Solar tubes range in size from 250-500 mm in diameter, on average.
Average Solar Tube Sizes
There are a few typical sizing options to choose from when it comes to solar tubes. You want to make sure you are choosing the best size for your home’s needs. Here’s a quick overview of the available sizes:
- 250 mm solar tubes cover up to 10 square meters, which is ideal for both bathrooms and hallways.
- 350-400 mm solar tubes are ideal for most larger bathrooms and staircases.
- 550 mm tubes are typically selected for kitchens, living spaces and bedrooms.
Most larger rooms will require the installation of multiple solar tubes. These tubes can undoubtedly save home or business owners on electric bills in the future.
Solar Tube Options
The main purpose of a solar tube is to efficiently transfer outside daylight into your home. These tubes will not offer outdoor views, but they will provide a natural and cost-effective way of lighting up dark interior spaces without using electricity.
Solar tubes will be placed between roof rafters, minimizing both heat losses and gains. Many home and business owners choose solar tubes for their ability to provide natural lighting in hallways and other areas. Let’s take a look at two popular solar tube options below.
Rigid Solar Tubes
Rigid solar tubes are known to provide better lighting overall than flexible tubing. These tubes can also let the light channel down the tube from the roof, directly. This is made possible because the less the light resiles off the piping’s inner surface, the more natural light can be transmitted. A rigid tube will better channelize maximum daylight if your home features a long distance between roof and room (more than 2 meters).
Flexible Solar Tubes
Flexible tubing is ideal for shorter distances and are typically found on flat roofs. Homeowners routinely pick flexible tubes because it is the cheaper option. Be aware, though, that less light will reflect compared to the rigid tubes.
How Do Solar Tubes Work?
A solar tube comes in a 10 inch-diameter, and also in a 14 inch-diameter tube that has a polished interior and made of sheet-metal. These are also known as light tube, tubular skylight, sun tunnel, and sun tube. It channels light through the entire length and at the same time preserves the intensity of the light, with the interior acting as a continuous mirror while capturing the daylight on your roof, and carrying it to the inside of your home.
The solar tube on your roof captures light through a plastic globe that’s weather-proofed. Then, there is a tube that runs into the room below through a porthole, which diffuses into the portal that’s built into the ceiling. The globe on the roof collects the outside light and is dis-fused or spread as a pure white glow. It gives a dramatic effect, in fact, homeowners that have had these installed have went so far as to reached without thinking as they are leaving a room, to turn off the lights.
Solar Tube Benefits
Here are three of the biggest benefits of installing solar tubes:
Save On Electric Bills
The biggest benefit of installing solar tubes is the fact that sunlight is 100% free. Your dependence on electricity will reduce dramatically, and you will save money on your utility bills instantly. Tubular skylights cost less to install than traditional skylights. So, not only will you save on electricity, you’ll also save on initial costs with this product. Tubes will also minimize heat gain and loss, limiting your heating and cooling costs, as well.
Good For The Environment
Skylights are some of the most popular natural and sustainable resources for homes today. These tubes will lessen a homeowner’s reliance on electricity and limit energy consumption from surrounding power plants. Installing solar tubes is a win-win for the home and environment.
More Natural Light
It is well known that natural light can impact humans on a physiological level. Not getting enough sunlight can depress us, especially during the colder seasons. Sunlight is crucial in triggering serotonin production.
Solar Tube Installation Cost
Solar tubing is always priced by diameter size and may vary based upon manufacturer. With that being said, home and business owners should expect to pay the following for solar tubes:
- 10-inch solar tubes: $150-$300
- 14-inch solar tubes: $400-$550
- 18-inch solar tubes: $600-$750
- 19-inch solar tubes: $800+
DIY Or Hire A Professional For Solar Tube Installation?
While installing solar tubing can be a manageable DIY task, most homeowners are not ready for how challenging the installation process can be. You will need to have some experience cutting into both the ceiling and roofing. If the tubing is not installed properly, there is potential for water damage to destroy the roofing. It’s always best to contact a professional for this task.