Daylighting

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Planner Dude
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Daylighting

Postby Planner Dude » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:03 am

I want more light in our house. Even though we have many windows, most of them face east & west, so we don't have much natural light during certain hours of the day.

It is impractical to add more windows to the north end because of the garage and the south end has bedrooms.

More importantly I want lights without having to add more artificial ceiling lights into the mix.

Since I need to redo my roof anyway. I was really think about adding a whole house fan, so I don't have to run the air conditioner and to add some day lighting options with solar tubes.



Anyone used these in a MCM?

Any pointers?

view this thread for some pictures of my house:


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jesgord
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Postby jesgord » Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:35 am

How about a few strategically placed skylights? We have them in our bathrooms, which are otherwise windowless, and they provide a nice amount of natural light. If, you'll be re-doing the roof, that's the time to do it.
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dani
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Postby dani » Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:32 am

We have sky lights in the bath and hall. We also have them on the porches. we hardly ever turn on a light in these rooms. In fact I always try to turn off the light in the bathroom even though it's not on. It's nice because in the middle of the house we get natural light with the skylights.

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rockland
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Postby rockland » Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:48 pm

We have skylights as well. The hall bath, the kitchen and the bedroom.
And are planning on putting in another that opens for heat escape.
The tubes you mentioned work very well if you have an attic or crawl
space.

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Postby Planner Dude » Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:30 pm

Are Skylights

-more costly?

-more prone to leaking?

-Less energy efficient?

I have an attic in most of my house so I'd loose a lot more space up there with sky lights.

The other thing is I want more light in many of my rooms especially the living room, kitchen and hallway.

My guess is the sky lights might end up covering most of my roof!

The other thing is I have a lot of trees on my property..many that go over my roof line..I am not sure if that;s a negative for sky lights.

I liked the solar tubes because:

-they are cheap

-they take in light omni-directional

-mirrors amplify the light, making it possible to bend light into the appropriate part of the house

-lights can be shut off with shades in the lens

-lights can also be supplemented with artificial bulbs for at night and exhaust fan units

-they have a small footprint


Don't get me wrong..I am open to sky lights, but I am on a pretty tight budget right now..

keep them comments coming!

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rockland
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Postby rockland » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:54 am

Our skylights are original '62. no leaks.
At sunrise the hall bath, no windows, and the kitchen are the brightest
rooms in the house. We also reach to turn them off when leaving.
At 9am right now, i have a hanging light on in the liv rm even though
i have glass on three sides.
I'm tucked into a forest lot so i have you beat in the tree dept. By 50%
or more.

But, we are open post and beam construction. The tubes are for mainly attic
spaces like what you need. No experience with them but i would consider
them if i had an attic. No convincing needed here.

A fixed skylight is not expensive really. And the framing to box it in is also
a small footprint. Considering the overall sq footage of an entire roof.

I would guess, and only a guess, that you could put in a few solar tubes exactly
where you need them for the cost of only one skylight?

If your kitchen is centered in the home, i would consider a traditional skylight.
And use a couple tubes for bath and hall. The tube technology is convincing
but it doesn't compare to a 2' x 3' skylight. (i saw it on HGTV! :) )

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dani
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Postby dani » Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:17 am

just assuming here. But the amount of light from a few solar tubes would equal a sky light??? We have had both our interior skylights replaced in the past 10 years. The porch skylights are original with the porch additions (6-7 years old). one of the porch skylights leaks a small amount if the rain hits just right and it is POURING REAL HARD. but that's it for leaks.

I really like our bubble skylights in comparison to the flat ones for leaf litter. We are about 90% treed on our lot and it still lets in a TON of light. It our roof needs to be redone ever, I will be adding more of them :)

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Joe
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Postby Joe » Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:55 am

really depends if you have a vaulted ceiling or an attic. tubes are a nice option if you have a significant space between roof and ceiling.

a correctly installed skylight, though, can give you more options. if you have one that opens, you can release the warm air and help with cooling during the hot months.

most leaks from skylights usually occur because it was installed incorrectly. hire the right person and it should be OK.

seeing the sky, for me, is better than just bright light you get from a tub.

today's skylights have much better insulation qualities than 50 years ago. still, most warmth from your heating system has dissipated by the time it reaches the ceiling, so "energy efficiency" isn't much of a factor.

costly? either more will cost you, but you're getting greater value from the skylight
Last edited by Joe on Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

Planner Dude
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Postby Planner Dude » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:23 am

I have an attic throughout the house except in the foyer.

The ceilings are all flat.

Money is a bit tight right now, so I was just concerned about the costs for skylights..especially since i have many rooms that are in need of more light.

Dani: I know a skylight will give more light, but I was worried about the costs.

I will try to crawl up into the attic and post some more pix soon

Anyone have an idea bout the costs? Maybe there ares some tax breaks?

Do people usually involve an architect for this type of retrofit? How do you coordinate with the roofers?

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rockland
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Postby rockland » Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:37 am

Make some calls to installers in your area.
Ask for real numbers. Any tax credits are just a bonus
if it applies.
Here is one link-
http://www.veluxusa.com/

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Joe
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Postby Joe » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:56 am


egads
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Postby egads » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:33 pm

I have been involved in installing a few skylights. My first experience was redoing the light wells the roofers had done. In the bath of that job they had the well off center. If the space between the roof and ceiling is enough, a splayed light well can be built to come down to a square or rectangle of any size. In fact it looks much better to have the skylight opening in the ceiling much larger than the skylight itself. The sense of height is very important to the experience of a skylight. It's one of the things I don't like about light tubes. With those, you end up with a plastic panel glowing with no connection to where the light is coming from. You can also use either an operable or venting skylight to remove some serious heat with convection.

You might consider having skylight opening framed out while the roof is being redone. You might look on some dyi sites to see what involved in making the light wells. Doing that yourself, or getting a handyman to do it instead of the roofers may be the way to go.

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scowsa
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Postby scowsa » Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:21 pm

I would also vote for skylights if feasible, for some of the reasons mentioned -- you can actually see the sky and if operable, they can assist ventilation.

We had three operable ones installed in the inner hallway of our new house, the ceiling being about 18" below the roofline and I also like the way they add almost a James Turrell feel to this space.



Image

However, if other reasons caused me to consider light tubes and I had the ceiling height, I could be persuaded to look at the VELUX Sun Tunnel by Lovegrove, which is alamost like an art piece in its own right.

Image

scowsa

Planner Dude
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Postby Planner Dude » Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:56 am

I love both those pictures!

What ceiling height is ideal for the sun tunnel?

I have eight foot ceilings (i think).

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scowsa
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Postby scowsa » Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:58 pm

scowsa

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jesgord
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Postby jesgord » Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:42 pm

Like Rockland, our house is post and beam construction with a flat roof. Here is a picture of the master bathroom with skylight. All the light in the photo is natural.

Image
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googieagog
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Postby googieagog » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:59 am

We installed a solar tube in 2007. It's in a tight foyer where we would have preferred to continue the clearstory windows in nearby rooms, but couldn't without moving plumbing. The tube crosses about 16'' of dead space (I wouldn't call it an attic) between the roof and ceiling. We also have a skylight nearby. The solar tube seems to bring in more light per sq. inch than do the skylight or clearstories. Although quite bright, it doesn't create the glare and heat gain of our skylight -- and it doesn't fade art displayed in the space. We're very happy with it. The installed light socket has also worked out well. Here's a daylight photo:



The tube w/ wired socket cost about $250. Ours is the original make from New Zealand, but I've seen less costly knock-offs since then. Install was semi-diy, so I don't have a price on that. The space was gutted at the time, so it was easier than a retrofit in finished space. We did have to pay our roofing co. about $100 to do the flashing, so as not to void the warranty. And the wiring was done by pros as part of work throughout the house.

Planner Dude
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Metal / Steel Roof

Postby Planner Dude » Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:13 pm

Here's a question:

How well do skylights and solar tubes work with metal roofs. I am considering going the metal route for the energy savings, lack of maintenance / longevity, and possibly the aesthetics.


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