Comparing solar tubes to skylights

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While skylights are a great way to add natural light to your home or business, solar tubes may be a more cost-effective way to increase indoor sunlight.

An overview of solar tubes

A solar tube or sun tunnel is an alternative to skylights for introducing sunlight to a building’s interior. First, sunlight enters a metallic tube that connects a transparent covering that protrudes from the roof to the room’s interior. Then, as the natural light is channeled along the length of the tube, it is reflected off a polished sheet metal material that works as an uninterrupted mirror.

While solar tubes don’t produce any solar electricity, some products have integrated photovoltaic (PV) technologies to create artificial lighting when there’s no sun. However, solar tubes are not a replacement for electric lighting. If anything, it’s an effective alternative to a skylight.

Advantages of solar tubes

Some benefits of installing a solar tube include:

  • It has a lower overall cost
  • It’s an easy installation process
  • It is energy efficient

Disadvantages of solar tubes

Keep these drawbacks of solar tubes in mind:

  • They offer no view of the sky
  • They are susceptible to damage in extreme temperatures
  • You can’t open them

By comparison, traditional skylights provide a direct view of the sky and can be opened and closed for ventilation. In addition, they can also increase the resale value of your home. However, they are more expensive to install and increase UV-ray penetration. In addition, they aren’t energy efficient in warm weather, as the direct sunlight increases indoor temperature, which inevitably leads to increased air conditioner use.

Choose a solar tube

Since solar tubes are a lower-cost and energy-efficient natural lighting substitute for skylights, it is the ideal way to introduce natural light to your home.

Let the sun in

As a leading solar tube specialist company, Sundowner Skylights offers products for residential and commercial applications. We provide a range of unique attachments to customise the appearance of your lighting. Get in touch with us today for more information on our solar tube and installation services.