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  1. #1
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    Default Skylights

    Thinking of installing a few. There is a choice between the traditional skylights or the illume ones. Say a few words on your experience. Which is better. Pros and cons. Thank you in advance.

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    4K Club Member OBBob's Avatar
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    I'm about to put some illumes in. Love the idea, reviews are good... time will tell but I'm happy to take a point in technology.

    Worth noting I have a few physical limitations that support the faux-skylight option too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OBBob View Post
    I'm about to put some illumes in. Love the idea, reviews are good... time will tell but I'm happy to take a point in technology.

    Worth noting I have a few physical limitations that support the faux-skylight option too.
    Can you share what kind of illumes you choose? And what your expectations are (how many square meters are you going to give light to, how high are your ceilings), if you don't mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barnes View Post
    Can you share what kind of illumes you choose? And what your expectations are (how many square meters are you going to give light to, how high are your ceilings), if you don't mind.
    I haven't chosen yet but I'm likely to go something like two of the 400mm square version. It's only an ensuite and walk-in robe (total about 8msq) so I'm happy for a bit of a risk on this working sufficiently. I'll probably go the 'premium' version because the cable is bigger and longer and you get a bit more light output from the led panel. That size says it puts out around 1000 lumens at the lower end, which seems heaps since I have an 800 lumen batten globe in a 12sqm room and it's plenty bright.

    I really love roof windows and had big ones in the last house (even triple glazed you can get a lot of heat transfer). However, it became apparent that because of the proximity to the neighbours I'd probably have a blind on it most of the time (or frost it), plus there is a lot more roof (framing, bracing, plumbing) work for a window, plus sound and heat transfer, plus possible moisture issues in a bathroom. So that's how I ended up where I am.

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    4K Club Member OBBob's Avatar
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    Oh ... 2.4m ceilings.

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    Roof windows need plumbing how? I have an old Velux and it leaks like a sieve, which surprises me a bit given the amount of flashing around it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudbrick View Post
    Roof windows need plumbing how? I have an old Velux and it leaks like a sieve, which surprises me a bit given the amount of flashing around it.
    I see you have problems with the traditional one? There is no way you can stop the leaking?

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    4K Club Member OBBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudbrick View Post
    Roof windows need plumbing how? I have an old Velux and it leaks like a sieve, which surprises me a bit given the amount of flashing around it.
    I meant it makes more work for the roof plumber in a new build.

    Is your roof low pitch?

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    Nothing has worked so far though I adjjt I haven't ripped all the flashing off and started again which would probably be best.
    Low pitch yes 15 degree only

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    Quote Originally Posted by OBBob View Post
    I meant it makes more work for the roof plumber in a new build.

    Is your roof low pitch?
    What about mine - 22,5, is it low?

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    Quote Originally Posted by barnes View Post
    Thinking of installing a few. There is a choice between the traditional skylights or the illume ones. Say a few words on your experience. Which is better. Pros and cons. Thank you in advance.
    After tracing up the reference I found that "Illume" is a trade name for one brand of LED Solar Powered "Skylight". (Just as "Thermos" is a brand of vacuum flask, "Panadol" is a brand of paracetamol etc.)

    One learns something new every day!

  12. #12
    4K Club Member OBBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrodoOne View Post
    After tracing up the reference I found that "Illume" is a trade name for one brand of LED Solar Powered "Skylight". (Just as "Thermos" is a brand of vacuum flask, "Panadol" is a brand of paracetamol etc.)

    One learns something new every day!
    Yes, most common version in Australia but there are others globally.

  13. #13
    4K Club Member OBBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barnes View Post
    What about mine - 22,5, is it low?
    That's not too bad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrodoOne View Post
    After tracing up the reference I found that "Illume" is a trade name for one brand of LED Solar Powered "Skylight". (Just as "Thermos" is a brand of vacuum flask, "Panadol" is a brand of paracetamol etc.)

    One learns something new every day!
    As a guy who lived in the States all through the 70s I call kids diapers - Pampers, buy the name of the company that started them or made them popular, the same is with Xerox.

  15. #15
    4K Club Member OBBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barnes View Post
    As a guy who lived in the States all through the 70s I call kids diapers - Pampers, buy the name of the company that started them or made them popular, the same is with Xerox.
    Lol... but they're not called daipers here, they're called nappies.

    Anyway, no roof angle issues with solar skylights.

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    We have two Velux skylights on a near flat roof (clip lock) One small leak in eight years and that was just a matter of another coat of sealing goo, sometimes leaks around skylights aren't the skylight but can be a nearby valley or leak that simply comes out through the base of the skylight after running along the ceiling sheet. We also have a couple of tube skylights that are quite good and bring in a lot of light, certainly much more than the traditional 600mm square cover with tunnel they replaced.

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    Do the tube type lights let much heat in ? I could do with one of those. Is there any issues with skylights and colourbond roofing ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudbrick View Post
    Do the tube type lights let much heat in ? I could do with one of those. Is there any issues with skylights and colourbond roofing ?
    Tube lights will "let in" significant heat only if the outside fitting faces North (or West). Obviously, this is because, at certain times of day, the sun could then shine directly into them and into the house.
    If they face South, only sky-light will enter, that is quite bright enough and will not heat the house!

    This is written with the experience of three existing South-facing Sky-lights - two Tube-Lights and one "full" sky-light. However they are all in a tiled roof, so I cannot comment concerning colourbond roofing.

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    4K Club Member OBBob's Avatar
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    ^ WHS... In one of my past places I put a couple of roof windows on the north side. I thought I was doing the right thing because capturing north light is important right? In reality I would've got plenty of light from the south without the huge heat transfer of the north (even thought they were triple glazed). Always learning.

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    I have done a few illume's and they work great, recently did the 600x600 manhole replacement type, it lit up like a football stadium.

    I have a 350mm round in the laundry and it lights the whole room up, 5x3m, it has no natural light as it's under the house.

    Be sure to place the solar cell so it' has no trees to obstruct it.

    I still like the idea of seeing out the window, but most let in heaps of summer heat if placed on the wrong size, they get dirty, and can leak, illume solves all those problems.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    I have done a few illume's and they work great, recently did the 600x600 manhole replacement type, it lit up like a football stadium.

    I have a 350mm round in the laundry and it lights the whole room up, 5x3m, it has no natural light as it's under the house.

    Be sure to place the solar cell so it' has no trees to obstruct it.

    I still like the idea of seeing out the window, but most let in heaps of summer heat if placed on the wrong size, they get dirty, and can leak, illume solves all those problems.
    Glad to hear real feedback, thanks!

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    4K Club Member OBBob's Avatar
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    Do you think you can have too much light? I'm deciding between 400mm and 600mm in a room that's about 4sqm... I'm thinking perhaps the smaller is sufficient? I want plenty of light but don't want to be dazzled even time I walk in there.

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    These also dim and brighten as the clouds go over, they are very white LED in them, I would have preferred a slight yellow tinge but you don't notice it after a week,
    On overcast days they are not at full brightness but that the same as a normal skylight,

    They now have internal windows, stock sizes up to 600x122 or custom to whatever you want.
    There is also an option to hook a plug pack onto them and switch them onto full brightness whenever you want, so you can replace ceiling light in the room with this, and simply switch it on at night.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OBBob View Post
    Do you think you can have too much light? I'm deciding between 400mm and 600mm in a room that's about 4sqm... I'm thinking perhaps the smaller is sufficient? I want plenty of light but don't want to be dazzled even time I walk in there.
    They are fairly bright, with massive beam spread,

    They have retail and premium versions, see below for lumen's of each model.

    4sqm is a tiny room, a 600mm will burn your eyes out

    illume.jpg
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  25. #25
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    Yes, I plan on the premium for the longer cable. The other thing you can do is order a set with say three internal panels and a larger single solar panel. Easier to install and they all operate together.

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    The round ones are more efficient for a given size,

    Don't tell Phil, as he loves Square things


    maxresdefault.jpg


    optical-illusions-026.jpg
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  27. #27
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    Square will suit better in this instance... but generally I prefer to avoid the aligning issues that come with square. :eek:

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    Don't get me wrong as I like the idea of solar power but if you leave a 13w led light on for half a day every day, it would take 25 years to break even with the cost of a 400x400 illume. I think the comparison is fair because that's all you are getting, led light. Natural light can't be beaten IMO.

    edit: just noticed Metrix's comment, should have done a round comparison

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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    These also dim and brighten as the clouds go over, they are very white LED in them, I would have preferred a slight yellow tinge but you don't notice it after a week,
    On overcast days they are not at full brightness but that the same as a normal skylight,

    They now have internal windows, stock sizes up to 600x122 or custom to whatever you want.
    There is also an option to hook a plug pack onto them and switch them onto full brightness whenever you want, so you can replace ceiling light in the room with this, and simply switch it on at night.

    Do you have any experience on how long will the solar panel last?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by barnes View Post
    Do you have any experience on how long will the solar panel last?
    Design life is around 18 years I believe. That doesn't mean it'll fail at 18 years though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    Don't get me wrong as I like the idea of solar power but if you leave a 13w led light on for half a day every day, it would take 25 years to break even with the cost of a 400x400 illume. I think the comparison is fair because that's all you are getting, led light. Natural light can't be beaten IMO.

    edit: just noticed Metrix's comment, should have done a round comparison

    I was waiting for this. Have you accounted for increased electricity pricing over time? ha ha ... anyway, for me it's asthetics. I'd much prefer a roof window but it wasn't feasible. I'd prefer an illume over a normal skylight because - easier installation, no bugs and no heat transfer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OBBob View Post
    I was waiting for this. Have you accounted for increased electricity pricing over time? ha ha ... anyway, for me it's asthetics. I'd much prefer a roof window but it wasn't feasible. I'd prefer an illume over a normal skylight because - easier installation, no bugs and no heat transfer.
    I think part of the desire of having a fake skylight is the feeling of not wasting electricity (guilt), albeit how little it amounts to.

    I still believe it would be cheaper to use the light switch, and as I say, natural light is so much better than the fake stuff. So if you can't get the natural stuff then I would choose the light switch, if you can get natural light then I would do that. However if you are off the grid or saving on a new electrical circuit, then the illume is a great idea.

    IMO.

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    4K Club Member OBBob's Avatar
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    Yes, true.

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    But having said that, it is appealing that the room is automatically lit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    But having said that, it is appealing that the room is automatically lit.
    That's what I meant by asthetics ... you can also leave the lights on or use a sensor I guess ... it just seems different.

    Anyway, this site gives a good insight into the costs of lighting. Verbatim LED Lighting Calculator

    If I ran two LED downlights for 5 hours a day (it's only a bathroom) it'd cost $5/year based on my power cost. It'll only take 70 years to pay off the Illume ... bahahahaha ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by OBBob View Post
    That's what I meant by asthetics ... you can also leave the lights on or use a sensor I guess ... it just seems different.

    Anyway, this site gives a good insight into the costs of lighting. Verbatim LED Lighting Calculator

    If I ran two LED downlights for 5 hours a day (it's only a bathroom) it'd cost $5/year based on my power cost. It'll only take 70 years to pay off the Illume ... bahahahaha ...
    That's what my wife suggested today. Maybe I should rethink this strategy and try to go the natural skylights route.

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    So...
    Let's say I'll settle for the standard-traditional skylights.
    What should I consider more than others from your experience:
    1. Flexible shaft skylight.
    2. Tubular day lighting system.
    3. Vented skylights.

  38. #38
    4K Club Member OBBob's Avatar
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    Which face of your pitched roof were planning on installing them on (North, South, etc.)?

    If money's no object I'd always choose an opening roof window.

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    For a room 2mx2m you only need the equivalent of a normal 60 or 75 watt globe which is about 800lumen so a 400mm would be plenty.
    But I'd go natural light for sure wherever possible though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OBBob View Post
    Which face of your pitched roof were planning on installing them on (North, South, etc.)?

    If money's no object I'd always choose an opening roof window.
    I'm thinking about my garage which is almost 53 m2 with a workshop and I have no natural light there. I don't like opening roof window. I had a Velux in Europe and didn't like it. So which one would you go for personally a flexible shaft one or a tubelar one?

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    4K Club Member OBBob's Avatar
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    I haven't used the tube skylights, so can't comment. I've used Fakro roof windows, which are not very common in Australia but were very good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OBBob View Post
    I haven't used the tube skylights, so can't comment. I've used Fakro roof windows, which are not very common in Australia but were very good.
    You like the Fakro's Bob? I am just looking at them vs the Velux would you use them again?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigandKate View Post
    You like the Fakro's Bob? I am just looking at them vs the Velux would you use them again?
    I bought four of them around 9+ years ago, installed them myself and kept that house for 7+ years without issues. I bought them because they had a good deal at the time and were much cheaper than the Velux equivalent. Mine were triple glaze (as in two laminated layers an air gap and another layer of glass), they opened (and came with flyscreens) and were timber inside with metal outside. The nifty thing was (perhaps it's common) ... the window sash unclipped, so you installed the frame and then clipped in the sash. That made it much easier given it was a 45 degree tiled roof with 5.5m high cathedral ceilings. I do miss being able to look up through those windows at night ...

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    Sent you some pictures.

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    I had FAKRO in one house, they were very easy to install, and manufactured very well, I would use them again,
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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    I had FAKRO in one house, they were very easy to install, and manufactured very well, I would use them again,
    They don't seem to have taken off here but I think they're pretty big in Europe.

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    They actually came to my house and took professional photos for marketing... but I don't think they every did anything with them (well I've never stumbled on my old house in a magazine ).

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    Quote Originally Posted by OBBob View Post
    They don't seem to have taken off here but I think they're pretty big in Europe.
    Agree, not sure why as the quality is a good, if not better than VELUX, I do remember it being hard to find an outlet for them, now they have an AU wesite and various distributors.

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    The problem with Velux is that Velux Australia are still selling all the old model roof windows from the 1990's, Velux replaced the older style windows years ago in Europe with the Velux Integra windows (which are far superior) however they still sell only the old ones here. Typical us Australians getting saddled again, did I also mention the new integra models are half the price of the old ones currently on sale here....

    Sorry for the rant I have skylight related PTSD

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    Quote Originally Posted by OBBob View Post
    They don't seem to have taken off here but I think they're pretty big in Europe.
    Not everywhere. I had never heard of them in most parts of Eastern Europe, but Europe is big...

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