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How to Make a Solar Tube Mirror Pipe

Daylight systems can save you money by lighting your home with natural sunlight during the day in areas where a conventional skylight would be impractical. These systems channel daylight from your roof and reflect it into your home. This creates a unique architectural effect and allows you to light up utility rooms, hallways, closets, dining rooms, kitchens or any other space in your home. The key element of these systems is a highly reflective tube designed to trap sunlight and concentrate it onto a lens, which diffuses the light into your home. You can make your own solar tube mirror pipe, which although not as reflective, will be much more affordable.

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  1. Measure the distance from your roof to the spot where you wish to place the skylight output. If your installation requires a diagonal angle for your mirror pipe, measure this distance or your pipe will be too short.

  2. Cut your PVC pipe to your required length. Sand down the edges of your pipe to guarantee a good seal when you connect it to a lens and to your roof's sunlight dome.

  3. Calculate the perimeter of your pipe. Multiply its diameter by Pi, 3.14. If your pipe is 10 centimetres wide your perimeter would by 31.4 centimetres.

  4. Cut a section of industrial mirror paper that is as wide as the perimeter of your pipe and as long as length of your pipe. Remove the backing of the industrial mirror paper and insert with care into the pipe.

  5. Tip

    An alternative, and more expensive method is to use a polished steel tube and spray the interior with reflective paint. Note that either of these methods will not replicate the reflection rates of a commercial solar tube mirror.

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Things You'll Need

  • PVC pipe
  • Saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Self-adhesive industrial mirror paper
  • Scissors
  • Ruler

About the Author

Andrew Latham has worked as a professional copywriter since 2005 and is the owner of LanguageVox, a Spanish and English language services provider. His work has been published in "Property News" and on the San Francisco Chronicle's website, SFGate. Latham holds a Bachelor of Science in English and a diploma in linguistics from Open University.

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