Solar Tubes are narrow tubes that run from your roof to the ceiling to provide natural sunlight. They are also called sun tunnels, light tubes, tubular skylights, and daylight pipes.
Solar tubes are available in various sizes ranging from 10 to 22 inches in diameter, or even more, it can be if you need it to be.
They are protected with a clear and weatherproof dome, lined with a polished material, which expands the sunlight as it passes through.
One 10 inches solar tube works as equivalent to three 100-watt bulbs. These are mostly installed in your house areas, which are usually dark and require proper lighting, like closets, hallways, kitchen, bathroom.
Your electric bills can cost much during winters, and your house also gets dark and gloomy, which is why it is essential to put the solar tubes, which will give your room natural sunlight throughout.
Installing solar tubes will not only help you cut costs on your bills, but it will also help protect the environment and our planet. Everyone nowadays is opting for greener days and ways to live.
People are doing this by using Sun, which heats up and lights the planet, but is a beautiful source for providing electricity.
One thing that most readers ask is the difference between a skylight and solar tubes.
Skylights also require windows set in the roof of your house, but it requires a bit of installation time, a few materials, a few labors, all because of the large size it requires to build.
They are suitable for allowing the natural sunlight to come through, but it also warms up your room with the solar energy coming in. They are famous both for the light and the view of the sky.
In comparison to skylights, solar tubes are narrow, do not provide any expansion of the sky, and are more deeply set in your ceiling.
Types of Solar Lights
Solar lights are different than solar tubes but are equally useful if you wish to install them. There are plenty of solar lights you can choose from:
- Solar string lights – great for decoration purposes, hang from the strings and be used both indoors and outdoors, can be hung in trees, shrubs, or even gazebos.
- Solar deck lights – can be served for decoration purposes, mostly on decks or stairs. They are available in different shapes and sizes.
- Solar post lights – these are the lightning posts that absorb more sunlight and provides lighter. They look stylish and can cover more than one space. ● Solar lanterns – these are great for camping, outdoor activities, or installing it in your backyard. You can take them with you anywhere.
- Solar wall lights are used to mount on the walls, entrances, or even garages, making them look stylish.
- Solar step lights – these are very stylish and can be placed under every stair inside or outside so that you do not slip when going out in the dark.
- Solar lawn lights – these are used in your lawns to show your beautiful flowers and plants to the guests.
- Solar emergency lights are used when there is a power shortage, and they have built-in power banks that help you stay awake during darker nights.
It installs only through the roof, into your ceiling, giving you the brisk sunlight while saving your money. However, not all can do this, which is why there are few drawbacks to this. Before we discuss the drawbacks of solar tubes, let us see the benefits.
Benefits of Solar Tubes
As we mentioned, installing solar tubes allows you to pay less on your electricity bills. It brightens an area that is usually dark during the daytime with the natural sunlight which passes through the ceiling. It saves the cost and power in the long run too.
They do not allow your room to get heated up, unlike the skylights. They do not let the warmth of the Sun come into your room, thereby keeping your room temperature as you want it to be. They are sometimes also UV protected to keep any of your furniture fades naturally.
Sometimes, both skylights and solar tubes can be installed in your room. You might want to install them where you want the natural sunlight to pass through and warmth.
In that case, you can install both lights, but you need to make sure that no furniture is getting harmed by it. The most common example of putting both the lights is in your bathroom.
Drawbacks of Solar Tubes
If you think that solar tubes do not take a lot of space to install, you are wrong. It requires even more space to install than you think.
If you have a small room, each inch of your roof will be required to install. So, if you want to enjoy natural sunlight coming to your room, you need to have lots of space for it to fit.
With solar tubes, no view of the sky is available, so unless you want to enjoy a view, prefer skylights over tubes.
Skylights also have their drawbacks but are beneficial for when you want to enjoy stargazing at night, although they warm up your room during the day, so you should be aware of that too.
One Energy Source
In all solar-powered equipment, there is only one energy source: sunlight, which means that if the weather is cloudy or rainy, you cannot expect your room to be bright without any sunlight. For those days, you either must enjoy yourself in the dark or find an alternative source for lightning.
The longer your tube is, the less light it will provide, which in short will be ineffective in certain areas. They are the most effective at 1-story depths. More in-depth than that will not allow much light to enter the room.
Ventilations are not installed with the solar tubes, so you cannot open them to release the heat or allow some fresh air to come in like you can with a skylight.
Solar tubes allow natural sunlight to enter your room. However, indirect sunlight is not a bright as direct sunlight. If you have put shades on your roof during winters to let the snow slide away, then you might experience weakened light in your room. If you live in a humid climate, there is a possibility of water condensation in your tubes.
You have learned what solar tubes do, how they function, what are their benefits and drawbacks, hence, you should also know how much they cost.
Solar tubes are cheaper than skylights and cost almost half of the installation cost than the skylights do.
This is because solar tubes require fewer materials to install, and their installation process is also more straightforward.
A skylight generally costs between $1,800 to $2,000, this is without the installation charges, and on the other hand, a solar tube will cost between $500 to $1,000 with just a few extra materials.
Solar tubes, however, may require some built-in batteries to power them when they cannot catch direct sunlight, like during the cloudy or rainy season.
These replacement batteries, when used, are a waste and a significant source of pollution.
However, in all this, they are still considered the best to use than skylights because of their cost-effectiveness and performance.
Solar Tubes are an excellent source for when you want to have some natural sunlight enter your room, without the warmth of it and without having to spend those extra bucks on your electricity bill.
There are many benefits of solar tubes mentioned above, and drawbacks too. However, if we compare skylights and solar tubes, then the solar tubes are much likely to win because they are cost-effective, easy to install, and goes in the long run.
But if you want to enjoy the view of the sky and allow the warm air inside your house, then you can install the skylights.
Because even skylights have their drawbacks, just like solar tubes, so whatever you wish to buy, make sure that you have thoroughly checked their facts and the materials, cost, labor, everything that comes with it.