Many of us live in homes that have “dark spots”. Meaning, they have areas in the home where natural light does not adequately illuminuate the space. While it is definately more prominant in compartamentalized homes, where each room is “sectioned” off from another, poor natural light can affect many different spaces in many different homes.
One solution is to consider using skylights or Solar Tubes to draw in natural light to otherwise dim spaces. Skylights are popular in screen porches, sunrooms, eating nooks and second floor living and bath spaces. Depending on the space you wish to lighten, a skylight or a solar tube might make sense.
Skylights are the traditional product used to bring in natural light through the roof surface. Perhaps the best know, and in my experience the best performing skylight, is Velux. Velux skylights have been around for quite some time and offer a wide variety of options besides the most basic fixed (non-operating) skylight. Options such as manual or motorized operators, or manual or motorized mini-blinds, or even roman shades can be ordered. Besides all the cool options, it is truly the no-leak skylight!
Solar Tubes –
Solar tubes, or Sun Tubes, can also be great options. Solar tubes are great for second floor hallways, that tend to be mostly dark. Or, in master bathrooms. The nice thing about solar tubes is the installation flexibility, as the ductwork that forms the “light tunnel” can be adusted to focus the light from above to specific areas. The ductwork of sun tube units can easily accomodate most rafter roof framing. And, adding bends to the tubes is not a problem. Also, in some cases, sun tubes can save a little bit on your energy bill. Depending on the location and how much light is required.
For porches, hallways, bathrooms and other areas not getting enough natural light, installing a skylight or solar tube may be the answer to your problem. Think careully about the space you want to light. More importantly, what will make the most sense and cost less. It really depends on the area.