The Best Places to Install Solar Tubes in Your Home

The Best Places to Install Solar Tubes in Your Home - skylight contractor - Mares Dow

When your family puts together a plan for a home remodeling project, it might cross your minds to contact skylight contractors for quotes on brightening up your living spaces. However, did you know that another option are solar tubes, which cost less than skylights to install and require less carpentry?

Home remodeling contractors often install one of two natural light fixtures: traditional skylights and solar tubes. There are benefits to both fixtures, and when choosing solar tubes, there are several key areas they work best in.

Where traditional skylights can’t be installed

Of all natural light fixtures, none are more complex to install than traditional skylights. Solar tubes can be installed on a wide range of roofs. Standard roofs have a slope between 15-60 degrees and rafters that are sparse 16 in on-center with gaps of 10-14 in, which are perfect for installing solar tubes. They can also be installed straight down from the roof into a room with a rigid tunnel, or at an angle with a flexible tunnel that curves around obstacles.

Conversely, skylights need to work much closer with your roof’s structure to maintain its structural integrity and will require more carpentry and interior finishing. Homeowners with incompatible roofs for skylights or lower budgets typically go for solar tubes, which can range in diameter from 10-21 in, and appear to be in-set light fixtures to the untrained eye. 

Areas that might be difficult to install skylights but easy for solar tubes include bathrooms, closets, staircases, and hallways. Solar tubes can come in diameters as small as 10 in, which provides plenty of light for small areas.

Where light is more important than views

The primary reason homeowners install skylights is to either increase their natural lighting or add views of the skies or outdoors. However, the lighting offered by skylights pales in comparison to the brightness of solar tubes. Solar tubes have two key points: a sheet metal tube and a light diffuser. The metal tube bounces light down the loft to the diffuser, which spreads the light throughout the room in a more efficient manner than skylights.

Skylights don’t filter natural light, or UV rays, so what you see outside is what you’ll get indoors. In other words, skylights are windows for your roof. Solar tubes, also called sun tunnels, are electricity-free light fixtures that turn “on” with the sun.

Areas where light is more important than views are bathrooms and closets. Other areas might be bedrooms and kitchens, but guests can be entertained by seeing the sky when they wake or grab a bite.

Mares & Dow — Solar Tube and Skylight Contractors

Contact your local skylight contractors at Mares & Dow Construction and Skylights today to transform your home with new solar tubes or traditional skylights. We have over 40 years of installation and consulting experience.

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