A tunnel skylight allows natural light to enter your home. With the introduction of flexible tubes, you can now install skylights anywhere in the house. Gone are the days when you need to frame out bigger, conventional skylights. Flexible tubing can easily pass through attic space letting sunlight or moonlight in to illuminate a room.
Flexible tube skylights kits come complete with the materials (for example, acrylic tube dome, silicone tube sealant, flexible rubber hose tube, screws, and others) you need to create natural lighting for your home. Installation instructions are also part of the package. You can choose to have a professional install the skylight. However, you can also install the skylight yourself if you are used to carpentry work.
To install a flexible tube skylight, follow these steps:
- Decide on the location for the skylight. The site must be unobstructed between the ceiling and the roof. Since the tube is flexible, the path need not be absolutely straight. The flexible tube should fit between the rafters and roof supports.
- Make sure that the location has no joists, wirings or other obstructions.
- Measure the center where the ceiling fixture will be located. Push a nail through that center. Make sure this is the correct position for the skylight.
- With a pencil, draw the circumference of the skylight’s ceiling ring on the ceiling. The nail hole must be centered.
- Using a keyhole saw, cut along the pencil line. Set aside the cutout.
- Place ceiling frame in the hole and attach it with the screws and the plastic lugs provided in the skylight kit. Place the plastic lugs atop the ceiling., and then fasten the screws through holes that are found on the frame, through the ceiling and finally into the plastic lugs. Tighten the screws. Place the plastic caps into the screw heads.
- Select the most direct path for the tubing to reach the roof. Skylights that are shorter and straighter will provide better lighting. The roof above should be unobstructed.
- Tap a nail through the roof. This should be the center of the skylight dome.
- Mark a circle on the roof using the ceiling cutout you set aside earlier.
- Cut around the circle using a reciprocating saw. Remove any unwanted roofing material.
- Attach the soft sleeve flexible tube to the skylight’s top frame. You will need to pull the tube over the stainless steel ring located on the underside of the frame. Wrap PVC tape around the junction of the skylight and the flexible rubber tube.
- Measure the distance between the roof and the ceiling to determine the length of flexible tube that you require. Allow for extra bends in the flexi-tube.
- Cut the tube according to the needed length.
- Attach the flexible hose tube with PVC tape to the stainless steel lower ring.
- Slide the base of the skylight into its position on the roof. Make sure that lower portion of the flashing is on top of the existing roof while the upper portion is beneath the existing roof material.
- Secure the dome with the screws provided.
- Inside the house, reach through the ceiling hole and then pull the steel lower ring. Attach it to the ceiling frame using the screws provided.
- Install the diffuser.
- Enjoy your new skylight!
If you are looking for other light sources without incurring a huge electric bill, why not install your own skylight? Installing a flexible tube skylight is a great DIY project that can be done in half a day.