Solar Tube Lighting is more than an alternative to skylights, it's a BETTER alternative. Otherwise called Tube Skylights, solar light tubes have improved on every aspect of the traditional skylight.
There are some tasks for which solar energy is especially well suited and lighting is definitely one of them.
The sun's been in the business of lighting for a very long time and although we've made significant technological advances that allow us to illuminate the inside of our homes, our efforts have been a poor substitute for good old sunshine. And the energy expense... well.
Skylights bring sunlight in but at the cost of faded fabrics, an uncomfortable heat gain, significant heat loss and a major structural undertaking.
Solar Tube Lighting has the upside without the downside of skylights. Tube skylights deliver a puddle of diffused sunlight to wherever you want it. Because its diffused there's no worry about fading of furniture or fabrics in a closet. Because it's sunlight there's no cost to operate and it'll reduce your energy consumption.
No heat gain or loss which means that you're not just trading one energy saving technique for another.
The difference is in the highly reflective tube interior that is able to redirect a patch of sunlight, with very little loss of intensity, to a dark area or windowless room inside your house. Additionally, the dome shape of the rooftop structure collects early morning and late evening light that traditional skylights miss.
Here's what you need to know before buying any skylight tube.
On the outside, the cool looking globe structure allows the sun to strike it from even very low angles. The light rays move down the tunnel to the interior lens structure which resembles a large recessed light. But this recessed light requires no energy to function.
The brighter the sun is shining the brighter the light the skylight tube will deliver, even moonlight will cast enough light to see by. On cloudy or winter days the light will be less intense just as is true of any skylight.
Use dimmers on tube skylights installed in bedrooms to control early morning light and full moon light.
You'll still need a light at night but the solar tubes are surprisingly efficient and collect early morning and late evening rays that traditional skylights miss out on. Oh, and expect a moonlight surprise on bright nights.
ODL tube skylights are the solution for spaces where nothing but natural light will do; art studios, sewing rooms and crafting corners, and if you want to know what color you're really wearing, they make a perfect wardrobe light.
Our pick as "the most tube skylight for the best price" is ODL's 10 inch diameter model. The kit comes complete with the roof assembly, interior ceiling lens and 48 inches of reflective tubing.
Typical Amazon customer comments.
"All and all, we are extremely pleased with the product from pricing to installation"
"The light is amazing. Even early in the morning way before dawn there is enough light to make the stairs safe"