“Smart” lighting of the house or how to “give” sunlight from the roof to any room

Envision a house where all the rooms, no matter where they are or when they are used, are flooded with natural light. This idea of "smart" lighting uses creative roof designs to direct sunlight into interior spaces, going beyond conventional windows and skylights. Homes can save energy expenses and create a more inviting and light-filled space by utilizing sunlight.

Our understanding of lighting has changed as a result of modern technology. Rather than depending exclusively on artificial light sources, homeowners are currently investigating ways to optimize natural light. This post looks at how roofs can be made to strategically distribute sunlight throughout the house, even in the darkest corners, by capturing it.

Architects and builders are incorporating innovative solutions into roof structures, such as solar tubes and light wells. These developments contribute to a home’s sustainability in addition to improving its visual appeal. Households can reduce their carbon footprint and utility costs by using less electricity for lighting during the day.

Furthermore, the advantages go beyond just saving energy. Well-lit spaces are more pleasant to be in because sunlight is known to improve mood and productivity. Smart roof lighting designs can create lively, health-promoting environments by allowing more natural light into interior spaces.

What is a light tunnel

With the help of a light tunnel or well, which is a comparatively straightforward and dependable design, you can bring natural light into rooms that would otherwise be dark without an attic or regular window. The light in the pantry or hallway will be the most natural because the light tunnel operates on the theory of multiple rendering of sunlight. even though there is a few meters of subsurface space between the ceiling and the room.

Light tunnels are typically created in the attic rooms. The typical issues on this floor are related to windows, and the desired room is usually only separated from the roof by a plasterboard ceiling and a small amount of empty space.

The second most popular lighting object – basement and semi -basement rooms. Typically, natural light in them falls through narrow windows under the ceiling, which are located in the pits. But, firstly, this lighting is not always enough. And secondly, the drainage of water from the pymers, so that it does not flood the basement is a separate task that only a drainage system with high bandwidth can effectively solve. But it can clog, and they rarely make such a system due to labor intensity and considerable price. There are no such problems with light tunnels. In addition, they are also safer-few are able to climb through a pipe with a diameter of 25-35 mm.

The design of light tunnels

There are three components to any light tunnel:

  1. External window.
  2. Reflective shaft.
  3. Disgracker.

External block

The outer window is composed of an aluminum or polyurethane waterproofing salary and a plastic frame with glass. The salary is meant to withstand wear and tear.

The window on a pitched roof is typically a flat or tiny dome made of hardened glass, with a frame that essentially doesn’t rise above the roofing material. This is required to ensure that the external unit either doesn’t stop the snow at all or only creates the barest minimum of obstructions that impede the roof straight away. An acrylic or polycarbonate glass dome covers the exterior light tunnel for flat roofs. Because the surface of these glasses is smooth and slick, rain and dust automatically clean the dome, and even wet snow does not adhere to it.

Polyurethane salary is provided for light tunnels on tiled roofs, metal roofs, Euro-shifers, corrugated board, or other comparable materials. It provides hermetic compound during installation by taking on the shape of the surface it is placed on and adhering to it firmly. When it is necessary to create a light tunnel in the roof without a slope, aluminum salary is utilized. In this instance, a roller coating of the roof covers the exterior unit to seal it. Aluminum resists corrosion, so this design will not corrode for over a dozen years.

Reflective mine

A reflective mine, also known as a light-breaker, is either a corrugated sleeve or a hard aluminum pipe with a silver-based mirror composition applied to the inner surface.

A harder pipe works better because it reflects 98% of the light entering the space. The typical pipe length is 1.7–2 m, but with the addition of segments and knees, it can be extended to 6–12 m. Simultaneously, the pipe should have as few bends as possible because every bend reduces illumination.

Although flexible pipes transmit far less light, they are essential in the event that the tunnel encounters obstructions. Take a chip pipe or duct, for instance. Flexible tunnels are typically only 1-2 meters long due to their low efficiency, making them unsuitable for lengthy rooms located deep within a home.

Inner block

Inside the room, a light-scraping plafond with a frame marks the end of the light tunnel. The diffuser is mounted in the ceiling and typically has a rounded or flat ceiling lamp appearance. The ceiling comes with a matte frame that seals the edges of the hole for easier maintenance and improved aesthetics. Simultaneously, the glass is fastened to the frame using latches or threads, facilitating effortless removal and cleaning.

The light tunnel’s light produces a soft, natural light with nearly flawless scattering, in contrast to regular lamps. In addition to standard dispersioners, manufacturers also make ceilings in a variety of hues and forms, unique obscuring curtains, and unevenly darkened glass that gives the appearance of a spotlight or "halo." All these pleasures may seem insignificant from a practical standpoint, but they can be quite useful for designer interiors when it comes to light games.

8 reasons to choose light tunnels for lighting

Daylight tunnels are useful and well-designed. They are superior to artificial lighting and attic windows in numerous ways.

  1. Psychologically comfortable for humans natural light. With such lighting, the space takes on a greater depth, there is no sensation of a locked cage and a pressing ceiling in it. This is especially important for children.
  2. Savings on electricity. The light tunnel in the roof replaces at least one 60 watt light bulb, and on a bright sunny day it gives out several times a larger light power.
  3. Insolation of the premises. SanPin"s norms in terms of sunlight, which should fall into living rooms, is not a whim of lawmakers. The natural lighting of the house not only revives the room, but also destroys many malicious microorganisms.
  4. Minimum heat loss. Thermal losses through the windows are directly proportional to their size. Therefore, a minimum of heat goes through small tunnels compared to attic and ordinary windows.
  5. Opportunity draw natural light to any room. Including in rooms that are far from the roofing.
  6. Long service life. The tunnel of daylight has a very simple design and there are no moving details, so with competent installation it will serve for decades.
  7. Simpleservice. The light tunnel does not need to alternate the winter and summer mode, lubricate the sealing elastic bands and periodically change them – all the service boils down to periodic wiping the inner ceiling from dust and cleaning the outer glass from dirt every several years. Between cleaning, the glass is washed with rainwater.
  8. Stylish view. Sveta tunnels are made in the best traditions of the Scandinavian style: they are neat and elegant, and their shape is thought out to the smallest details.

The term "light tunnel" describes those exceptional constructions that serve significant purposes and have a beautiful appearance all at once. Furthermore, a number of designer projects and bonuses speak for themselves; this is not an estimate. A prime example is the Red Dot Design Awards, which is known as the "Best of the Best." In 2010, LoveGrov’s designer won for his inventive take on a light tunnel ceiling.

Light tunnel Velux or Fakro: Choice Tips

Daylight tunnels are produced by dozens of businesses, and 7-8 brands are available in Russia. Similar to attic windows, they typically have to choose between Velux and Fakro at the same time. And this is a challenging decision, to put it mildly. Since the quality of the products from the two companies is essentially the same, the argument revolves around the specifics and cost. We’ll discuss them.

Light tunnel Velux (Velux)

Among the oldest producers of attic windows worldwide, as well as in Europe, is Velux. The company has been around for more than 75 years, and its core values are unconditional reliability and timely-tested designs. As a result, a Velux light tunnel installed correctly should last ten years.

Velux manufactures light tunnels for pitched and flat roofs:

  • series TWF and TWR for pitched roofs with profiled roofing material;
  • TLF and TLR series for pitched roofs with a flat coating;
  • TCF and TCR series for flat roofs.

Every episode that ends in the letter "F" has a flexible light that can extend up to two meters in length. The light shaft in series denoted by the letter "R" has a 1.7 m rigid tunnel and can be extended to 6 m with the addition of additional sections. Diameter of the tunnel: 25 and 35 mm.

A range of accessories is a key component of the Veluke’s glowing tunnels. This includes several spokes for various shapes and colors in addition to the designer dispatcher LoveGROVE, which was previously mentioned. In addition, if you need to snow the room on occasion, light-resistant curtains can be installed on Velux disperfiters.

FAKRO Light Tunnel (Fakro)

In contrast to Velux, Fakro is a relatively new manufacturer. Since its founding in 1991, it has relied on diversity and innovation throughout the course of its thirty years. Although its roof-mounted light tunnels are less expensive than Velux lights, they are nearly as reliable.

Fakro releases two series of daylight tunnels for the pitched roof: a ruler with a hard SRT light and a ruler with a flexible SLT light. FAKRO does not have separate series for a flat roof, like Velux, for such installation you need to order a special salary instead of a complete. In addition, the external Velux block is placed almost a flush with a roofing, and the light tunnel in the roof of Fakro will greatly protrude above the surface due to glass-doll and, accordingly, delay the snow on the roof, increasing the load on it. If there are many tunnels of daylight, this can even lead to the formation of large snow caps on the roof.

Pay at Fakro varies as well. Fakro offers three types of salaries, compared to Velux’s two:

  • for a roof with a flat coating;
  • for a roof with a profiled coating;
  • for roofs with highly profiled coating.

The final pay type is intended for tunnels installed on commercial and industrial buildings that overlap the profiled sheet supporting the tunnel. Velux does not provide any solutions for these kinds of issues; its flat roof series is intended for roofs covered in roofing material or a comparable coating. Fakro is therefore preferred in these circumstances.

Lastly, FAKRO allows firms to be longer than before: up to 12 meters for hard and up to 4 meters for flexible. In order to use the tunnel as a lamp both during the day and at night, you can simultaneously install a light bulb inside of it.

Let’s now review. Velux light tunnels are a great option for people who value well-considered and dependable products from a top global brand. For people who value flexibility and want to cut costs without sacrificing quality, FAKRO daylight tunnels are an option.

In this post, we’ll look at creative ways to improve your home’s lighting with roof-mounted technology, with an emphasis on techniques that let more light into any space. We’ll talk about workable solutions that enhance indoor comfort and ambience while also optimizing energy efficiency. Come learn how these smart lighting systems can improve the brightness and environmental sustainability of your living areas.

How to install a light tunnel with your own hands

Installation of a light tunnel can hardly be called an elementary task that a beginner is able to perform without any problems. Yes, it is much easier to put it than a standard attic window, but this is still roofing with all the consequences that arise from this: with a violation of the integrity of the roof pie and the need to thoroughly seal the entrance point. Therefore, if there is such an opportunity, it is better to hire professionals and simply control the quality of their work with the manufacturer"s instructions in the hands. Especially if the roof is flat. If this is not possible, then follow our leadership, we tried to take into account all the subtleties of this process.

Preparation for installation

Preparation is key when doing any work on the roof because it’s much harder to retrieve a forgotten tool from a height than it is to do so while standing on the ground. Making sure everyone is safe should be the first priority during this preparation.

Secure the safety cable firmly to the solid part of the roof structure to prevent falls. These could be the skate beam if the roofing hasn’t been installed on the slopes, or special roof safety features if the light tunnel is integrated into the completed roof. It is crucial that the fastener loop does not move with you when you fall and that the design retains its shape as your weight changes. Simultaneously, after lifting to the roof, the first step is to strap using a safety cable.

The following supplies are required for daylight tunnel installation:

  • wooden beam 75×75 mm or more;
  • self -tapping screws for fastening the beam;
  • reinforced adhesive tape for sealing a vapor barrier and waterproofing film;
  • the tunnel itself with a salary;
  • tunnel insulation;
  • new roofing and fasteners to it, if the old one at the site of installation of the tunnel cannot be removed without damage.

The following tools will be required: a screwdriver, building level, ruler, marker, clerical knife, electric one, construction stapler, carrying; metal scissors for metal tiles and corrugated board, or a grinder for other roofing materials. To prevent accidental falls during work, the entire tool must be secured with a cord.

Consider that the light should rotate and bend as little as possible when installing a daylight tunnel. It would be ideal if he entered the room vertically after turning away from the slope. Thus, ascertain the best path for the tunnel before installing it in accordance with the house’s plans, then sketch it and figure out where the fiber will enter.

Installation of the external block of the light tunnel

To avoid drilling a hole in the incorrect location, measure the distance to the installation point precisely first. You can use a ventilation pipe or roof horse as a guide. Disassemble the roof at the proper location so that there is approximately 100 mm between the lower edge of the future mounting hole and the coating below. Next, carry out the installation as outlined in the plan:

  1. Disassemble the salary and translate the latches and mounts that are located on the inside, into the installation state according to the manufacturer"s instructions.
  2. Drink the mounting hole in the crate so as not to damage the waterproofing layer. Usually it is equal to 500×500 mm, but the dimensions of the hole directly depend on the dimensions of the tunnel, which differ in different manufacturers.
  3. Install four bars so that it turns out a square equal to the mounting hole. Horizontal bars are attached to the rafters of the roof, vertical – to horizontal.
  4. At the site of the mounting opening by an office knife, cut the waterproofing by two diagonals.
  5. Wrap the resulting triangles of the waterproofing film on the bars of the mounting hole, pull and fix it with a construction stapler. Free ends of the film can be folded or cut off.
  6. Carefully glue the square corners with reinforced tape to ensure complete tightness.
  7. Try a salary to the mounting hole. Its adhesive corrugated part should go to the roofing of about 2/3.
  8. If everything is correct, stick rifted polyurethane on the roofing. He must fit tightly and fully repeat its shape. Cut the extra corners.
  9. Fix the salary with screws, including brackets from the inside.
  10. Glue the edges of the corrugated material for better sealing.
  11. Collect the roof around the tunnel.
  12. Lower the pipe of the light in the tunnel and fix it.
  13. Set the glass.

Following the external unit’s installation, we advise thoroughly cleaning the glass to remove any dust.

Installation of the light and lampage

Every other task is completed internally. First, make a hole in the room’s ceiling beneath the ceiling. In the event that you are unable to access the undercarbon space, the pipe must be assembled and insulated through this opening. In any case, insulation of the light tunnel is necessary to prevent excessive heat loss and the formation of condensation inside the pipe. Steaming is done using one of two methods:

  1. If you have a cold roof, then vapor barrier is needed only at the very opening for the ceiling.
  2. If the attic is insulated along the roof, then the entire pipe on top of the insulation must be closed with a vapor barrier film.

The design of the ceiling hole must be completed after the flower gun’s thermal insulation. To accomplish this, create the frame with the film in the hole, fasten the vapor barrier to the frame with adhesive tape, and secure it with screws. After that, insert the pipe into the hole, trim it to the appropriate length, and fasten it to the frame. Position the mounting location using the reinforced tape.

Installing the scatter is the final step. Although they can be mounted with screws, light tunnel ceilings are typically simply screwed into frames. Additionally, light-boiled curtains are fastened to the frame so they can nearly perfectly adjust to the dispersion. Following the completion of the primary installation work, any accessories, such as lamps, are placed inside or on top of the tunnel.

Envision a house where light cascades from every angle, illuminating spaces and boosting emotions all day long. This concept of smart lighting goes beyond simple fixtures and lightbulbs to include creative ways to harness the sun’s inherent brilliance. Homes can be made more comfortable and energy-efficient by carefully planning their roofs to distribute and collect sunlight.

Using solar tubes or light tunnels is one of the primary methods for accomplishing this. These clever gadgets direct sunlight from the roof into spaces in the house that aren’t well-lit by windows, like closets, bathrooms, or hallways. These systems can drastically cut down on the need for artificial lighting during the day by rerouting sunlight through reflective tubes, which saves energy and lowers utility costs.

Incorporating roof windows or skylights is another way to improve natural lighting. These additions offer ventilation and a link to the outside in addition to flooding interior spaces with natural light. Skylights can be fixed or movable, giving homeowners the flexibility to adjust the amount of light and airflow to suit their needs and tastes.

Beyond just being useful, adding sunlight to a home’s design improves the atmosphere and coziness of the rooms. There is evidence that exposure to natural light reduces eyestrain and fatigue and enhances mood and productivity. Homeowners can make their spaces healthier and cozier for themselves and their family by adopting smart lighting solutions that use the roof as a natural light source.

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Alexandra Fedorova

Journalist, author of articles on construction and repair. I will help you understand the complex issues related to the choice and installation of the roof.

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