Guide to Tubular Skylights: Skylight Installation & How Tube Skylights Work

Skylights have come a long way in the last decades. A traditional skylight is basically a window in the roof. Unfortunately, they have limitations; they require structural reframing and can only be placed where there is no attic or crawl space between the roof and the ceiling. They are vulnerable to leaks and are difficult to clean if they become dirty… and they do! There is another way to get natural light into those dark places in your home without any of these disadvantages: the solar tube, also known as a tubular skylight or sun tunnel!

solatube skylight technology

How does a tube skylight work?

Working like a traditional skylight but not your traditional skylight, it is a high-performance natural lighting system that uses advanced optics to harness sunlight in a way that significantly improves how daylight is controlled and used.

Tubular skylights work by capturing sunlight on the roof and reflecting it down a tube into a fixture in the ceiling.

You can brighten living rooms, kitchens, closets and more! A sun tunnel skylight provide as much light as you would expect from a skylight many times its size. Plus, it costs much less than other daylighting options.

Tubular Skylights vs Traditional Skylights:

  • More cost-effective
  • More energy efficient
  • Quicker/easier to install
  • Let more light into the room
  • Less prone to leaking
  • No structural roof reframing required to install
  • Less prone to getting dirty

Provides a horizontal opening on a sloped roof.

What does a tubular skylight look like?

Solatube has the best roof piece that will not degrade or cause damage to your roof over time. Inside there are several styles of light fixture to choose from. You do not have to settle for an unappealing look.

The inside fixture can be flush with the ceiling, or you can select one of the stylish options that look more like traditional light fixtures. Additional accessories include a ventilation kit, and a daylight dimmer to soften of shut out the light completely.

Light Management

One benefit of tubular skylights over traditional skylights is the light management. Solatube skylights capture low-angle sunlight while rejecting any that will be overpowering. The technology utilized by the Solatube 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.

Once the light harvested by your tubular skylights reaches the end of the tube, there are a number of fixtures that it could filter through.

Solatube Daylighting Skylight Shapes

There’s the classic Vusion diffuser that will blend into your ceiling while showering the room with natural light.

There are also other fixtures that don’t protrude into the room that they light, including:

  • JustFrost (clean and contemportary)
  • OptiView (dazzling and artful)
  • TierDrop (Cascading and classic)

We also offer more prominent fixtures, such as:

  • VividShade (chic and modern)
  • AuroraGlo (a commanding design)
  • SquareFrost (Angular and contemporary)
  • Square OptiView (Square version of OptiView)

Visit our Solatube Fixtures & Add-ons page, choose the fixture that best fits your room, and enjoy natural light in a way that shows your style.

solatube isn nightlight

Tubular Skylights Are Also a Light Source After Dark

There are a couple options to allow the skylights to continue to serve as a light source after sunset.

The first is a light add-on kit which uses a regular fluorescent bulb which can be switched on at night.

The second option is the Solatube® Electric Nightlight, more specifically the Solatube® ISn. This is one of the most versatile products and one that’s perfect for any room. Easily adaptable for spaces of any size, it offers a built-in solar-powered NightLight that emits a soft glow. The 160 ISn can be outfitted with ventilation, dimming, and other options for a customized lighting solution that meets your needs. Best of all, it qualifies for 26% federal tax credit on purchase and installation.

Which Brand is Best for Tubular Skylights?

Solatube logo

A skylight is the best way to get natural daylight into an interior room, and a solar tube is the best way to get natural sunlight in from the roof. At The Solar Guys we use exclusively Solatube brand solar tubes. Why? We use them because they are the best on the market. With its advanced optics the Solatube system provides as much light as much larger conventional skylights.

There are so many benefits to Solatube skylights! They are consistent and energy-efficient, letting in more light than traditional skylights without the shifting pattern. They also are energy efficient, letting in maximum light with minimum heat gain – they are even Energy Star rated! With the versatility of both the fixtures and the areas in your home that these lights can reach, they are clearly the superior choice.

Skylight Installation – Installing a Solatube in Your Home

Tubular skylights can be quickly and easily installed by our trained professional technicians, usually in about 45 minutes, but even a do-it-yourselfer can usually get one installed in less than a day.

The Solar Guys want you to know that our technicians are factory trained and certified, and have passed a background test. We are a family owned company that was founded in 2001, we are licensed general contractors and also hold a Florida Roofing License. We put a special emphasis on customer service with over 25,000 satisfied customers.

A skylight has always been a great idea, and now tubular skylights have just made daylight available and practical for almost any dark room in the house.

If you are trying to keep your home energy efficient with beautiful natural lighting, one of the most economical and efficient choices you can make is to contact The Solar Guys and find out what a Solatube tubular skylight can do for you!

We pride ourselves on affordable eco-friendly solutions, exceptional customer service and the ability to meet your needs and exceed your expectations as well as knowledgeable experts that are able to answer your questions. We look forward to working with you to provide you the savings you seek on your monthly utility bills. Please contact us for a free estimate by calling us at 1-866-641-1963 or fill out a contact form today!

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