One of our best decisions with our extension was to swap out the Velux window plans for a Solatube Sun Tunnel. The utility room is in the middle of the extension, my son’s bedroom at the front and the kitchen at the back. This means there isn’t any natural light coming into this room as we didn’t want windows on the side of the house.
When we had our extension drawn up the architect put in two Velux windows in the kitchen and one in the utility room. I had always been hesitant about this for security reasons, but also as the neighbour’s house is set back alongside us they would constantly be able to see down into the rooms. But my concerns were squashed along the way and we went with it….until the building was built and the roof was going on!!
I knew straight away that the Velux window options weren’t a good idea, I could see this big open hole in the roof and when I stood under it I could see straight through to my neighbour’s window…..now keep in mind I was having a shower and toilet in my utility room!
This photo is with the Velux gap in the roof and from one of my neighbour’s window! I have more neighbours along to the right as well so they would all see in at various angles.
Why didn’t I just go for blinds, or special glass………
- The ceiling in the utility room is vaulted so gets pretty high, I wasn’t going to open and close the blinds every time someone goes in.
- I couldn’t guarantee that with the lights on the special type of one-way glass, or frosted glass wasn’t just going to become see-through as soon as the lights come on!
- If we wanted it for ventilation, I was then worried it would get left open and then becomes a security issue, so will end up just being left shut. We have an extractor fan installed in this room for ventilation.
So with all my reasons for a Velux squashed and no big positives I looked into a sun tunnel for our utility room.
Why A Solatube Sun Tunnel
I decided to purchase a Solatube sun tunnel due to many reasons. You can pick up sun tunnels from DIY stores and online, but after I did some research into them I found it would be much better to purchase a Solatube one.
Solatube is a company that specialises in this type of product. They make various versions of these types of sun tunnels for different private and commercial areas. They’ve produced a product that is dedicated to bringing light into dark rooms, so naturally, I felt their product would produce the best natural light into this room.
After looking into a Solatube sun tunnel more, I love the sound of their product. That actual sun tunnel section has been designed to bounce off the sunshine in the correct way to nose the sun as it comes down the tube. It’s made from a metal that reflects the light as it goes down the sun tunnel. The DIY versions had white plastic sun tunnels so you lose the sunshine as it comes down the sun tunnel.
Also, the DIY version had a concertina sun tunnel which traps the sunshine in the gaps as it travels down the sun tunnel, meaning less sun gets into the room. I was trying to get a product that offers me the most sunshine in the room as possible!
Get The Correct Size and Shape
Solatube has many different shapes, designs and extensions for the Solatube system, so you want to check with them which one works for you. I contacted them as I wanted to make sure I was able to use this Solatube system in a vaulted ceiling as it means you don’t have much roof gap between the ceiling area and the roof dome. They were very helpful and assured me the one I was ordering would be suitable.
The Solatub sun tunnel has angled tubes for flat ceilings and also extensions to make them a longer sun tunnel section, up to 9 metres! There is also a reflective strip on the outside part of the sun tunnel that you can position to get the most sunshine reflecting into the room.
You have a few options of finishes for your Solatube sun tunnel, from round designs, square and the type of domes on the top. You can pick from various different finishes inside the house as well.
We have the 35cm round sun tunnel with the frosted diffuser which means I cannot see up into the sun tunnel
How Well Does The Solatube Sun Tunnel Work?
I am so over the moon with the Solatube Sun Tunnel, this room has no natural light in at all and you would have to turn the light on every time you went in there to be able to see anything. In the pictures below, I have no lights on at all. All the light coming through is natural light from the Solatube Sun Tunnel, it’s even too bright for my pictures!!
I wouldn’t hesitate to get another Solatube Sun Tunnel for a room that needs light with no windows, it solves the problems of security, no windows, privacy and you don’t compromise on the amount of light.
When we were allowed people in the house, people would think there was a light left on in the room!!!
Head over to Solatube to get an updated price for the sun tunnel with all the options you need for you home project