aspects of a hallway—specifically, the parallel-running walls that, in their close proximity, create a feeling of cramped discomfort.
Stroll along the hallways in your home and try to see them as a first-time visitor would. What would a guest see at the ends of each hall? If it's a door (or an open passageway), then your options are limited. But if it's a wall, you have the opportunity to develop a focal point in the hallway—something to attract the attention of anyone walking in that direction. Create a destination at both ends of every hallway, if possible, because aimless walks aren't for indoors!
On the fence about installing a tubular daylighting device? Consider that the Solatube Smart LED System can actually help you save on monthly lighting expenses. Here’s how it works: During the day, the Smart LED delivers natural sunlight to a part of the home interior, such as the hallway, at no cost, because sunlight (obviously) is free. It's when sunlight levels recede that the Smart LED really sets itself apart. Equipped with built-in, highly efficient LEDs, the Smart LED System can provide nighttime lighting up to 94 percent more efficiently than a traditional fixture can. If you want to make your Smart LED System even more of a money-saver, go for the optional occupancy sensor. Depending on whether or not the sensor detects someone in the room, it activates or deactivates the LED bulbs accordingly. That way, you can ensure that if a family member always forgets to turn off the hallway light, you don’t end up paying for the mistake at the end of the month. The occupancy sensor option doesn’t only mean savings, though. It also means the convenience of never again having to think about hitting the light switch!
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This content has been brought to you by Solatube. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.