7 Myths About Skylights Debunked

There are plenty of horror stories out there. You may have heard one or two, if not from friends and family members, then perhaps from a stranger you met at the hardware store. Though homeowners have been adding skylights to their homes for nearly 50 years now, many are still wary of their performance and potential benefits. It’s undoubtedly true that the earliest skylights suffered from design flaws and poor installation. But over the course of decades, like so many other technologies, skylights have advanced by leaps and bounds. In fact, some of today’s options barely resemble the roof windows of yesterday. Take, for instance, the daylighting systems offered by industry innovator Solatube International, Inc. Combining the best of modern materials with leading-edge product engineering, Solatube offers a suite of daylighting options that challenge virtually every preconceived notion you might have about skylights and their role in the home. Click through now to find out just how much things have changed—for the better.
Donna Boyle Schwartz Avatar

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Myth #1


It’s only a matter of time before a skylight begins to leak.
Cutting corners rarely leads to a lasting result. Whether due to inferior materials or shoddy installation, there’s no doubt that some conventional skylights have caused extensive, expensive water damage over the years. With the innovative Solatube Daylighting System, a non-traditional alternative to traditional skylights, there’s no danger of a similar outcome. The device does not skimp on moisture controls. While the roof dome features an air- and water-tight design that sheds rainwater, its seamless steel flashing prevents always leakage, no matter the type of roof.

Myth #2


Skylights admit an overwhelming amount of sunlight.
In the past, homeowners often complained that skylights were perhaps too much of a good thing. That was largely because furniture-fading UV rays would piggy-back alongside the desired natural light. To combat UV rays, the Solatube Daylighting System employs safeguards in two places: the roof dome that harvests sunlight, and the reflective tube that channels the light into the home. Where the tube ends, a diffuser (which looks like a standard light fixture) takes over to ensure even, glare-free lighting throughout the day.

Myth #3


It’s a major undertaking to install a skylight.
If it’s a traditional skylight, then yes, the installation process might stretch over multiple days. With Solatube, installation takes only a couple of hours. That’s because Solatube devices require no changes to be made on framing, and there are no major ceiling or wall repairs required inside. Rather than contend with rafters and joists, Solatube devices cleverly fit between such components, with their patented fastening system, adjustable-length tubes, and angle adapters all making for a fast and painless remodeling project. And Solatube Premier Dealers are factory-trained in installation.

Myth #4


Skylights require ongoing maintenance.
No one wants to risk life and limb, climbing onto the roof simply to clear debris off a skylight. In contrast to the flat-panel roof windows that are vulnerable to various buildups and accumulations, the Solatube Daylighting System harvests sunlight with an impact-resistant dome whose rounded shape makes it self-cleaning. With a completely sealed assembly—and no moving parts that would need inspection or repair—the Solatube Daylighting System provides reliable daylighting to the homeowner, asking nothing in return.

Myth #5


Skylights compromise energy efficiency.
 Conventional skylights were plagued by flaws that allowed heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter. Both would force the HVAC system to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature. Solatube sidesteps those issues with products engineered for optimal thermal performance. Indeed, select Solatube systems are rated by Energy Star for their ability to deliver daylight without upsetting the temperature of the home. With Solatube, you can actually achieve lower bills by cutting the cost of daytime lighting altogether. The savings add up!

Myth #6


You can’t turn off a skylight. Floods of natural light are normally welcome in the home, but what if you want to take a nap or watch television during the day? A traditional skylight might force you to reconsider your plans. But the Solatube alternative—specifically thanks to its optional Daylight Dimmer—enables homeowners to adjust the light levels to their taste, simply by toggling a wall-mounted switch. In this way, Solatube pairs the benefits of a skylight with the convenience of electric light. You get natural illumination where and when you want it, on your own terms.

Myth #7


Skylights only provide illumination during the day.
Unlike other skylights, Solatube devices don’t go dark when the sun goes down. Equip your Solatube Daylighting System with the optional light kit, and it can provide natural light during the day, plus supplementary electric lighting at night. Alternatively, opt for the Smart LED system, a money-saving solution that combines free daylighting with high-efficiency, low-cost LED technology. Here, whenever natural light levels recede, the Smart LED automatically switches to artificial lighting mode, so you get around-the-clock illumination, sun or no sun. For even more savings, get the optional occupancy sensor, which activates the LED bulbs only when there’s someone in the room. That way, you pay only for the LED lighting you need. Brilliant!