Looking for a unique lighting solution for hard-to-light spaces?
Try a light tube, also called a solar tube, sun tube, or tubular skylight. They provide high-impact light with a modern look – but that’s not the only reason to consider them. Tubes are a smart lighting solution with plenty of practical benefits for homeowners.
What is a sun/solar/light tube?
This on-trend lighting design element involves adding a porthole-size hole in the roof of a house, capped by a weather-proof globe. A metal tube (up to 14 inches, depending on the size of the room) with a polished mirror-like interior extends down from the roof. The tube channels light from the outside in a way that preserves the light’s intensity and beams it brilliantly into a room.
Photo courtesy of Velux.
What are the benefits?
- Tubes fill a desire for natural light for hallways, kitchens, laundry rooms, or any room that is window-challenged.
- Their effect is dramatic – even small tubes are the equivalent of three 100-watt bulbs!
- At $500-$1000 (or lower for install-yourself kits) light tube costs compare favorably to skylights, the traditional solution to lighting a dark area, which can run around $2000.
- Some solar tubes provide warmth, while others reduce heat loss by avoiding windows that can cut into a home’s insulation.
- Tubes are an option for channeling light even in a multi-story home. By running tubes through a closet or attic chase, tubes can light multiple floors. (Be aware of any wiring or plumbing.)
- Tubes are virtually no-maintenance. They are leak and damage proof, too.