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Friday, October 4,2013

To My Readers:

By Roger Zona  
Question: My house is dark and I need lamps everywhere. Is there a better way to light my home?

Answer: I know the feeling. During the design process the architect can locate windows, openings and skylights to avoid dark areas. However, most home designs are concerned with traffic patterns.


Often a window that provides daylight may kill the wall for arranging furniture.

Let’s consider the alternatives. The latest skylights are convenient, less expensive and provide a generous amount of light. They are called “sun tubes” or “solar tubes”. They can be installed on any type of roof – tile, metal, asphalt shingle, etc. and range in size from 14” diameter to 20”. The “tube” that brings light to a room is a highly reflective material such as mylar, used in flexible tubes, to a reflective surface on a metal tube. The roof lens can be installed to gather the most sunlight and the tube extension is flexible in order to locate the interior lens in the dark areas of your home. Surprisingly, they even gather moonlight.

These tubes range in price from $400 to $1,200 dollars depending on the type of roof installation and the size of the tube. It can be a relatively simple installation when mounted on an asphalt shingle roof or be complex when installed on a Spanish tile roof. I recommend that you hire a professional to install the tube. It can be a D.I.Y. project and there are DVD’s available with step-by-step instructions.

Additionally, properly placed electrical lighting can enhance a room and provide the desired or needed light. Reading lamps should be used at desks and computers. Kitchen countertops need to be well lighted. Indirect lighting can give a room a comfort level without being a glare on a TV.

A dimmer switch helps to control lighting from a chandelier to provide soft lighting for an intimate dinner or bright lights for a party celebration.

Exterior lighting can make your home stand out as well as be a safety element. Solar charged lights work well to mark paths or parking areas and flood lights can be a part of the landscaping. General flood lights deter critters and crooks alike A double flood fixture at each corner is usually very effective.

They should be switched by a light detector device. At sundown they turn on until sun-up the next morning.


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