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Tubular Skylight - Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ section contains information that we think might help answer many of your questions about our products. These questions were added based on commonly asked questions that we receive on a regular basis.

List of topics:

Q:   How does a Tubular Skylight work
A:   The tubular skylight must be placed on the roof; there are different types of flashing available suitable for all types of roofs. The tubular skylight cannot be placed on the sidewall. The tube must be placed as vertical as possible; we do have some kits with elbows available that will allow you to fit them around obstacles. The light is directed through the dome down a reflective tube to a diffuser.
Q:   Why should I install a Tubular Skylight versus a traditional skylight?
A:   Cost is the major difference. A tubular skylight doesn’t involve major construction — no beams to cut, no drywall to install, and no painting. A 10” tubular skylight will light up about a 150 sq. ft area or give you the equivalent light as a 2’x2’ traditional skylight. A 14” tubular skylight will light up about a 250 sq. ft. area or about the same as a 2’x4’ traditional skylight.
Q:   What is the maximum length of the tube
A:   A 10” tubular skylight can go up to 10 feet in length, and a 14” can go up to 15 feet in length. As the tube gets longer, the output will become less.
Q:   What are the advantages of Tubular Skylights
A:   There is a one-piece flashing with tubular skylights. The flashing fits under roof shingles and there are no seams to leak. If installed correctly, the job will be leak free. There are no ultraviolet rays with a tubular skylight, so there is no fading of furniture or carpeting that you would get with a traditional skylight.
Q:   What do I need for installation?
A:   The tubular skylight comes with all necessary parts to complete installation; you do not need to buy anything additional. Fully- printed, easy to follow instructions are included with each kit. Tools needed include reciprocating or jigsaw, drill, and a few hand tools. We have never shipped a kit and had anyone have problems with installation. We are only a phone call away if you need help.

The average installation time is 2 hours if you’re handy. The most important part is to follow the step-by- step instructions. Locating the area where you want to install is critical so be sure you’re free of any obstructions before you start to cut holes. This is all laid out in detail in the instructions.

Q:   When should I install the Tubular Skylight?
A:   If you are re-roofing your home, the tubular skylight should be installed when the new roof is finished. They are designed as a retrofit into existing roofs. If you are building a new home, the roof must be on and the interior ceilings must be plastered. Do not install during construction. This will also increase the probability of incorrectly lining up the skylight. In addition, the job cannot be finished until the plaster is done as the tube attaches to the ceiling to hold it up.
Q:   Is there energy loss?
A:   Once the unit is installed you will not lose heat in the winter, and you will not gain heat in the summer months. It is a sealed tube with dead air in the tube acting as an insulation barrier. Depending on what part of the country you are located in, you will not have any condensation problems. You may get a few drops of moisture on the dome when there are sudden changes in temperature within a few hours; for example, if it’s 80 degrees outside and all of a sudden it drops to 50 degrees, you may get few drops (up to the size of a quarter) but when the temperature comes back up the few drops will dissipate. Condensation is not a problem with fairly level temperatures; it would only occur during rapid drop in temperature in a short period of time.
Q:   Are there warranties?
A:   We have several different products and warranties — 10-25 years on metal parts and other warranties on other parts. This can be found on each item listed.
Q:   Who can install these units?
A:   We provide installation in our area. If you are out of the area and are handy you can do it yourself in about 2 hours. Any handyman, carpenter, or roofer can install these for you as well.
Q:   Where can Tubular Skylights be installed?
A:   They can be installed in your home anywhere you’d want to enjoy natural lighting. They fit on a roof and go through attic space to the room you want light in. They can be installed for single-story homes or commercial buildings. If you have a 2-story home, they can only be installed on the second floor. They are not designed to go through multi-story buildings or to light up basements. If you think of a traditional skylight these can go in the same areas easier and more economical. You can not run them sideways or through a wall.