How to Install a Solar Tube Skylight

A solar tube skylight is an incredible addition to a room because they allow in natural light to brighten and enhance the space. Essentially, solar tube skylights are just windows on the ceiling of a room that allow light to enter the area. These skylights are able to fit into smaller and more compact spaces than other traditional skylights allowing light into narrow areas. Installation of a solar tube skylight is not difficult and requires the use of just a few tools. 

Finding a Location for a Solar Tube Skylight 

A solar tube skylight extends through the roof of a house to the ceiling of the room. First, create a template of the dome and ceiling parts of the skylight that you purchased by tracing around both ends onto a piece of paper. Next, you should decide where to place the solar tube skylight. You will need to check the attic to ensure there are no joists, beams or wiring that conflict with the desired location. Once the location is set, you can mark the skylight site by driving a long nail through the ceiling where the center of the skylight will be. Go into the attic and use something straight like a piece of pipe, for example, to extend from the nail extruding from the ceiling to the roof. Drive a long nail through the roof just as with the ceiling. 

Cutting the Holes for a Solar Tube Skylight

Now you will need to go into the attic and trace the template you made in the location of the skylight. The nail should be directly in the center of the template and when complete you will have a circle guideline to use for cutting. Use a drywall saw to cut out the circle in the ceiling. Next, you will go to the roof and follow the same steps to trace the circular pattern onto the roof. Use a handheld jigsaw to cut the circle in the roof removing the shingles and materials as you go. 

Installation of the Solar Tube Skylight

Now you will need to install the flashing into the hole in the roof. You will use roofing tar to create a barrier between the roof and the flashing and then secure the flashing with screws. Once the flashing is in place, you will attach the dome to it according to the product instructions, by either snapping it into place or screwing it to the flashing. Now you will install the tube from the dome in the roof to the hole in the ceiling. Measure the tube you have and make any sizing changes necessary by cutting the tube with a razor blade. Insert the top of the tube into the dome and twist to ensure proper fitting and then fit into the hole in the ceiling. Finally, you will go into the room to install the ceiling fixture. Most ceiling fixtures will just screw into place much like a lighting fixture. Just ensure that the tubing from the attic fits into the fixture properly. 

Just remember while installing the skylight to secure your dome and fixture well. You also want to ensure that your bond between the roof and flashing is secure to prevent leaking from rain.