Let there be light (in the bathroom)!

We read an article in Dwell magazine several months ago about Solatubes. These are small skylights made in Australia that are easy to install and that bring in an incredible amount of light. We found a distributor in the US and got one ordered so that the boys could help Steve install it. That's Jeff, Steve, and Chris (L to R) sorting out the pieces and doing some pre-assembly.


Holes had to be cut through the bathroom ceiling and – gasp! – through the roof of the house. I was in the garage doing a different chore so I didn't get a photo of the holes being cut. There's Steve, below, putting the bottom piece up through the ceiling. The boys are in the attic joining pieces and screwing them in place.


There is an amazing amount of light coming through the Solatube!


The unit came with flashing and instructions for how to nestle the outside part in the shingles. Steve is a big believer in asphalt caulk so to prevent roof leaks so he got back on the roof and sealed all the seams.


The dome is a hard, thick, clear plastic. The only thing that I'm concerned about is how it will hold up to golf ball or larger-sized hail. I may order a spare dome.


It's hard to get a good photo of this bathroom but that bright circle in the ceiling is the end of the Solatube and it is providing the only light in the room. Today is a cloudy day – it will be brighter on sunny days! I hope to order at least one more of these next year for our other interior bathroom.


19 thoughts on “Let there be light (in the bathroom)!

  1. My parents had one of those installed in their house. It was amazingly bright! They lived in Edmonton, AB, Canada, where there can be pretty good hail storms in the summer, and never had a problem. I think you’ll be very happy with it.


  2. What a surprise! My DH installed a solatube in our dark and dreary upstairs hallway yesterday too. Now there is natural light shining down the stairway. He fashioned a socket inside to hold a cfl bulb for night. We love not having to turn on a light to go downstairs in the morning!


  3. I had three installed this year. Two in dark hallways and one in my main bathroom which does not have a window. They put out an incredible amount of light. Also, one good thing, there is a federal tax deduction for them this year.


  4. We installed several of these when we redid our kitchen a couple years ago. There’s a large 14″ one in the kitchen proper and a smaller one in the adjacent pantry. We have 2 in an enclosed hallway that was always a dark warren.
    I LOVE them! Even in the kitchen and pantry where there are windows they create bright, even, natural light all day without any energy use. The only thing is the first time the shadow of a cloud passed between us and the sun I thought I was having my first brain tumor. ;> But once I got used to that occasional event, they’ve been fantastic.
    Do you have the look of UFOs landing on your roof at night from the auxiliary lights? Our house looks like a UFO convention some nights but they make me laugh.


  5. Solatubes are fantastic! We had three put in the long dark kitchen/dining room in our other house. It was months before I stopped trying to put out the lights everytime I left the room! LOL And it’s really neat during a thunderstorm at night. 🙂


  6. Its a Valspar color and I think its Ocean Breeze. Im still in Oklahoma City with mom so I cant check the can. Ill see if steve can check it for me later.
    Sent from my iPad


  7. Your strategies are fairly effective. Thanks for sharing this great feed of instruction and the fact that your article really did send me something productive and I just have absorbed the key points you are trying to point out. I’ll be very glad to visit you soon to check for more of your updates.


  8. At first, I thought the lighting was too big. But after you installed it, I realized that the size is perfect for your bathroom! Anyway, where did Steve get the idea of putting asphalt caulk around the shingles to prevent roof leaks? It is such a very clever idea!


  9. So that’s all-natural, huh? Not a lot of people would attempt to do that DIY-fashion, especially since we’re talking about the roof here. Seems that you did a splendid job sealing the shingles though!


  10. It’s really a big help if someone in your family knows how to do roof repairs. How old is Steve? And how or where did he learn how to do minor roof repairs? His work looks like something done by a professional roofer. Good job for him!


  11. Steve is in his mid-50s and, while hes a college professor now, worked as an iron-worker in his much younger days. That early training really helps with home repairs now.


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