Skylights Versus Sun Tunnels
Written by webtechs

Skylights Versus Sun Tunnels

If you are looking for information about the differences between sun tunnels vs skylights as well as some pros and cons, as both systems do have similarities the decision will ultimately be up to you for which option works best for your home or office. Read on to learn more!

Skylight versus Sun Tunnel Similarities

Skylights and Sun Tunnels do share some similarities like both being installed on a roof for more natural light and both can potentially lower your energy bills.


Sun tunnels and skylights do have several similarities but there are some key differences you should know to make an informed decision on what works best for your specific situation. A sun tunnel for instance can be installed in areas that a skylight will not make sense like closets, or hallways due to their construction and smaller size. Skylights on the other hand are typically larger and can come in various shapes like square, diamond, or oval. Some skylights can also be opened or closed using a manual crank or an electric rail system to allow air from the outside in.

Sun Tunnel Advantages

  • Low maintenance and upkeep costs.
  • Can be installed in less than 24 hours.
  • Installation requires less space.
  • No loss of heating or cooling energy.
  • Designed not to leakr or build up condensation.

Sun Tunnel Disadvantages

  • Sun tunnels cannot be opened.
  • Sky cannot be seen through sun tunnels.
  • Light cannot be dimmed or blocked unless a dimmer kit is installed.
  • Not all models are suited for extreme temperatures.


Just as with sun tunnels skylights have both benefits and disadvantages, but you should decide for yourself if the pros or cons are worth the installation.

Skylight Advantages

  • Direct view of the sky is possible.
  • Can be opened to allow for fresh air.
  • Adds natural light to rooms installed.
  • Potentially saves money on energy usage.

Skylight Disadvantages

  • Can fade fabrics on clothing or furniture.
  • Increased heat gain.
  • Possible leaks from improper installation.
  • More expensive to maintain and install.

Sun Tunnel vs Skylight Costs

Learn more about sun tunnel vs skylight installation costs.

Skylight Installation Cost

According to Velax, the cost to install a new skylight ranges between $1,700 and $3,700 depending on if you choose a fixed skylight or an electric “fresh air” model.

Sun Tunnel Installation Cost

In comparision House Logic, states that a sun tunnel costs between $500 and $1,000.

Elite Solar Lighting & Fans Is A Solar Tube Installer Located In Arizona

Elite Solar Lighting & Fans offers residential and commercial solar tube installation services throughout the entire United States, including ArizonaCaliforniaNew Mexico, and more.

What Are Solar Tubes or Tubular Skylights?
Written by webtechs

What Are Solar Tubes or Tubular Skylights?

Solar tubes are physical structures made of sheet metal used for dispersing or transmitting natural or artificial light for the intention of illumination. In their implementation to daylighting, they are sometimes called sun pipes, tubular daylighting devices, daylight pipes, sun scopes, or according to Wikipedia. link

How Solar Tubes Work

Often referred to as a tubular skylight, sun tunnel, sun tube, light tube, or a solar tube is a 10 or 14 in. diameter sheet metal tube with a buffed interior. Because the interior is polished, it acts as a constant mirror, directing light down its entire length while sustaining the light’s intensity. It catches daylight at the home’s roof and delivers it inside.

On the roof, a solar tube is crowned by a weather-proof plastic globe. The tube ends in a window-like diffuser in the ceiling of the room below. The globe collects light from outside; then the diffuser disperses the light into a sheer white glow. New installations sometimes have homeowners reaching for the light switch as they leave a room because of the solar tube.

How Much Do Solar Tubes Cost?

Solar tubes cost between $500 – $1,000 on average when installing professionally, whereas a traditional skylight average $2,000 or more. However, if you are comfortable and handy with roof work, you may be able to install solar lights on your own with a kit costing around $200 – $400. Solar lights don’t need additional drywall to be installed, unlike a skylight. You can also avoid having to change the framing or having to paint. *These are approximate estimates, not an actual quote. Contact Elite Solar Lighting & Fans for an actual quote for your home or business. Read more about solar tubes cost here

How Much Light Do Solar Tubes Produce?

A 10-inch tube, being the smallest option, is the comparable to three 100-watt bulbs, enough to light up to 200 sq. ft. of floor space; 14-inch solar tubes can illuminate as much as 300 sq. ft.
In demand locations for a light tube include any areas where constant indirect light is handy:

• Walk-in closets
• Hallways
• Bathrooms
• Stairways
• Laundry rooms
• Kitchens
• Pantry Ways

The only place you don’t want to install a light tube is above a TV or computer screen where it might create unpleasant glare.

Are Solar Tubes Right For My Home?

Because installation doesn’t need framing changes, there are few restrictions to where you can install your light tube. Inspect the attic space above to see if there is enough room for a straight run. If you find an obstacle, elbows or flexible tubing might get around it. It’s somewhat easy to install a light tube in a vaulted ceiling because not a great deal of tubing is required.

Make These Evaluations In Advance:

Roof Gradient: A lot of light tube kits include flashing that can be installed on roofs with an angle in between 15 degrees (a 3-in-12 pitch) and 60 degrees (a 20-in-12 pitch).

Roofing Material: These kits are configured with asphalt shingles in mind, but can also work with wood shakes or shingles. If needed flashing adapters are available for tile or metal roofs.

Roof Framing Spacing: Standardized rafters are spaced 16 inches on-center; gap sufficient enough for 10- or 14-in. tubes. If your home has rafters arranged 24 inches on-center, you can special order a 21-inch tube for light illumination up to 600 square feet.

Location: A globe mounted on a roof facing southwest will give the best results. Decide on a spot needing a run of tubing that’s around 14 feet or less. A globe located directly above your target room can transmit up to 98% of exterior light. A tube that has twists and turns will minimally reduce the light.

Weather: If you live in an area that has high humidity, condensation on the interior of the tube can be an issue. Surrounding the tube with R-15 or R-19 insulation will significantly cut condensation. Some solar tube dealers offer sections of tubing with small fans built in to remove moist air. If you reside in an area that gets hit with a lot of hurricanes, choose an extra-tough polycarbonate dome.

Elite Solar Lighting & Fans Is A Solar Tube Installer Located In Arizona

Elite Solar Lighting & Fans offers residential and commercial solar tube installation services throughout the entire United States, including ArizonaCaliforniaNew Mexico, and more.

Solar Tubes Cost
Written by webtechs

How Much Do Solar Tubes Cost?

If you are searching for either of the following phrases, “how much do solar tubes cost” or “tubular skylights cost”; this post should help! Here we help you understand more about solar tubes, how much they cost and if they are right for your home. On average, solar tubes cost about $750, vs the cost of a traditional skylight which is about $2,000. Solar tube installation costs ranged from $500 to $1,000 for the US in 2019.

With the installation of solar tubes, you will obtain that natural light provided by skylights, but with less hassle and expense. If you have considered increasing the amount of daylight to either a dark hallway or kitchen, solar tubing is one option. Solar tubes offer plenty of indirect, warm light, at just a fraction of the costs of installing a traditional skylight.

How Do Solar Tubes or Tubular Skylights Work?

Solar tubes are commonly referred to as sun tubes, light tube, sun tunnels, or tubular skylights, and have a diameter of 10-inches to 14-inch tubing made from sheet metal and polished interior. The purpose of the interior is like a continuous mirror, which channels light over the entire length of the tube, which preserves the intensity of light. The daylight is captured at the roof, then delivered within the home.

Solar tubing gets capped with weather-proof plastic globes on the roof, while the tube ends within a port-hole style diffuser within a room below the ceiling. Light is collected by the globe on the roof, then light is spread by the diffuser to produce a pure white glow, providing a dramatic effect. A new installation frequently has homeowners reaching to turn the light switch off as they leave the room. Learn more about how solar tubes work.

How Much Do Tubular Skylights or Solar Tubes Cost?

How Much Do Solar Tubes Cost

Solar tubes cost between $500 – $1,000 on average when installed professionally, whereas a traditional skylight averages $2,000 or more. However, if you are comfortable and handy with roof work, you may be able to install solar lights on your own with a kit costing around $200 – $400. Solar lights do not require additional drywall to be added, unlike a skylight. You also avoid having to alter framing or painting. *These are general estimates not an actual quote. Contact Elite Solar Lighting & Fans for an actual quote for your home or business.

How Much Light Do Solar Tubes Produce?

The smallest option is a 10-inch solar tube, which offers the equivalent of 3 100-watt bulbs, or enough for a 200 sq. ft. room. A 14-inch solar tube can increase the brightness of rooms up to 300 sq. ft.

Where Can Solar Tubes Be Installed In A Home?

The installation of solar tubes is popular in many locations, some common areas people prefer constant indirect light include:

  • Stairways
  • Hallways
  • Kitchens
  • Walk-in Closets
  • Laundry Rooms
  • Bathrooms

About the only place you would not want to place a light tube is directly above a screen, such as a TV or computer, as this can create annoying glare.

Can Solar Tubes Work In A 2 Story House?

If you are in a two-story house, it is possible to channel the daylight down through the layers and into the first floor. You will need to have a mechanical chase or closet for running the tube through. However, the installation can get complicated due to a floor requiring being cut, or if plumbing, wiring, or HVAC ducts are in the path.

Are Solar Tubes Tubes Right For Your House?

Solar tubes can help you lower your electric bill. Furthermore, due to installation not requiring alternations to the frame, there’s much less limitations when it comes to locating a solar tube for your needs. Take a look at the attic space to ensure there is enough room to run a light tube, should be straight. If there is an obstruction, such as flexible tubing or elbows this may be avoidable and/or moved. Installing solar tubes are rather simple when done within vaulted ceilings, as only about a foot of tubing will be needed. Read the pros and cons of solar tubes to figure out if they are right for you.

Evaluations to make in advance:

  • Roof slope: The majority of solar tube kits will provide flashing which may be installed to roofs that have a slope of 15 degrees (3-in-12 pitch) and up to 60 degrees (20-in-12 pitch).
  • Roof framing space: The spacing of standard rafters are 16-inches center, with plenty of space for either a 10-inch to 14-inch light tube. However, if you find the rafters are 24-inches center, you have the option of custom ordering a 21-inch light tube that can cover 600 sq. ft.
  • Roofing materials: Light tube kits have been designed for use with asphalt shingles, but can work well with shakes or wood shingles as well. There are flashing adapters available for tile or metal roofs.
  • Location: Mounting globes on southwest sections of the roof provide the highest quality results. Lcoate an area that requires running of tube that is 14ft or less. When the globe is positioned above the tagert area directly, it may be able to reflect up to 985 of the exterior daylight. However, tubes that must twist or turn can slightly reduce the quality of light produced.
  • Weather: If you’re located within an area with high humidity, then the interior of the tube may develop condensation and cause issues. By wrapping the light tube within R-19 or R-15 insulation, the condensation can be greatly reduced. Some solar tube manufacturers provide tubing sections that have small fans built within them for the purpose of removing the moist air and reducing or eliminating condensation. If you live within areas prone to hurricanes, you may want to opt for extra-hardy polycarbonate domes.

Elite Solar Lighting & Fans Is A Solar Tube Installer Located In Arizona

Elite Solar Lighting & Fans offers residential and commercial solar tube installation services throughout the entire united states, including Arizona, California, New Mexico, and more.