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When homeowners want more natural light in their homes than can be provided by windows and skylights, they were usually out of luck.

But now, thanks to an Australian company, Sola-Tube, natural light can be brought into a house via a device 10 inches in diameter that can be installed in a short time without damaging the structure of a house, said Brent Metcalf, Sola-Tube distributor.Metcalf said Sola-Tube provides natural light to brighten kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, closets, garages or other interior areas where natural light is wanted. The tube can be installed between rafters within two hours with a minimum of disruption or mess.

Sola-Tube is burglar-proof, completely maintenance free and when installed has a small reflector in a bubble on the roof and a diffuser in the room.

Unlike regular skylights that are basically windows in a roof, Sola-Tube uses a roof-mounted reflector and mirrored transfer tubing to deliver natural light quicker and more efficiently, Metcalf said the natural light benefit from traditional skylights cannot be felt until high noon, but with the Sola-Tube the benefit of the sun comes through as it collects the light from early morning until the sun sets.

Metcalf said Sola-Tube Australia started in Sydney in 1990 and within 12 months after Sola-Tube went on the market it became the largest selling skylight in the country. Company officials began looking for additional markets and David Rillie, general manager, opened an office in Carlsbad, Calif.

Located at 4700 S. 900 East, Metcalf's telephone number is 266-6400.