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 https://elitesolarsystems.com/solar-tubes-cost-tubular-skylights/
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
• Laundry rooms
• 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 was recently featured in Green Living AZ magazine’s first issue of 2019! The article is titled “A Green Light For The New Year – Bring The Light Of The Sun Inside“. The article talks about the benefits of installing solar tubes in your home or office, the cost comparison of installing tubular skylights vs traditional skylights and more. Read that article here. Or Read the PDF online.
If you are looking for “Tubular Skylights Pros & Cons“, this article should help! Here we explain the pros and cons of tubular skylights/solar tubes to help you decide if installing them are a good investment for your home or business.
Tubular Skylights Pros & Cons
Tubular skylights allow natural light to travel through a solar tube to provide natural daylight in your home or business. With a impact resistant and durable 1 piece design, tubular skylights require no repairs or maintenance. Tubular skylights increase the amount of light they collect while also filtering out harmful UV rays that can fade your clothing or furniture. Tubular skylights don’t attribute to heat gain in your home like traditional skylights that open and close do.
Tubular Skylight Pros
- Light your home or office and save money on electricity
- Natural source of daylight with no heat gain or glare
- Won’t fade your furniture or clothing
- Almost no repairs or maintenance
- Cost less to install than traditional skylights and doesn’t require any major construction
- You can receive federal tax credits that will help lower the cost of installation
- No loss of cooling or heating energy
- Leak and damage proof design
- Dimmer kits can be installed to block out light in entertainment rooms
- Won’t build water condensation over time
- Beneficial in selling your home faster and a preferred upgrade to Realtors
- Our construction is quality built and made for extreme Arizona temperatures
Tubular Skylight Con
- Tubular skylights don’t offer a direct look at the sky
- Tubular skylights can’t be opened like traditional skylights
- More expensive to install over traditional skylights
- Damaged flashing can lead to roof leaks if someone tries to customize the install
- Can’t block out light for entertainment rooms without a dimmer kit installed
- Not all are made for extreme temperatures
By considering the pros and cons of tubular skylights, you can make a better choice on the type of natural lighting system for your business or home.
Traditional Skylight Pros & Cons
Traditional skylights are different than solar tubes or tubular skylights becuase they are simply a window that allows the sun to pass through. They are basically a framed sheet of glass on the top of your roof that opens and closes.
Traditional Skylight Pros
The biggest pro of traditional skylights is the fact that they can be manually opened or closed unlike solar tubes.
- Allow natural daylight into your home or office
- Can be used for ventilation purposed
- Can be left open or closed
- Provide daylight while still keeping privacy
Traditional Skylight Cons
The biggest con of traditional skylights is the fact that they leak after time and the sun is unfiltered.
- Costs more to install than tubular skylights due to framing, roof work and repainting needed
- The sunlight is unfiltered which can fade color on furniture and clothes
- Add to the heat gain in your home
- Causes sun glare
- Can waste cooling and heating energy
- They are built with many different parts which leave them susceptible to leaks, breakage or other damage
Tubular Skylights & Solar Attic Fan Installation Phoenix Valleywide
Elite Solar Lighting & Fans is proud to offer tubular skylights and solar attic fan installation services to the entire Phoenix valley including: Phoenix, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Tucson, Scottsdale, Glendale, Peoria, Surprise and more.
If you are looking for how to lower electric bill in Arizona, this post and our services can help! Here we list the best ways to lower your electric bill in Arizona combined with energy saving tips, products and services.
1. Install Tubular Skylights
Replacing your traditional lighting in your home or office with tubular skylights or solar tubes is one of the best ways to lower your electric bill in Arizona. Tubular skylights or solar tubes light up your home or office using natural light which is has health benefits on top of electricity savings.
2. Solar Panel Installation (Best Way To Lower Electric Bill)
Solar panel installation can help homeowners and business owners save 75% on electricity. It does cost a lot to install solar panels but with the federal and state tax credits you get right away can help bear the expense for your home or business. This is the best way to save.
3. Load Controllers
Load controllers help control the amount of electricity that is being used during high cost kilowatt hours. They basically shut off your appliances during the most expensive times of the day. However, if you want to run electricity during those hours, you just have to switch your loads back on.
4. Wi-Fi Thermostats
Wi-Fi thermostats help you be in control of the temperature of your home from wherever you are using a mobile app or application on your computer. Never worry if you left the air conditioner or heater on again with thermostat control in the palm of your hand.
5. Turn Your Air Conditioner Down
Alternative Energy, LLC states, “You can save 2-3% instantly on your electric bill by setting your SRP or APS thermostat settings to 1 degree warmer.” You can also change your air conditioners air filter out once a month to keep your ac working at 100% efficiency.
6. Install A Solar Attic Fan
Solar attic fans are fans that are designed to circulate attic air. Most of the heat that makes it into your home makes its way through your attic. Most attics don’t have an attic fan and installing one can keep your attic cool, which keeps your home cooler; saving you money on electricity.
7. Install Ductless Mini Split AC Units
According to Energy.Gov, “Since mini splits have no ducts, they avoid the energy losses associated with ductwork of central forced air systems. Duct losses can account for more than 30% of energy consumption for space conditioning, especially if the ducts are in an unconditioned space such as an attic.” Ducless mini split ac units also cost less to run and use 60% less energy than a central air conditioning unit.
28 Other Ways To Lower Electric Bill In Arizona
- Keep window blinds, shutters or drapes closed during the daytime.
- Don’t place appliances next to thermostat, the heat turns the unit on.
- Turning your air conditioner down 1 degree save 2-3% on your electricity bill.
- Set ceiling fans to blow down during the summer.
- Instead of taking baths, take showers, it saves your hot water heater from having to run a lot.
- Turning your water heater from 140° to 120° can lower your electric bill by $10 per month.
- Use tubular skylights instead of traditional skylights.
- Use Wi-Fi thermostats instead of traditional thermostats.
- Don’t use your dryer to dry clothes, hang them up instead. Anything that uses heat, uses a lot of electricity.
- Don’t use your dishwasher; Wash your dishes by hand to save money on electricity.
- Turn off lights when you leave the room.
- During the winter make sure your the damper in your fireplace is closed to prevent air from going up the chimney
- Set your ceiling fan to auto so the fan won’t keep blowing after the AC is turned off. Using the auto setting vs the on setting can lower your electric bill by $15-$25 per month.
- Use the fan in your bathroom to remove humidity and heat from your home after taking a bath or shower.
- Wash clothes in cold water instead of hot water to save even more.
- Replace lighting with energy efficient LED lighting.
- Paint the walls in your home a lighter color. This will make light reflect better and lower need for more lighting.
- Do not install a freezer or refrigerator in your garage. Operating a refrigerator in a hot garage can cost your up to $15-$20 per month.
- Use outside grill instead of oven in the summer to reduce your home’s internal temperature.
- Keep your oven door closed at all times during cooking. You lose from 25 to 50 degrees every time your open it.
- Don’t let your oven preheat longer than it needs to.
- Dry your dishes with the air and reduce the cost of using dishwasher electricity
- Dry clothes consecutively to use up the residual heat left over from the previous load.
- Make sure and clean your dryer’s lint filter for additional energy savings.
- Don’t run your dishwasher if it is not a full load.
- Make sure your fridge or freezer is set the manufacturers recommended temperature.
- Stop leaving the outside light on after morning time.
- Buy Energy Star appliances and electronics as these devices use most of the electricity in your home.
Tubular Skylights & Solar Attic Fan Installation Phoenix Valleywide
Elite Solar Lighting & Fans is proud to offer tubular skylights and solar attic fan installation services to the entire Phoenix valley including: Phoenix, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Glendale, Peoria, Surprise and more.
When you have solar tubes installed, you not only get natural light, such as skylights can provide, but you also get a less expensive electric bill each month, including a less amount of hassles. If you are pondering the thought of having additional lighting in one room, hallway, or somewhere else, then you may want to consider installing solar tubes. With solar tubes, you can get more warmth, as well as more indirect lighting.
How Do Solar Tubes Work vs. Skylights?
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.
How Do Skylights Work?
Skylights work in the same way the windows in your home work. Skylights are basically a window for your roof. Some skylights even offer open and close features that allow you to open the skylight window a few inches.
How Much Do Solar Tubes Cost vs. Skylights?
How Much Do Solar Tubes Cost?
A tube of light can cost anywhere from $450.00 dollars to $1,300.00 dollars if professionally installed, and this is compared to over $2,000.00 dollars for the installation of a skylight. However, if you are someone who is pretty good at handyman work and feel comfortable while upon a roof, installing the light tube yourself is an option using a kit that will only cost between $200.00 dollars and $400.00 dollars. The great thing about that is that a light tube does not require having new drywall, alterations to the homes frame, or paint.
How Much Do Skylights Cost?
- Skylights (Fixed) – The average cost of installing a fixed skylight including material and installation cost is around $600-$1500 depending on how big you want the skylight window. You should always speak with a skylight contractor before selecting what type of skylight you want because the size cannot exceed over 15% of the floor area in the room. Also, an experienced contractor will let you know if you should add UV protection depending on the angle of how your skylight needs to be installed.
- Skylights (Vented) – Electric or remote controlled skylights will cost about $1,00-$5,200 including material and installing costs. Furthermore, you might also need to hire an electrician to take care of the wiring if the skylight contractor doesn’t have one already.
How Much Light Does A Solar Tube Produce vs. Skylight?
How Much Light Do Solar Tubes Produce?
The littlest option available is the 10-inch tubing, and it is equivalent to 3–100 watt light bulbs, which is plenty for illuminating an area up to 200 sq. ft. Then there is the 14-inch tube, which has the ability to illuminate up to 300 sq. ft.
The most popular places for a light tube to be located, which includes the areas that would find indirect light to be handy are:
- Walk-in closets
- Laundry rooms
However, about the only place you may not want to have a light tube would be above a television or computer, as the glare might be too much.
How Much Light Do Skylights Produce?
Traditional skylights cannot produce as much light as tubular skylights because they use a skylight well. Solar tubes don’t use a skylight well and won’t lose as much light through absorption like skylights do.Furthermore, traditional skylights don’t use light diffusion or diffuse reflection like solar tubes do. Light diffusion helps spread the light out over the entire room vs only shining down on areas where the sun directly shines through.
Can You Install Solar Tubes In A Multi Level Home vs Skylight?
Can You Install Solar Tubes In a Multi Level Home?
You can still use solar tubes to bring light to the first floor if you live in a 2 story house. If your home has a mechanical chase or even a closet to which a tube could be ran through, that would let you channel the light down to the first floor of your home should it be a two-story house. On the other hand, should you have to cut through flooring or have other issues come up, such as plumbing, wiring, HVAC ducts, and etc., things could get complicated really quick.
Can You Install Skylights In A Multi Level Home?
Skylights on the other hand cannot bring light to the first floor because there is no tube to let the light travel through like solar tubes. Skylights can only be installed directly above the floor of the home where you want the light to shine in at. You could install them on a 2 story house but the light will only make it to the second story.
Is Your Home Right For A Solar Tube vs. Skylight?
Solar Tube Installation Requirements
Since the installation don’t need alternations to framing, there is not many limitations as to where you will be able to locate your light tube. Remember and check the attic, ensure there’s enough room or you to do a straight run. However, should you come across an obstruction, you can always use elbows and/or flexible tubing to go around it. Vaulted ceiling makes it easy to install light tubes as you will only need 12 inches off tubing (take or give an inch).
The following evaluations should be made in advance:
Living in an area that has high humidity can cause condensation to the interior of the tube can cause issues. You can cut down on the amount of condensation by wrapping the tube up using (R-15) or (R-19) insulation. There are a few manufacturers who provide sections of tubing that have small fans built in to them to help in removing any moist air. Anyone living in an area that is prone to hurricanes can opt to have an extra hardy dome made of poly carbonate.
You will get the best results from your globe if it is mounted on the southwest side of the roof. In choosing the spot where to run the tube is required to make sure that it is 14 feet in length, or less. I you place the globe right above the target room, it could convey up to 98% more exterior light. If the tube is able to twist and turn, you will get a minimal amount of light.
Roof framing spacing:
The standard rafters should be spaced at 16” on center, and gaped enough to fit a 10” or a 14” tube. Should your homes rafters be spaced at 16” on center, they have available a special order for a 21” tube that has light coverage for up to 600 square feet.
The kits have been designed having asphalt shingles in the idea, however, they also work well with shakes and/or shingles. With flashing adapters available to use for the metal or tile roofing’s.
Many of the light kits will include flashing which is installed on roof having slopes that range between 150 (having a 3” 12 pitch) or a 600 (a n20” 12 pitch).
Skylight Installation Requirements
Installing a skylight on the other hand will require alterations to framing and there are limitations of where you can install a skylight. Furthermore, traditional skylights take up more space and only allow for installation on parts of your roof that have plenty of room. Solar tubes are much small and can be installed in the multiple places on your roof.
Elite Solar Lighting & Fans Is A Solar Tube Contractor Located In Arizona
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?
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:
- Walk-in Closets
- Laundry Rooms
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.