A skylight is the most popular form of emitting natural sunlight into the building. It is pretty tough, expensive, huge, and hard to maintain the skylights, and that is when people invented Solar tube skylights.
Solar tube skylights are a simple alternative known as tubular skylights. They provide an easier way to brighten up the darker areas of the building.
As the name suggests, it is a tube made of polished metal sheet installed along the roof to bring in the flow of sunlight into the building. They are readily available in 10 and 14-inch diameters.
A weather-resistant acrylic cap is installed in the roof end of the tube. The other end at the ceiling is fitted with a round opening like a window along with a diffuser that distributes the light evenly across the tube.
In this article, let us discuss the solar tubes and the pros and cons of using them.
Advantages of Solar tube skylights
Solar tubes help in lighting your home naturally without installing the skylight. You need not alter the look of rooms or incur considerable expenses in installing the skylights. Let us see all the advantages the solar tube skylights offer you.
Can you believe one 10 inches solar tube gives you the same amount of light as three 100-watt bulbs? Well, if it’s a good sunny day, pinch yourself. That is true, and lighting is adequate to illuminate a 200 square feet room for continuous work or 300 square feet of space for less visual activities.
There will be no need for electric lights even on moderately cloudy days when you can get so much light. Most importantly, you get all this for absolutely zero cost, and you can save up so much on your electricity bills, plus you get free lighting.
If you need light at night, you have the option of choosing solar tubes that include electric light.
You would not be surprised if the skylights are the first thing people notice when they enter your room. Well, they are so gigantic, and you may sometimes be required to change the design of your space to accommodate them.
But, the solar tubes solve the problem completely. They have subtle designs and elements that can fit easily even in a small room, without much alteration to the room.
Solar tubes are the secret if you want to lighten up your room without much expense and with an aesthetic design. They can practically lighten up even a small path or pantry.
Lower risks of leaks
Solar tubes do not leak because they are relatively small, and the flat dome makes sure that the water drains around them.
The skylights, on the other hand, are very popular for leaking. They collect the debris that prevents the rainfall and snowmelt from draining from the roof, and the water built-up comes under the roofing material and slowly to the ceiling.
The solar tube may seem to be a sophisticated item. But it is such a user-friendly and budget-friendly option for the users. They come with a luxury feature at affordable prices, and the professional experts may charge approximately $1000 for installation in many parts of the country.
If you prefer to save more, you can use a self-kit to install them on your own. The kit might cost you $500. You will get better results in specific complicated structures when you hire professionals.
Disadvantages of Solar Tube Skylights
The solar tube skylights also offer a few disadvantages too.
Fewer options for control
You cannot control the lighting pace at your house, and the solar tubes are not best suited for shades and venting like the skylights. The diffusers and the window film are the maximum controls that you can place on the solar tube skylights.
Regular skylights have better control over the quality of light to let in. The skylight shades can be used as window shades. There are different kinds of diffusers available in the market that help you control the distribution of light across the room. If you wish to limit the UV rays inside the room, you can add the film.
Little design improvement
The solar tubes are minor and do not affect the room’s appearance. Apart from letting the fresh light flow in, there is nothing much you can see through the ventilation.
Not suitable for every house
Every house has different types of roofs. Most of the solar tubes suit well for the roof, which has a slope of 15 and 60 degrees. If your roof is flat, you might look for specifically suitable ones for this model.
If your roof is very steep, installing solar tube skylights might not be possible like an A-frame.
Many of us prefer using DIY solar tubes. The DIY solar tubes are suitable for the roof made of asphalt or shingles. In that case, if your roof is made of tiles or metal, you might need an adapter.
Do Solar Tubes Induces Heat?
Yes. It does. The solar tubes function with the support of a Heat Collection Device (HCD), which has to be mounted along with the solar collector in relatively smaller roofs.
The solar tubes use the HCD to collect and store the heat during the day, illuminating the rooms at night. The HCD shall also have a heating element to dispose of warm air into the building at night, even if the energy is not utilized during the day.
The demand for solar tubes increases day by day as it helps reduce the money spent on electricity bills. Imagine a future situation where your room is glooming with the natural sunlight. You need not reach out to the switch every time. Well, the solar industry is trying hard to make this dream true.
Nevertheless, solar tubes have their disadvantages. Keep them aside, but don’t forget to consider them while deciding to purchase your solar tubes. Go Solar and save energy!