“Gotta Love Free Light”

retrofit Magazine Editor Christina Koch shares her experience installing three Solatube tubular skylights in her home.

When retrofit magazine Editor Christina Koch began remodeling her outdated kitchen, she knew her main focus was to brighten the space by introducing more natural light. Due to her north-facing kitchen, the area never received any natural light. Christina often felt “claustrophobic” from the lack of light combined with the kitchen’s dark floors, cabinetry and countertops.

“When it came to natural lighting, our north-facing kitchen needed all the help it could get. I wanted to include a skylight or a tubular skylight so that I could finally bring daylight into our space,” says Christina.

Christina asked her contractor, Kevin Schmidt, owner of Kevin Schmidt Construction, what he recommended for an energy-efficient natural daylighting solution. He suggested tubular skylights by Solatube International because of the easy installation process and leak-proof seal. He was already familiar with Solatube as well. Christina agreed with her contractor and contacted her local Solatube Premier Dealer for a free daylighting consultation.

“Solatube tubular skylights are easy to install and look great. I put in my first one about 15 years ago, and I’ve been installing them ever since,” says Kevin Schmidt, owner of Kevin Schmidt Construction.

The morning after the Solatube tubular skylights were installed, Christina’s husband, Bart, went to let their dog outside. The kitchen was so bright from all the natural daylight pouring out from their new Solatube tubular skylights that Bart thought they had left a light on in the kitchen overnight. Yelling for Christina to come downstairs, both were stunned at the amount of natural light their north-facing kitchen now had.

The amount of natural light the two tubular skylights let in is more than enough to complete any task without turning on any artificial lights. Christina’s daughter even takes full advantage of all the light and often plays with her kitchen set as her mom prepares meals for the family.

Their once dark and “claustrophobic” kitchen is now a cheerful and welcoming space for cooking and entertaining.

The Kochs also learned, like most Solatube clients, that natural daylight is addictive!


Impressed by the amount of natural light delivered to their previously dark and dull kitchen, they brainstormed where a third Solatube would benefit them. They instantly thought of the dark, closet-like stairwell leading to their garage.

At best, their current stairwell was inconvenient while going to and from the garage and, at worst, was a severe tripping hazard. For their family’s safety, they decided a Solatube tubular skylight would be a cost-effective solution to lighting up the space.

With the space being so small, the Kochs were extra excited when their contractor could also install the Universal Light Add-On Kit to their Solatube tubular skylight. The add-on doubles the skylight as a light, ensuring they will always have a light above the stairs, day or night. Additionally, the two-in-one tubular skylight keeps the small ceiling space neat and not overcrowded.

“It’s amazing how much natural light fills the garage stairway and even spills over to light the garage itself. We didn’t know what we were missing,” Christina adds.

“You gotta love free light,” Bart concludes.

With the addition of three Solatube tubular skylights, the Kochs now have a completely transformed kitchen—and garage stairwell—filled with beautiful natural light. The breathtaking aesthetics that the skylights provide make each space feel larger, and the free daylight helps cut their energy costs.

Do you have a space in your home that desperately needs “free light?”

Take the first step towards a brighter home by visiting Solatube.com or calling 888.solatube to schedule a free virtual or in-home consultation with your local Solatube Premier Dealer.