Solar Tube
The Tubular Skylight

The Solar Tube allows natural daylight captured by a rooftop dome, to be guided down through a reflective tube to a diffuser at the ceiling altitude. Tubular skylights capture natural sunlight even during low daylight conditions. In the presence of clouds and when the sun is low in the sky, early in the morning or in the late afternoon hours

The Benefits of Natural Daylight

For rooms with little access to natural daylight such as bathrooms, hallways, kitchens, walk-in-closets or certain offices tubular skylights constitute a perfect solution. Recent studies show that natural sunlight is necessary to keep people happy, and it acts as a productivity multiplier.
A popular add-on to the solar tube is a solar attic vent. Natural daylight is not only more pleasant to humans, it is also a a very good way to save energy at home

Purchasing and Installation

There are a few manufacturers to sun tubes. Velux is one manufacturer based in Denmark with a US branch ( A second manufacturer is Solatube ( They both have products adapted to shingle roofs and tile roofs, with kit prices around $300. The kit is complete with all necessary parts along with the manufacturer’s instructions. Kits can be purchased in selected hardware stores and in some on line shops. Installation time can be a few hours to one day, you can do it yourself or ask a handyman to install the sun tube for you on a turn key basis

There are add-ons worth considering:

  • A dimmer to adjust the amount of sun light illuminating the room
  • An integrated attic vent
  • Integrated electrical night time lighting

Choose the right size

In principle choose a smaller size solar lighting tube for a small room, and bigger size tubes for larger size rooms. Obviously you need electrical bulbs, preferably LED bulbs to be used over night and as enhancement to the solar lighting tubes during cloudy days.

DIY considerations

There are two possible reasons not to call a handyman to do the job. The first is to get the satisfaction of doing it yourself, the second is to save some bucks on installation. With the manufacturer's instruction, the job can be done in one day. It is a job that requires two people. The solar tube goes from the roof, through the attic and through the ceiling. It must be kept away from electric wires, water pipes and air ducts. Take the necessary time to plan the way the tube will run, even before you purchase it

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