Additional Solatube® FAQs

For hot climates, the best garage door insulation is reflective insulation. This type of insulation reflects the hot air back outside, keeping it cooler inside the garage. It also helps to reduce noise and keep energy costs down. Additionally, reflective insulation is easy to install and comes in a variety of sizes and thicknesses.

  1. Install weatherstripping around the edges of the door. 
  2. Install insulation kits. These kits come with insulation panels that fit around the door and are held in place with adhesive. 
  3. Apply spray foam insulation around the edges of the door and between the panels. 
  4. Install a door sweep at the bottom of the door to seal any gaps. 
  5. Replace any worn-out or broken hinges or tracks. 
  6. Hang a thermal curtain to further reduce drafts.

Installing a skylight could be a possible task for an experienced DIY’er but it is not an easy project. Skylight installation involves:

  • Cutting into the roof 
  • Metal flashing installation
  • Installing new structural framing 
  • New interior drywall and finishings 

 

If these installations are not performed correctly, leaks may occur around the skylight causing damage to both the exterior and interior of your home. It is recommended that a professional install your home’s new skylights due to the precision and process it takes to install a custom-fitted skylight. 

In our initial consultation, our skylight installation experts will take all measurements necessary so we can have a skylight that fits perfectly and is made according to your desire. Call The Solar Guys today to schedule an appointment and experience our 5-star service. 

Homeowners are always looking for ways to improve their living areas and want to bring a freshness to rooms that may seem to be lacking a special something. A starting point is also making sure your home or rooms are well lit for yourself and your guests. Sometimes all a room may need is a glimmer of natural light and a perfect option for this is by installing skylights throughout the home. 

You may ask though since the skylights are bringing in a lot of natural light, will they make the rooms they’re located in hot? 

No. Even though natural light carries heat in the form of infrared radiation, the technology used in your skylight will determine the effects of the incoming light into your home. Skylights are Energy star rated and don’t allow heat or UV rays into the home which will save your furniture from fading.

There are a few things to consider when weighing in on how your skylight will perform in your home:

  • Size and Positioning of the skylight
  • Size of your home
  • Protective coating and glazing
  • Insulation

 

Our Certified and Expert Installation Consultants will help you identify these factors and give you the information you need to help you decide what skylight improvements or upgrades are the best fit for your home. 

 

To answer this question, we first need to understand what wavelengths of radiation are emitted through a Solatube® Daylighting System. Solatube Daylighting Systems utilize two technologies to eliminate ultraviolet (UV) radiation and reduce heat from infrared (IR) wavelengths entering the building interior.

The first technology is related to the domes. Solatube acrylic outer domes have special UV inhibitors designed to block 100% of UVB (280 to 315 nanometers), 100% UVC (100 to 280 nanometers) and 98.5% UVA (315 to 400 nanometers) rays.

The second technology is related to the tubing. Spectralight® Infinity Tubing transmits the visible spectrum of light (400 to 760 nanometers). A minimal amount of the infrared spectrum of light (above 760 nanometers) is transmitted by the Spectralight Infinity Tubing.

With this information in mind, the following subjects can be addressed.

Plant Growth

In conjunction with the above information, there are a few factors to consider when determining if a Solatube Daylighting System will have an effect on plant growth. The first factor is how much UV, if any, the particular plant will need for proper growth. Second, the size of the daylighting system used may impact how much light the plant can obtain. It is also important to point out that the Solatube Daylighting System removes a majority of the infrared wavelengths, which substantially reduces any heat-related stress problems that may occur with indoor plants.

Typically plant growth occurs between 400 and 1000 nanometers. Based on this data, it would be safe to say that, in general, a Solatube Daylighting System will have a positive effect on plant growth depending on a particular plant’s UV requirements.

Solar Heat Gain

With the infrared-blocking capabilities of the Spectralight Infinity Tubing, removing greater than 50% of the heat from the IR wavelengths (>900 nanometers) of the sun with every reflection on the tube surface, the Solar Heat Gain of Solatube products is greatly reduced. This, in turn, will reduce the air conditioning load requirement for the space being daylit. These technologies allow Solatube Daylighting Systems to provide the highest light output performance with minimal thermal impact.

UV Effect on Skin and Vitamin D Production

The different UV wavelengths affect skin in the following ways.

UVA – The lowest energy range, UVA causes little burning ordinarily, but it penetrates deeply, beyond the surface layer of the skin. Over long periods of exposure, UVA causes wrinkling and premature aging of the skin.

UVB – More energetic, the chief burning and tanning rays which area major factor in producing skin cancer, although not penetrating beyond the skin.

UVC – The most energetic, intensely burning rays. Fortunately, UVC is mostly absorbed by the ozone layer, which essentially serves as “sunscreen” for the Earth.

Vitamin D production occurs when a compound within the skin reacts with UV rays between the 270-300 nanometers wavelengths, with peak synthesis between 295-297 nanometers. Based on this information the Solatube Daylighting Systems do not transfer the required UV for Vitamin D synthesis because it will block all of the UVB and UVC rays, which fall between the 100-315 nanometer range.

Note: The UV information in this article is specific to Solatube Daylighting Systems. Other TDD products may not provide the same performance standards.

Used in both our LightTracker™ Reflector and our tubing, Spectralight® Infinity is a proprietary material that has a specular reflectivity of 99.7%*, the highest of any material used in tubular daylighting devices on the market today. As a result, less than 1% of the daylight captured is lost with each “bounce” of daylight down the tube. This becomes increasingly important when light levels are low, such as in the early morning or late afternoon, on overcast days, or during winter months. At these times, the reflected daylight may make hundreds of bounces down the tubing. Because Spectralight Infinity has such a high Light Transfer Efficiency (LTE), daylight can be transmitted over long distances with minimal light loss to provide consistent illumination, regardless of season or weather condition.

In other systems that use tubes with lower reflectivity, so much light is lost (some as high as 16% with each bounce!) that little usable light remains by the time it travels all the way down the tube.

In addition, Spectralight Infinity Tubing also has a high Color Temperature Maintenance (CTM), which means it delivers the true color of the daylight with no color shift. Other tubing materials are not only less effective at reflecting light but are not “spectrally-neutral,” meaning that they can shift the color of the light significantly.

The end result is that you get maximum light output with no significant color shift for the brightest, cleanest natural light possible.

*Specular reflectance greater than 99%, with wavelength-specific reflectances up to 99.7% for the visible spectrum

The reflection of light is extremely predictable. When light strikes a surface, it is either absorbed or reflected. Total reflectance indicates the percentage of light that is reflected, regardless of the direction it travels after leaving the surface. A surface’s total reflectance can consist of both specular and diffuse components. To illustrate this, imagine a ray of light as a tight bundle of smaller, individual rays, all traveling parallel to each other. In accordance with the Law of Reflection, rays that strike a smooth surface will reflect and remain in a concentrated bundle. This is called specular reflection and represents a “mirror-like” reflection of light. On the other hand, rays that strike a rough, or diffuse, surface will reflect and scatter in many directions through diffuse reflection.

While a diffuse surface can have a high total reflectance, the reflected light is scattered, which prevents it from being transmitted in a consistent and tightly-controlled fashion. For tubular daylighting devices (TDDs), a high specular reflectance is imperative so that light can be efficiently transferred through the system. A tubing system with a diffuse reflectance component should be avoided since that would result in light being scattered and lost back out through the top of the system.

The Spectralight® Infinity Tubing used in Solatube® Daylighting Systems is the most reflective material used in TDDs. With an extremely high specular reflectance of up to 99.7%* over the visible portion (ranging between 380-760 nanometers (nm)) of the electromagnet spectrum, it ensures that very little light is lost as it travels through the optical tubing system.

Achieving a high specular reflectance is critical since even small differences in reflectance values can significantly impact light output. That’s because every time a ray of light is reflected, some amount of that light is either scattered or lost through absorption. The difference of just a few percentage points in specular reflectivity makes a huge difference in overall performance.

Contrary to total reflectance, specular reflectance is a key factor in determining an optical tube’s efficiency in transferring light, and manufacturers should provide specular reflectance data to document the true efficiency of their TDD systems.

*Specular reflectance greater than 99%, with wavelength-specific reflectances up to 99.7% for the visible spectrum

The ability of a tubular daylighting device to capture low-angled winter light may differ significantly from its ability to capture high-angled summer light. The ratio of summer to winter light output can be an indicator of the product’s effectiveness in delivering (or not delivering) consistent light throughout the course of a year. Solatube® Daylighting Systems will produce uniform levels of output regardless of season (or climatic conditions), resulting in steady and reliable interior illumination despite variations in exterior conditions or seasonal changes in the daylighting resource.

Light Transfer Efficiency (LTE) measures how effectively and consistently daylight is transferred through a TDD’s optical tubing system and into a room for all daylight hours of the year. This factor is closely linked with the specular reflectance associated with a system’s tubing material. The higher the specular reflectance, the more efficient and consistent the transportation of light is. A high LTE typifies a product that limits light loss and, therefore, delivers an even and dependable amount of light to an interior, regardless of season or weather condition.

Color temperature Maintenance (CTM) is a measure of how well a system can deliver reflected light without a color shift. The specific measured L*a*b color model performance parameters associated with a reflective surface are used to determine the spectral consistency of light as it is transferred through a tubular system. A high CTM denotes a product that produces minimal color / spectral shift of the light, which makes it a highly desirable light source for interior illumination. The Spectralight® Infinity Tubing used in Solatube® Daylighting Systems has a high CTM, which allows it to deliver the brightest, purest daylighting without major shifts over the course of the day or changes in season.

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Service Locations

Ocala/The Villages

Showroom Location
120 SE Hwy. 484
Ocala, FL 34480

M - F / 8:00AM – 4:30PM
Call: 352-205-4204

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Orange, Volusia, Flagler,
Seminole & Osceola Counties

M - F / 8:00AM – 4:30PM
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Pasco & Hernando Counties

M - F / 8:00AM – 4:30PM
Call: 866-662-4214

Jacksonville

St. Johns, Putnam, Clay,
Bradford, Union, Columbia,
Baker, Duval & Nassau Counties

M - F / 8:00AM – 4:30PM
Call: 866-662-6254

Ocala/The Villages

Showroom Location
120 SE Hwy. 484
Ocala, FL 34480

M - F / 8:00AM – 4:30PM
Call: 352-205-4204

Orlando/Daytona

Orange, Volusia, Flagler, Seminole & Osceola Counties

M - F / 8:00AM – 4:30PM
Call: 866-662-6254

Pasco/Hernando

Pasco & Hernando Counties

M - F / 8:00AM – 4:30PM
Call: 866-662-4214

Jacksonville

St. Johns, Putnam, Clay, Bradford, Union, Columbia, Baker, Duval & Nassau Counties

M - F / 8:00AM – 4:30PM
Call: 866-662-6254

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