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.