Top 10 Best Solar Tubes Reviewed in 2020: A Buyer’s Guide

Solar tubes aka light pipes or solar tube lightning are the device that is of tube-shaped and encapsulates direct sunlight to as the name suggests to provide power to the core part of your home or office.

The cherry on the top, These are the most expedient approach for delivering the light to your home and of course, it saves not only the energy but also the money that you spend on your electricity.

Wonderfully, They are designed in such a way that they provide copious energy as compared to an ordinary light bulb.   

Little something extra,

They are experts in lightening up the huge section of your house. When they are installed it illuminates all the corners of your house it feels like daylight.

They also offer us a minimal amount of exposure to sunlight and another kind of harmful rays like very popular UV rays.

Bonus, There are some areas where you find that there is poor access to electricity then what would your steps to lighten up such areas?

Solar tubes play a part in such conditions, they provide a massive amount of light and lighten up the whole house even the corridors just by using natural mean direct sunlight. Science is getting advanced day by day.

With this let us dive into our main focus.

What Are The Different Types Of Solar Tubes:Solar Tubes

There are two types of these solar light tubes that are flexible and rigid both have their advantages and disadvantages that will help you to select the best one.

Rigid Solar Tube:

These are the best of two and provide you with better transmutation of light than the rival one. They allow the direct motion of sunlight to channel down from your rooftop to the ceiling.

To get the more natural sunlight the light should bounce less from the inner surface of your rigid solar tube.

20 m of effective light can be distributed with the help of these rigid solar tubes

Flexible Solar Tubes:

These are the cost-friendly ways of lighting up the room with the help of sunlight.

The flexible solar tube permits you to navigate across the obstacle in roof space.

Some flexible solar light tubes can be installed at a height of 6m. due to the design of these solar light tubes, the lights reflect less through them and allow access more presently.

Besides,

These tubes also come in different sizes and according to the design of your rooftop.

You must be aware of the location where you need to install your solar tube. Before installing you must examine the space in your roof space whether it is available for a straight run or not.

While choosing between the design of your solar tube you must check about different things like the slope of your top.

On the other hand,

When you are choosing the design you should also check the material of your roof because some of them are convenient with wood shingle some are asphalt shingle.

Best Solar Tube Reviewed:

These are some of the best and most amazing solar tubes available in the whole market.

We have listed them here because of their amazing performance and useful features. 

1- VELUX Sun Tunnel

VELUX Sun Tunnel

If you want to get your hands on one of the best solar tubes then VELUX is for you. This brand ensures high-end products with premium quality so they last longer.

Coming with a highly efficient design these solar tubes are energy-saving. Also, for people who want an eco-friendly product, these are optimal for you.

These solar tubes will illuminate your house like never before. The top-quality sun tunnel comes with reliable lighting. Rather than spending money on lights and bulbs, cut some slack and opt for these solar tubes.

The sturdy manufacturing makes it a durable product with a sleek design. It can fit almost any sort of interior and enhance the whole look.

The acrylic dome comes with up to 99% silver reflective layer. It is ideal for even a hurricane-prone area and gives enough sunlight. With solar tubes, you can cut down the power consumption and control the bills.

PROS

  • Ease of installation
  • durable
  • Sturdy design

CONS

  • A bit costly

2- Natural Light Energy Systems

Natural Light Energy Systems

Natural Light brings one of the top-selling products in the market. It is jam-packed with stunning features and has premium-quality. From the sleek design to being lightweight, it requires minimal time for installation.

It comes with a 13″ size range and offers illumination up to 300 sq.ft. Hence you can switch to these solar tubes rather than traditional bulbs/lights.

Not only are these solar tubes equal to a 500 watt light source. But the manufacturing including diffuser and reflector makes it worthy by 10 times.

Coming with a prismatic internal design the dome has diffuser properties. So the light will scatter around and illuminate every corner of the house.

Next, the top-grade pitched fiber-glass comes with a 4ft. tubing. Within only 2 hours or so you can install the solar tubes and that too without any extra efforts.

PROS

  • Economical
  • Unique design
  • Prism diffuser

CONS

  • Not for slant roofs

3- Velux TLR Sun Tunnel

Velux TLR Sun Tunnel1

Next on the list, we have another best selling product in the market. If you want to switch to environment-friendly options and control your electricity bills. Then this single product can serve you well for both purposes.

It comes with a high-grade reflective tunnel. So even the darkest corners can get light and your house remains illuminated. Then the pitched metal flashing with 1-piece makes it unique.

In fact, these solar tubes are one of their kind and need minimal space for set up.

Within hours you can get done with the installation. Yet there is no additional painting, drywalling required.

Moreover, the gear has its own pre-assembled ceiling ring. Then to fit well with any interior there is a paintable ceiling trim ring. So you can adjust these solar tubes in any area of your house.

The low-profile roofing materials like shakes and shingles are the ideal choice here. So those with such roofing can easily opt for these solar tubes.

PROS

  • Rigid tunnel
  • Flat glass
  • Adjustable

CONS

  • Weight

4- Natural Light Energy Systems

Natural Light Energy Systems2

Natural Light Energy Systems has always aced the market with such amazing products. From the elegant design to the high-quality. It ensures and knows well about customer satisfaction.

So if you require solar tubes with all such qualities, look no more. This product can be your next favorite as it comes loaded with stunning features.

Offering an easy installation can be quite a catch and yes, these solar tubes are easiest to install. In fact, these save you from any future hassle or maintenance issues.

Coming with a built-in UV protection system, your rugs, curtains, or furniture won’t fade. Then the manufacturing also offers a water-tight design.

Apart from this, it has a quirky new feature that other solar tubes don’t. If you are also afraid of any moisture build-up then sit back and relax. This product has a condensation release system, to avert such a scenario.

PROS

  • UV protection
  • Anti-moisture buildup
  • Averts fading

CONS

  • For pitched roofs only

5- ODL Tubular Skylight

ODL Tubular Skylight

Here we have another popular brand ODL Store with its best selling item. Let’s first take a look at the smooth finishing and quirky design that appeals to everyone.

Not only these solar tubes are winsome with the design but also the top-notch features. From manufacturing to functionalities, these can last for years.

People who want to switch their boring lights with something innovative. And especially those with asphalt roofs, these are the optimal choice.

The solar tubes have sturdy, durable construction with UV protection. Hence the acrylic dome can last an eternity along with the patented optics.

Furthermore, the 1 piece polyethylene flashing offers high durability. With the 48″ reflective tubing your house will remain illuminated throughout the year.

PROS

  • Premium-quality
  • Asphalt flashing
  • UV protected

CONS

  • Complex installation

6- Kennedy Skylights Flex Tubular Skylight

Kennedy Skylights Flex Tubular Skylight

We have another top-grade solar tube for you all. This sleek, black design can fit well and enhance the grace of any interior. It can be hard to find solar tubes for attic spaces.

But Kennedy Skylights solved this problem and brought this stunning product. The flexible design makes the installation pretty facile. In fact, it can fit well in hard spaces without much effort required.

You can easily bend these and they can fit well to provide bright sunlight. Made from premium aluminum, these can endure weather harshness and last for years.

Then comes the patented diffuser that ensures smooth scattering of light. So your every room illuminates no matter what the climatic conditions.

It comes with a single acrylic dome that reflects the sun rays so it reaches every corner. Deck mount and shingled roofs are an ideal space to install this solar tube.

PROS

  • Easy installation
  • Lightweight
  • Acrylic dome

CONS

  • Heavy on pocket

7- Velux TGR 014 0000 Sun Tunnel

Velux TGR 014 0000 Sun Tunnel

It can be a real pain to install and then maintain those bulbs and light. On top of that one needs to endure the hefty electricity bills that only become a toll.

If you are also facing a somewhat similar situation. Well, we can help you out with the nest product on the list. VELUX is a brand that surely works to entertain all customers.

So this here is another solar tube but with a low profile flashing. People who want to get their hands on a reliable product can opt for this one.

It comes with a pre-assembled ceiling ring so you are free from any hassle. To further make things easier, this ceiling trim ring is paintable so it can adjust to any interior.

With its UV protection feature, you never have to worry about fading. Further, roofs like shake and shingle should only pick for these solar tubes.

PROS

  • Sturdy
  • Durable
  • Low-profile flashing

CONS

  • Non-economical

8- Kennedy Skylights Rigid Tubular Skylight

Kennedy Skylights Rigid Tubular Skylight

Kennedy Skylights didn’t bring a single flexible solar tube. It also has more options for satisfying every sort of requirements. This next product is a live example.

Loaded with amazing functionalities and features, this is a rigid solar tube. If you want high-end solar tubes that can fir into your classy interior. As well as can cut you some slack and won’t need extra installation efforts.

You are about to pick up the ideal product that fulfills all such specifications. From the quality of these solar tubes to the functions. They offer utter satisfaction in every aspect.

You will only need to invest 2 hours for installation and voila! Apart from that, the reflecting material ensures the perfect scattering of light. Hence your house will remain illuminated even during a hurricane.

PROS

  • Rigid design
  • Stable and durable
  • Ease of installation

CONS

  • Non-economical

9- Velux Polycarbonate Dome Tunnel

Velux Polycarbonate Dome Tunnel

VELUX has always been a high-end brand with its whole variety and range of products.

Even for simple solar tubes, you can find a whole lot of options to choose from. Each of these solar tubes has its designated features and functions.

So this one here comes with a polycarbonate dome to boost the reflection. In fact, the rigid tunnels offer bright white illumination in any room of the house.

For low-profile roofs, this 1 piece of metal flashing can do the job. With the ability to blend easily, you can install these solar tubes anywhere.

The ore-assembled ceiling ring saves you from a lot of mess. A neat, clean, and convenient option with a paintable trim ring. So you can make adjustments based on your interior.

PROS

  • Sturdy design
  • Poly-carbonated dome
  • Low-profile flashing

CONS

  • Quite rigid

10- ODL 14″ Tubular Skylight

ODL 14 Tubular Skylight

At last, we have another ODL solar tube that comes with its own set of features. It can be hard to find a reliable, durable, and affordable product with so many options. But ODL never fails to impress us by maintaining the same, premium-quality.

Designed especially for asphalt roofs, it minimizes the installation efforts. In fact, you won’t need any heavy gear to get done with these solar tubes.

Within only an hour or so you can install them. These offer sturdy manufacturing to last for years. Next, the UV protected design and acrylic dome adds to the features.

It has patented optics and 1 piece polyethylene flashing. Hence the light scatters easily and illuminates each corner. You can rely on these solar tubes instead of those old bulbs.

PROS

  • Economical
  • High-quality
  • Max reflection

CONS

  • Only for asphalt roofs

What Is a Solar Tube and Who This Is For?

The other names for solar tubes are light tubes, sun scopes, tubular skylight, and sun tunnels. Their solar tubes are a system called TDD (Tubular Daylighting Devices).

With the use of patented optical technologies, solar tubes provide natural sunlight. These won’t even be a toll on your electricity bills and are high-performance devices.

Usually, solar tubes are 10″ long tube with up to 150 sq.ft of illumination. General diameter of solar tubes is between 10″ to 22″.

Hence the size is ideal for interiors, especially your home’s ceiling. A single solar tube offers light equal to 300 watts.

It only gets better!

Some of these even allow illumination up to 300 sq.ft. . This new invention is an optimal alternate for traditional lights or bulbs.

Even though skylights are capable of providing thrice the sunlight. Yet solar tubes are a far better choice as they capture and then diffuse the light.

One of the major reasons why people prefer solar tubes over other similar options is effort. Unlike skylights, you won’t need tunneling, repainting, reframing, and drywalling.

Another prime aspect is the installation which requires no particular time.

Instead, you can install your solar tubes in only 2 hours or so. Whereas skylight requires it to be daytime for completing the process.

Want to know more?

Thanks to the minimal time span required, it creates little mess and disturbance. Then the pricing also varies and you can consider solar tubes pocket-friendly options. They take lesser energy yet provide efficient results.

The best place to install such lights in is your house. Even in darkest corners, you can now have light.

Or to cut out the electricity costs, you can install solar tubes in the offices. Areas deprived of natural sunlight can also opt for these solar tubes.

If you are eco-friendly or want sustainable products then solar tubes are for you. To conserve the environment these lights can be of great help.

There would be no burning of fossil fuel or emission of any kind. Instead, solar tubes are a clean, efficient, and affordable option. In fact, during a power cut or blackout, these lights can be of great help.

Apart from this, a lot of us look forth to cut down our bills, especially electricity. And nothing can beat solar tubes when it comes to saving energy.

Without adding any extra burden to your budget these work smoothly. Also, these are power-saving making it a win-win situation.

How Does It Work?How Does It Work2

These solar tubes are otherwise known as tubular skylights. The tubular column with reflective material gets installed on the roof. This reflective, mirror-like material will capture the natural sunlight.

The light bounces on the surface of the interior, travel over various surfaces. Ultimately, it reaches your home due to scattering via a dome installed in the ceiling.

The best part about solar tubes is that the installation process is pretty facile. Without making any changes to the current structure you can install these. As mentioned above there are no extra efforts required like reframing, painting, etc.

With such a clean, effortless installation it takes merely 2 to 4 hours max. The dome captures all the light and diffuses it to the interior. Its reflective tube does the remaining job by providing sunlight throughout the year.

The purpose to design TDDS is to maximize the daylight. The light tracker reflector can capture low-angle sun rays in the morning and evening.

Even during winters, the reflectors can capture most of the sun rays. Whereas during the mid of the day the high-angle rays disperse quite well.

Want to know the best part?

With the redirecting of low-angle rays, the light input also increases. Hence you get to enjoy surpassing performance and light intensity for the long term.

Raybender Technology is the dome lens responsible for capturing the daylight. This tech rejects any repressing sun rays and redirects the low-angle rays.

Instead, it continuously diffuses the daylight and provides consistent illumination.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Solar Tubes:Advantages And Disadvantages Of Solar Tubes

There are always pros and cons of everything so do solar light tubes have.

To enjoy more lightning in your home but find skylight more expensive and big then solar light tubes are best.

Solar light tubes provide you with a discreet way to provide soft light to your home.

Advantages:

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Without alteration to your room and installation of a skylight, you can light up your name for free with the help of solar tubes.

The following are points that make these tubes advantageous.

Free Lighting: 

On the bright sunny day outside, the 10 inch long solar light tubes can provide the light which is equal to the bulb of 100 watts.

Amazingly,

Through these solar light tubes, you can easily light up the room of 200sq ft. Also from this light, you can easily light up the rooms and there is no longer need for electricity left on the sunny day or partially cloudy day.

Enjoy accessibility while saving your pocket. If you want a light at night as well get yourself a solar tube that has an electric bulb as well. 

Design Flexibility:

Solar light tubes give you more artful construction that provides light without drawing consideration towards these. Through these, you can easily bring more light into your room without any alteration.

Not this …. But also,

These solar tubes can easily fit into smaller spaces, these are the practical and smooth way to animate up insignificant and dark pantries and lobby.

Lower Risk of Leaks:

The solar light tubes offer us less tendency to leak than traditional skylights which are so known for leaks. One of the reasons is that they collect trash like leaves and stuff that precludes rainwater and melting snow from sapping off the roof. The water gets its path beneath the shingles and then to your ceiling.

Budget-friendly Installation:

There is no need for major investment for the installation of your solar tube, though they might have seen an amenity feature.

These tubes have overheads less than skylights, and the rate for the installation of them also very low because they do not require any alteration or framing.

If you want a professional installment then it costs nearly a thousand dollars.

Do you know what is the best part?

You can put in these solar light tubes by yourself just by using a simple kit that is of only five hundred dollars. But the better is to hire some professionals to fix your solar light tubes because sometimes it is difficult to fix them on some parts of your roof space.

Disadvantages:

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One of the major disadvantages of solar tubes is that they do not provide that much control over the light. And by their small size, you also get little enhancement to the architecture of your room.

Some of the other disadvantages are mentioned in the above coming sections.

Bear me in this a little more,

Fewer Options For Control:

The rival of solar light tubes skylight can provide more control over the light that you are letting in.

Skylights are similar to the window shades and the diffusion of the skylights that are available in the market allows you to grab your hand on the variety of options of distribution of lights.

The UV lights generally dull your furniture so you can add film in your skylight to overcome this problem.

Venture skylight also allows the wind to let in with direct sunlight by simply opening them.

With solar light tubes, you cannot enjoy the feature of ventilation but you can avail of the option of diffusers and film.

There are also so many options that are limited to these solar light tubes.

Little Design Improvement:

By using skylight you are utilizing a device that is architectural onto themselves. By using them the room looks wider and airier, and that also gives you an amazing look at passing cloud.

  Both feeling of nature and luxury you can feel through them but on the other hand, most of the solar light tube does not affect the appearance of your room. They also do not allow you to see through hallways and corridors.

Not Suited To Every House:

It depends on the design of the rooftop and the material of it that solar light tubes are feasible to mount or not.

Most of the solar light tubes are made for the roofs that have a slope of at least 15 to 60 degrees.

Solar light tubes are not feasible for the flight rooms. On steeply roof installation may not be possible at all.

Additionally,

In the most humid area, the condensation inside the tube is one of the most discussed problems.

So the advice is to wrap your tube with  R-15 batt insulation before fixing it.

How We Picked And Tested?

To buy solar tubes all you need to specify your needs that what kind of solar tube you want?

Where do you want to locate it? What is your budget? And then get yourself a solar tube.

To answer all these dilemmas you need to proceed with me.

So let us dive into it,

Setting:

Before buying it you need to figure out that where you are going to fix it so you can buy the best from the rest. For the large spaces like halls and big rooms, you need to choose the one that can light up at least 200sq ft of space.

Level of Illumination:

After figuring out that where you want to set up your solar tube light next step you need to take is checking up the level of brightness or illumination that your solar tube is offering.

The example is a few are for lightening little areas like bathrooms and kitchens but there are also such solar light tubes that are for providing light for remarkably large areas like your living rooms and halls or the areas of at least 300 sq ft.

So make sure that your solar tube is best at the illumination level when you are going to buy one.

Tubing Length:

Now we look at the importance of length in the level of illumination and on whether that we should look at it while we are buying solar tubes or not.

To get more illumination in your room or wherever you want you should get your hand on the tube of short length.

It will help you to achieve the brightness of your desire. The bigger the length the less the brightness reaches your room.

Warranty: 

While you are shopping for the best one consider another quality of it and that is looking at the warranty of these though all of the brands are not offering the warranty thing. So get yourself that is offering it because it gives you mental peace.

Budget:

Every single thing on this planet Earth is revolving around a term called budget.

And I always say that the more you invest the more you get the same in this case. First, you need to determine whether you prefer quality over price or vice versa.

The one with a low price is more likely to break easily or the chances of damage are quite high.

Plus,

It is always advised that you should read reviews about the things that you want to buy. By doing this you not only save your time but also can get the best one.

Design Of Solar Tube:     

Lastly, you need to identify which design is going to meet the needs of yours.

There are hundreds of design are available out in the market because some roofs are flat and some are asphalt so there are different for every kind of rooftop.

Follow the above-mentioned point to but the best one for the illumination of your area.

Homework is necessary, do your homework properly spend some time reading reviews on different sites, and then buy one.

What Are The Drawbacks To Solar Tube Lighting?Solar Tube Lighting

Although there are many advantages of using solar tube lighting we cannot also overlook the disadvantages of them.

Let us have an eye over disadvantage,

Some of the disadvantages we already discussed previously but here I am going to state some more.

Firstly, in case of bad weather, it can not provide you a lighting so it is the one source of energy.

As we all know that we can only get lightening from this method in the presence of sunlight otherwise no free light.

Secondly, many users of solar tubes complain that during highly humid weather the delinquent of water condensation arises. This happens because moist air finds the path to get inside your tube.

It affects the normal functioning of your solar tube and reduces the lifespan. Sometimes it also starts leaking and things get out of hand. Also, it ruins your wall.

Thirdly, ventilation is not possible through these tubes this means that you cannot open these lightning to release the heat inside the room or seizure cool breeze from outside.

Frequently Asked Questions:

I know that you have got so many questions in your mind after reading this view so here I am going to answer some of them that I am sure will help and lead you to a better understanding of solar tube lighting.

What are the most trusted solar tube brands?

After reading this whole article now you must be wondering which brand of the solar tube is worth buying.

Or which is the best one in the market. Some of the most trusted ones are  Velux sun tunnel, OLD, and Natura light energy system are the most popular ones.

Solatube vs Skylight: what’s the difference?

Now you must be wondering about the difference between these two. The difference is simple.

Skylight, are the windows made up of glass or polycarbonate that are set up on the roof of your home.

They usually come in a rectangular shape and relatively bigger the advantage of these is that they can also provide ventilation when needed.

They are big but the size should not exceed 15 percent of the room ceiling below.

Solatube, are also made of acrylic or polycarbonate but is smaller than skylight and also budget-friendly than a skylight.

They also use for the illumination of the area with the help of natural means of sunlight.

What is the warranty?

Then the question arises about the warranty and why you need the warranty.

The answer to this dilemma is simple, sometimes you need assistance regarding your product or maintenance is also sometimes necessary that’s why you need it. So get yourself a one that has a warranty for long period.

How to install and use?

As I mentioned earlier that it comes in different designs, different for flat floors and different for asphalt floors.

Different the rooftop and the design of tube different time it will take in installation.

Generally,

It is not difficult to install a solar tube it takes not more the half-day of yours. You can install it by yourself and left it for a professional as well.

How to care & maintain?

If you are buying the best one then it does not need daily maintenance.

The best solar light tubes are generally watertight and storm tested so they do not need extra or regular maintenance once they are fixed they are good to proceed.

Wrapping It Up!

If you want to buy the best one from the rest then you need to determine that what is you want and for that what are you ready to pay off.

I hope you get some information from the above-mentioned details about solar light tubes and now you can find it easy to choose the best one.

By using solar tubes you can easily brighten up your room or other areas and at the same time, you can save electricity and its bill.

At the same time, these are environment friendly causing them are using sunlight that has no contribution to pollution.

You can also enjoy this ultimate source of free power and requires maintenance once in a blue moon.