News, Culture & Society

Australian Chloe Grayling reveals how you can DIY a fake skylight to your home

A couple who purchased their dream house during the Covid-19 lockdown have revealed how they created ‘fake’ skylights in their home.

Chloe Grayling and her tradesman husband Patrick, from South Australia, transformed their dark and gloomy cottage hallway into a bright space after installing a solar-controlled illume system they bought from Bunnings for $355 each.

The pair saved a fortune by opting for a DIY alternative – as a traditional skylight in Australia ranges from $378 to $1,200 per skylight depending on the model – while costs for professional installation are priced between $300 and $600.

After installing the two skylight alternatives themselves, Chloe shared her verdict on social media after she was impressed with the glowing results.

‘This is how we used fake skylights to fill our cottage hallway with a really natural looking beautiful light,’ she said on her Instagram page Love Chloe Jane.

The bright hallway after they installed the fake skylights

A couple who purchased their dream house during the Covid-19 lockdown have revealed how they created ‘fake’ skylights in their home (left of the dark hallway, and right of the bright space after installing the skylight alternatives they bought from Bunnings)

Chloe Grayling (pictured) and her tradesman husband Patrick, from South Australia, transformed their dark and gloomy cottage hallway into a bright space after installing a solar-controlled illume system they bought from Bunnings for $355 each

Chloe Grayling (pictured) and her tradesman husband Patrick, from South Australia, transformed their dark and gloomy cottage hallway into a bright space after installing a solar-controlled illume system they bought from Bunnings for $355 each

How does the skylight alternative work?

The illume solar technology can be installed to any room on any floor with no roof modifications required.

It operates on solar power so there’s no running costs or electricity.

The solar collector feeds ‘information’ to the panels on the inside about how much sun is hitting them. They feed through as much sun as they would if they were a real skylight.

The fake skylights are on when the sun is on; they replace a skylight, which means if it’s overcast, there’s less light, if it’s sunny, it’s bright and if it’s dark outside, it’s dark inside too.

The product doesn’t transfer UV, heat or noise indoors.

The couple found the product in the solar light aisle at the hardware store.

‘The brand I use was illume. You will not find them in the light section because they’re not just lights, you’ve got to walk all the way down to the skylight section because they are skylight alternatives,’ she explained.

‘So they have different shapes and sizes. We used the 400mm square shape.’

She said the product requires no roof modifications.

‘You don’t cut holes in the roof or the ceiling, there’s a solar collector, transfer cable and light panel which is there, up the top is the solar collector,’ she said. 

The couple planned out exactly where the two skylights were going to in the hallway before they began the DIY installation.

‘We picked two for balance in this room. We attached the brackets to the back of the solar collectors and put them on the roof,’ she said.

The products operate through solar technology – meaning no running costs or batteries are required.

‘They don’t store electricity or anything like that,’ she said. 

The couple found the product in the solar light aisle at the hardware store

Chloe with the solar-controlled illume system she bought from Bunnings for $355 each

The couple found the product in the solar light aisle at the hardware store. Chloe holding the box of the solar-controlled illume system she bought from Bunnings for $355 each

The couple planned out exactly where the two skylights were going to in the hallway before they began the DIY installation

The couple planned out exactly where the two skylights were going to in the hallway before they began the DIY installation

The couple planned out exactly where the two skylights were going to in the hallway before they began the DIY installation 

‘They’re really cool. They are on when the sun is on; they truly replace a skylight, which means if it’s overcast, there’s less light, if it’s sunny, it’s bright and if it’s dark outside, it’s dark inside too.

‘Basically the solar collector feeds information to the panels on the inside about exactly how much sun is hitting them. So they feed through as much sun as they would if they were a real skylight.’

The couple drilled holes through their roof where they wired the solar panels to the skylight alternatives in their hallway because they ‘had the freedom to’.

‘We took the brackets off of the back of the light panels because we wanted them to sit close to the roof. We measured them out and drilled one hole for the wire to go through that white one, connected two wires together and voila,’ she said.

‘It didn’t look that natural at first but it’s definitely adjusted. I think they are a really cool alternative to a skylight.’

The couple drilled holes through their roof where they wired the solar panels to the skylight alternatives in their hallway because they 'had the freedom to'

The couple drilled holes through their roof where they wired the solar panels to the skylight alternatives in their hallway because they 'had the freedom to'

The couple drilled holes through their roof where they wired the solar panels to the skylight alternatives in their hallway because they ‘had the freedom to’

Chloe said while the alternatives didn't come cheap, she said they were 'a lot cheaper than all of the skylights' they looked at

Chloe said while the alternatives didn’t come cheap, she said they were ‘a lot cheaper than all of the skylights’ they looked at

For those renting, Chloe suggested ‘sticking them up with something less permanent’ like ‘running the wire though a manhole’.

‘It wouldn’t look as “flawless” but if you’re renting, it would save you your bond,’ she said. 

‘If it’s a good spot, sticking one on the manhole would be a great option because you could just pull the cover down to repaint if you ever had to.’

Chloe said while the alternatives didn’t come cheap, she said they were ‘a lot cheaper than all of the skylights’ they looked at. 

‘It saved us from cutting big holes in the ceiling or roof, or risk leaking. They are easy to DIY, no need to hire a professional,’ she said.

Unlike a traditional skylight, illume has no heat transfer during the warmer months – and can add extra light to any room on any floor with no roof modifications required.

The skylight alternatives can be installed in hallways, entrances, walk-in robes, bathrooms, en-suites and powder rooms.



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk