The fixtures for Solatube round skylights can be difficult to distinguish from regular, electric lighting. That’s one of their selling points: free light from the sun that won’t change the look of your interior design. However, some of our clients don’t want skylights that mimic the look of electric lights. They want to call attention to their beautiful, full spectrum daylighting system rather than boxing out the solar tube with plasterboard and covering the light source with a conventional-looking fixture. We applaud those customers! In fact, we have ICE awards for the most creative use of Solatube skylights. The winning designs are creative, beautiful and energy-saving.
For the most part, the projects that have won ICE Awards have been commercial and architect-designed, but the same concepts can be applied to residential installations. Here are four great Solatube design ideas for inspiration.
There is no reason why a Solatube skylight installation needs to terminate at ceiling-level. Multi-storey, high ceilinged and industrial spaces offer the perfect opportunity to bring daylighting down to where it’s needed. The super-reflective solar tubes can be channeled through space in specially designed casings, anything from a standard metal duct or pipe to an artistic, custom designed tubular fixture with slits that allow some light to escape the sides, creating a sculptural effect.
You can slit the edges of the drop-tubes, or you can use a translucent tube, one that will let light out all around the sides as well as at the outlet. It’s a dramatic, futuristic look for both residential and commercial skylights, and it can provide light all along the height of the tube, at a full 360 degrees.
You have a round skylight lens on the roof and a round skylight tube to convey it to where you need it with minimal losses. However, there is no need to use a small, round light fixture at the outlet. Glowing surfaces provide beautiful, even lighting, and there are so many creative possibilities. There’s a lot you can do with colours and patterns when you project the light through a translucent surface.
Sconces are a mainstay of lighting design, and similarly, Solatube daylighting can be provided at wall-level rather than ceiling-level. It’s not just a matter of dropping the solar tube an extra metre, either. It’s a way to add natural light through an existing wall. When a window would provide too much difficult-to-control light, is too costly, would be a security risk or would not look good on the building exterior, why not install Solatubes into the wall rather than onto the roof?
Solatube offers a standard range of residential and commercial skylights, but builders, architects, designers and property owners are using our standard models in creative ways. We’re also able to work directly with you to create exactly the effect you’re looking for in your tubular skylight installation. Call or e-mail today. The possibilities are endless!