Looking at these photos, it is hard to imagine that the areas you see are located within an earth contact home and are lighted here only by a remarkable piece of technology called a Solatube. It is a uniquely designed skylight made of light-reflecting metal inside a curving tube with an acrylic domed cover on the roof. And it has some remarkable features. While a standard skylight can only be installed directly above the area requiring light, the Solatube has the ability to twist and turn through rafters and trusses in order to light specific areas at the other end of the tube. These particular Solatube fixtures also include optional electric light kits that enable additional lighting during evenings and on days when there is little or no sunshine, or when the domes are covered with snow. And yet, it is amazing how much light still filters in from even moonlight or streetlights due to the reflective nature of the design. It is a beautiful and passive design alternative that works particularly well in small spaces such as this bathroom and hallway.
This home project included a kitchen remodel where there was already one traditional skylight installed. Because the kitchen is part of an open floor space that transitions into a family room and to the front entry, two Solatube fixtures were added to the family room portion to provide much needed light in what was a dark area. Another feature of the Solatube is that it is less invasive to the roof, and therefore limits the potential for problems.