Let the Sunshine In: Hoosier Skylights provides cost-effective alternative to traditional skylights with the Solatube Daylighting System

November 2019

Joe Harrell is a retired Air Force veteran and a licensed Realtor, so he knows all the “tricks” to selling a house. “During a showing, [the Realtor] will turn on every light and open every window,” said Harrell. “So when the buyer goes in, they say, ‘Oh, this place is gorgeous!’ Then when they get all their stuff in and window coverings up, they say, ‘Why is this kitchen so dark?'” It’s that kind of insight and experience that makes Joe and Maria Harrell uniquely qualified to provide the very product that can brighten that dark kitchen … or any room.

Let the Sunshine In
Joe Harrell

Joe and Maria met in 2003 when they both worked at Indy’s hometown airline, ATA. Joe was a pilot and Maria a flight attendant. After the airline closed its doors, Joe and Maria used their entrepreneurial backgrounds to look for a business that offered green and solar products. That led them to open Hoosier Skylights in 2014.

Hoosier Skylights offers Solatube Tubular Skylights, an innovative skylight system that brings natural light to virtually any corner of your home at a fraction of the cost of traditional skylights with no structural changes to your home. The Solatube captures daylight with a small acrylic dome on your roof. The patented dome uses a Fresnel-type lens—the same kind used in lighthouses—to direct the light down through a highly reflective tube and into any room where you want more light.

Let the Sunshine In

“We can go up to 30 feet without diminishing the amount of light that goes through the tube,” said Joe, “and can reach places that wouldn’t be accessible through traditional means.” That’s a big advantage of the Solatube system over typical skylights. One of the Harrells’ customers wanted a skylight in the foyer, but the front of the house faced north with very little direct sunlight. “So we directed [the tube] all the way from the rear roof. It was an amazing result,” said Harrell.

Let the Sunshine In

Smaller Spaces

Solatube Tubular Skylights are available in 10-inch and 14-inch diameter tubes. “We can get these in smaller spaces, like closets, laundry rooms and hallways where you’re not going to put a traditional, big skylight,” said Maria. The 10-inch tube is perfect for those smaller, more confined areas, while the 14-inch size provides enough light for medium to large rooms like bedrooms or living rooms. Solatube installation only takes about two hours and is done without making structural changes to the home. Maria said kitchens and living rooms have been the most popular placement of Solatube installation for their customers at Hoosier Skylights, the only Premier Dealer of Solatube Daylighting Systems in the state of Indiana.

Solatube Tubular Skylights also eliminate the heat and cold transfer of traditional skylights. Direct sunlight streaming into a room through a typical skylight can create a greenhouse effect. Not so with a Solatube skylight. It also blocks UV rays, so there’s no worry about faded carpets or furniture.

Decorative Fixtures

Every Solatube Daylighting System comes with their standard Vusion Diffusor. But you can choose from a variety of optional decorative fixtures to enhance the look of the skylight. The TierDrop and JustFrost have a clean, contemporary design and create a softer, more diffused light, while the OptiView uses glass similar to the Fresnel lens on the roof end of the tube to provide dazzling, brighter light throughout the room.

Let the Sunshine In

The JustFrost and OptiView are available in round or square fixtures to blend with any decor, and the TierDrop is round. If you prefer the more traditional look of a ceiling light fixture globe, the AuroraGlo is available in white or bronze.

Optional Accessories

Joe Harrell said many people choose to add an optional light kit to their Solatube Tubular Skylight when replacing an existing light fixture. “They don’t want to lose that light. We can put the light inside the tube, so at night they can use it,” he said. “It allows for 24-hour functionality.” When replacing a light, the Solatube light kit can easily be connected to the existing wiring. Where no previous fixture is in place, new wiring and switches can be added. The light kit is one of several optional accessories available from Hoosier Skylights.

Another popular option is the Daylight Dimmer, making it possible to adjust the amount of light coming through the Solatube. “Say somebody has one in their living room, but they’re watching a movie during the day and want a darker atmosphere,” said Joe. “You can close off 99% of the light with the dimmer valve.”

For bathroom placement of a Solatube skylight, there is a Ventilation Add-on Kit. It performs just like a typical bathroom exhaust fan but much quieter and twice as effective as a standard fan.

30% Federal Tax Credit

Each Solatube Tubular Skylight is fitted with a small, solar-powered NightLight battery inside the tube near the ceiling. The NightLight stores solar power throughout the day. Then at night, two small LED lights come on automatically, providing a soft glow just bright enough to allow for safe movement through your home. No need to fumble for light switches or bump into furniture in the middle of the night.

And the best part? Because it’s solar-powered, it makes the entire Solatube unit eligible for a 30% federal tax credit. Hoosier Skylights provides all the information and paperwork you need to take advantage of the tremendous tax savings.

Older Homes or New Construction

The Solatube Daylighting System is perfect for anyone wanting to update an older home or, as Maria explains, for people who discover after years of living in the house how little light there is. “A lot of retirees will call us because now they’re home during the day and realize the house isn’t as bright during the day,” she said.

But Solatube Tubular Skylights can be part of new construction as well. “We work hand-in-hand with contractors,” said Joe. “Ideally, we get there right before they put the shingles on. We get our product down, and then they shingle and tuck in around it.”

Whether it’s an upgrade or new construction, the materials used in the installation process of a Solatube skylight provides a leak-proof system compared to traditional skylights. Unlike the multipiece flashing used around older skylights, Solatubes have a one-piece flashing that minimizes expansion and contraction due to weather. “We put an ice and water shield underneath the flashing, as well as a flashing insulator, to keep moisture away from the area,” said Joe.

While the construction and installation of a traditional skylight can run $3,000 to $4,000, a Solatube Daylighting System starts as low as $750.

Solar Star Solar-Powered Attic Fans

The Solatube Daylighting System isn’t the only product Hoosier Skylights offers that can improve the look and comfort of your home. Their Solar Star Solar-Powered Attic Fans have year-round benefits.

In the summer, the Solar Star fan draws the oppressive heat from your attic, providing a more comfortable house interior. It also keeps roof structures and material from deteriorating and reduces air conditioning costs. In the winter, by equalizing the interior and exterior temperatures, it removes excess humidity and moisture from your attic space. And because Hoosier Skylights’ attic fans are solar powered—like the Solatube Tubular Skylights NightLight—they also qualify for the 30% federal tax credit.

Solar Star Solar-Powered Attic Fans come in a variety of styles, including low profile for a sleeker look and high profile for areas prone to heavy snow buildup.

Whole-House Fans

Whole-house fans have been around for decades. And while they are effective, the knock on them has always been that they’re loud and disruptive. That’s not the case with the Solatube Whole House Fan. It’s whisper-quiet as it pulls the fresh outdoor air into your living space and pushes the stale indoor air out through the attic. It also improves air quality and removes odors, creating a healthier home environment while reducing air conditioning cost.

HomeStory Doors

Hoosier Skylights can also improve the physical look of your home by replacing your old interior doors with HomeStory Doors. With HomeStory Doors, Hoosier Skylights uses an innovative process that eliminates the need for days (or weeks) of messy intrusion in your home. Using proprietary technology, Hoosier Skylights takes a precise custom measurement of the door frame. This allows the creation of a new door that is an exact fit, even if your house has experienced settling over time.

HomeStory Doors are available in a variety of styles, colors, paint finishes and hardware. Whether it’s interior doors, closet doors, bifolding doors, barn doors or wood doors, there’s a HomeStory Door to fit your decor. And because the new door is custom made and factory painted, it comes ready to install. The no-hassle installation of your new HomeStory Door takes as little as two to three hours.

Sol-Lux Eos Window Awning

Hoosier Skylights newest product is the Sol-Lux Eos Window Awning. Unlike regular shades or blinds, the Sol-Lux Eos awning is designed to keep sunlight off your windows from the outside, while keeping your outdoor view unobstructed.

The awning is solar powered, so there is no cost to run it. It works automatically, extending itself when it detects sunlight and retracting when the sun has passed. It even detects strong winds and retracts itself to prevent damage. The Sol-Lux Eos Window Awning comes in 180 different case colors and 70 different fabric colors and is available in sizes from 39 inches wide to 120 inches wide in half-inch increments, completely customizable to fit your home’s style and window size.

From innovative skylights to whisper-quiet whole-house fans and more, Hoosier Skylights has the products that can give your home a whole new look, inside and out. And they offer a 10-year warranty on Solatube brand products and a lifetime warranty on installation.

Call Joe and Maria Harrell today at (317) 642-7787 to find out if Hoosier Skylights and Solatube Daylighting Systems can add value to your home and save you money on energy costs.

And don’t forget the 30% federal tax credit.

Visit Hoosier Skylights’ websites to see their full line of home improvement products: hoosierskylights.com, homestorydoors.com and sol-lux.com.