A poorly lit room is not doomed to stay dark. It is indeed possible to install a light pipe. Decryption by Hélène Rigaut, Marketing Manager of Nature & Confort, national distributor Solatube®.
Is the light pipe a new product?
Not at all. This product as we know it today was created by Solatube® in Australia in 1986. It arrived in the United States in 1992 and then in Europe a few years later. Since the 2000s, competing products have arrived on the market. But Solatube® remains the reference system.
How do light pipes work?
It's very simple. An acrylic dome with a patented lens collects light. This light is transmitted through a tube with highly reflective walls, which can be bent and measure up to 9 meters. The tube filters the infrared to avoid heat. The light is then diffused into the room to be lit using a diffuser.
What are the benefits of a light pipe?
This eliminates the use of electric lighting during the day. This brings undeniable well-being and visual comfort. The quality of the light is almost perfect, and therefore much better than with a lamp. In addition, harmful UV rays are filtered, which prevents discoloration of fabrics and tables, in particular.
Once the duct is installed, what must be done to make it work?
Nothing. Light naturally enters the room. There is no consumable to change. In addition, the dome is self-cleaning with rain thanks to its hemispherical shape.
What type of building can a light pipe be installed on?
As well on an individual house as on a collective premises - nursery, school, gymnasium, village hall, hospitals etc. - or a business premises such as a warehouse, a shop or offices. It adapts to all forms of roofs, in particular to tile molds. We install it as new as a renovation.
Do you offer only one type of light pipe?
Each product is adapted to the problem of the place to be equipped. We are constantly innovating in order to improve the performance of our Solatube® duct, which allows us to offer more and more efficient products as well as certain options according to needs. Thus, our dome can capture the rays of the sun even when it is low on the horizon. Our technology allows 99.7% of the light to be reflected. The tube can be bent up to 90 °. Our system evacuates the condensation water and supports both thermal differences and small movements of the frame.
Is your light pipe difficult to install?
It is completely achievable by a good handyman in 2 to 4 hours. The installation cost is reliable compared to that of a roof window because it is not necessary to install a trimmer and you can bypass the structural parts to avoid touching the structure of the House. In addition, no application for a building permit is necessary.
Is it an environmentally friendly product at all stages of its life cycle?
Yes. In the manufacturing phase, it produces almost no waste. During installation, the only waste is the cardboard boxes and materials such as tiles that have been cut to allow passage to the light pipe. In addition, no water or energy resources are required for the installation.
What is the lifespan of a light pipe?
The light pipes that we installed at the beginning of the company, 20 years ago, still work perfectly. The dome is resistant to saline solutions, atmospheres charged with chlorine, hail, snow and very strong winds. Moreover, our products benefit from a ten-year warranty and the electrical options a five-year warranty.
How much does a Solatube® light pipe cost at Nature & Confort?
Prices start at 550 euros including tax. The price depends on the diameter of the duct, the length of the tube and options such as the ventilation kit for bathrooms or the intensity regulator for bedrooms, TV or meeting rooms.