Solar Tube Skylights

Solar Tube Skylights

There’s no substitute for natural light. In comparison with the artificial variety, it’s better for your health, the environment, and your electric bill. So figuring out how to get more daylight into your home is a worthwhile endeavor, to say the least. For rooms with an exterior wall, the solution is simple—add a window. For interior spaces where windows aren’t an option, tubular skylights are a smart alternative.

tubular skylights 2 - Alex Perez Roofing Sacramento

How Do Solar Tube Skylights Work?

A solar tube, commonly referred to as a sun tunnel, is a skylight alternative for channeling sunlight to a building’s interior. With this technology, sunlight enters a metallic tube through a clear covering protruding from your roof. The natural light is then channeled along the length of the tube and into your building by a highly reflective polished sheet metal material that acts as a continuous mirror.

Most solar tubes don’t actually produce any solar electricity, but some newer products have integrated photovoltaic technologies to provide artificial lighting when the sun isn’t shining. Solar tubes are generally not a replacement for electric lighting; rather, they are best used as an alternative to a natural skylight. While you won’t get a view of the sky like you would with a skylight, they are usually a lower cost product that can be easy-to-install and reliable alternative to skylights.

Why Solar Tubes?

The Benefits Of Solar Tube Skylights

Economic Benefits

One obvious cost-saving benefit of installing a tubular skylight is that daylight is free. Once the device is installed, your dependence on electricity is reduced, and so is your utility bill. Tubular daylighting devices, are also more affordable and less costly to install than traditional skylights. In most cases, they can be installed in a matter of hours, requiring no construction, drywall, or repainting. Solar Tube Skylights are designed with a  light-capturing dome that redirects low-angle sunlight and rejects overpowering midday summer sun. They also minimize heat gain and loss for added savings on heating and cooling.

Environmental Benefits

Skylights harness one of our most coveted natural and sustainable resources—light from the sun. So putting them to work at home not only lessens reliance on electricity, but also reduces energy consumption from power plants. When we consume less, we conserve more natural resources and help limit greenhouse-damaging gas emissions—a win for us and the planet. For added earth-friendly benefits, Solatube’s manufacturing plant recycles its excess production materials, making their products both clean and green.

Emotional Benefits

It’s no secret that natural light, or the lack thereof, affects us on a physiological level. Consider the existence of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a state of depression that can occur when one doesn’t get enough exposure to the sun. Sunlight plays an important role as a mood elevator by triggering the production of serotonin. It is also a key contributor of heart-protecting vitamin D. And it helps regulate circadian rhythms, which contributes to healthier sleep cycles. Sunlight also heightens energy levels and concentration, making you more productive and naturally alert. In short, daylight is a staple of our existence that we rely on for emotional balance.

Solar Tube Skylight

Frequently Asked Questions

Do solar tubes work without direct sunlight?

The technology utilized by the Solar Tubes skylight’s dome automatically adjusts daylight harvesting to create more consistent light than traditional skylights. There is a minimal loss of light through reflection as well, so almost all of the light captured by the solar tubes can be used to light your home.

Where should solar tubes be placed?

Because they are relatively small, solar tubes can be easily placed between roof rafters. As a homeowner, that alleviates worry about the structural integrity of your roof. Compared to skylights, solar tubes minimize heat gains and heat losses.

Do solar tubes work at night?

Can a Solar Tube Daylighting System store light for use at night? No, the Solar Tube Daylighting System only transfers the available sunlight that enters through the dome during the day.

How much light do you get from a solar tube?

With solar tubesyou can light your home for free without the expense of skylight installation or the need to alter the look of your rooms. Free lighting – On a sunny day, one 10-inch solar tube gives you around the same amount of light as three 100-watt bulbs. That’s enough to illuminate a 200 sq. ft.

Are solar tubes worth it?

Solar tubes are generally not a replacement for electric lighting; rather, they are best used as an alternative to a natural skylight. While you won’t get a view of the sky like you would with a skylight, they are usually a lower cost product that can be easy-to-install and reliable alternative to skylights.

How much does a solar tube skylight cost?

Solar tubes cost between $500 – $1,000 on average when installed professionally, whereas a traditional skylight averages $2,000 or more. However, if you are comfortable and handy with roof work, you may be able to install solar lights on your own with a kit costing around $200 – $400.

Are solar tubes better than skylights?

The more energy efficient of the two is the solar tube because light is captured and diffused into the home, unlike the direct sunlight of a skylightSkylights allow up to three times the direct sunlight than regular windows. … Still, looking at unwanted heat gain alone, a solar tube is a better choice.

Are solar tubes energy efficient?

In regard to energy efficiency, the solar tube is more effective, capturing light and diffusing it into the home. … Skylights are often filtered to reduce UV rays, but solar tubes block UV rays at the dome.