What Are The Drawbacks Of Solar Tube Lighting?

What Are The Drawbacks Of Solar Tube Lighting ?


A common substitute for conventional skylights is solar tube illumination, called sun tunnels or solar light tubes. These cutting-edge gadgets offer natural lighting without power by capturing sunlight and directing it into interior areas. Yet solar tube lighting has numerous advantages, and it’s also necessary to be aware of its disadvantages. To assist you in making an informed choice, we will examine the drawbacks of solar tube lighting in this post and respond to frequently asked questions.

What Is Solar Tube Lighting?

Solar tube lighting is known by a few different names: sun tube lighting, sun tunnel lighting or tubular skylight lighting and light tube lighting. They are made up of metal sheets which are polished inside.

The outer end of a solar tube light is normally sealed with a weather-proof plastic dome, and the interior-facing end is in a porthole-style diffuse that transfers the light into your home or business. Further, for reflecting the light the tubes have a shiny interior that is used to reflect light back and forth, resulting in tunneling that brightens and illuminates more spaces without the need for electrical power. The diameter will be from 10 to 14 inches, which is smaller than a standard skylight.

How do solar tube lighting work?

A system known as solar tube lighting collects sunlight through a dome or lens positioned on the roof transmits it through a reflecting tube, and directs it into a space below. A diffuse or lens at the end of the room diffuses the light, creating a bright, natural lighting source.

A solar tube is a device that is used to bring natural sunlight into interior spaces that may otherwise have limited or no access to direct sunlight. A solar tube light or a sun tunnel might be an energy-efficient and eco-friendly way to brighten up dark spaces in buildings, for example in hallways, bathrooms, closets and other rooms which don’t have windows or limited natural light.

There are three parts of a solar tube which are: a clear dome on the roof, reflective tube and one lens inside the room. At a time the sunlight hits the dome, it bounces down the tube and spreads into the room by the lens, providing a soft, natural light similar to a skylight.

As we know, Solar tubes are smaller than regular skylights, so they can be perfect for bringing daylight into small spaces where the big windows wouldn’t fit. They can also help to save energy and create a nicer, more pleasant environment with the sun’s light instead of electricity.

What Makes Solar Tube Lighting a Fantastic Skylight Alternative?

Compared to conventional skylights, solar tube illumination offers several benefits. It saves money, is environmentally beneficial, and lessens the need for artificial lighting. It also removes UV radiation risk, gives various architectural options, and may be installed in places where skylights are impractical.

Installing Solar Tube Lighting:

A few crucial actions must be taken to install a solar tube light:

Roof Assessment: Determine whether your roof is suitable for installing solar tubes, ensuring no obstacles or structural problems.

Making a Hole: Make a hole in the roof of the proper size and location for the solar tube.

Connect the reflective tube from the roof to the inside ceiling, ensuring it is aligned correctly and filling in any gaps.

Installation of a Diffuser: Attach the diffuser or lens to the tube’s end inside the space to spread the light evenly.

How soon will I be able to use solar tube lighting at home?

The complexity of the installation, the accessibility of the roof, and the installer’s skill all affect how long it will take to install drawbacks of solar tube lighting. Generally, the action plan can be completed in a day or two, providing instant entry to natural light’s advantages.

Roof leaks – are solar tubes at blame?

When using solar tube illumination, roof leaks are a typical worry. Solar tubes rarely result in roof leaks, nevertheless, when they are fitted properly. To prevent any water infiltration, selecting qualified personnel familiar with the installation procedure is essential, and ensuring the right sealing measures are used.

Do Solar Tubes Increase Room Temperature?

Solar tube lighting does not produce much heat and mostly transmits natural light. However, particularly on warm summer days, the energy from sunshine has the potential to raise the temperature modestly. Modern solar tube systems integrate heat-reduction technologies like reflecting coatings and ventilation options to reduce heat transmission to mitigate this.

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Solar tube lighting drawbacks

Limited Light Output: Because solar tube illumination depends on sunshine intensity, it is less effective at night and on overcast or rainy days.

Dependence on Sun Position: The performance of solar tube illumination is influenced by the sun’s position. Rooms with little sun exposure may get less light, which affects the overall illumination.

Solar tube lighting installation restrictions include the need for roof access, which may not be possible in some structures or multi-story buildings.

Space Restrictions: The reflecting tube’s size limits how much light it can transmit, which reduces its efficacy in bigger spaces.

Cost up front: Solar tube lighting can save you money on energy in the long run, but it may cost more to install at first than more conventional lighting solutions.

No Glare

Solar tubes offer us a number of advantages that make it a wonderful choice for spaces where glare could be an issue. The diffuser lens which is situated at the end of the tube helps spread incoming sunlight and evenly helps this light to spread into the room, preventing any harsh glare or bright spots.

The diffused light makes a soft and gentle illumination that is enjoyable to the eyes, making it comfortable and easy for people to be in the room without being bothered by intense or by the uncomfortable brightness.

Simple Maintenance

Solar tubes are a best choice if you’re seeking for a lighting solution that’s easy to maintain and low-maintenance. With the minimal moving parts and a self-cleaning design for the roof-mounted dome, there are some fewer components to worry about.

After some time cleaning of the diffuser lens is all that’s essential to keep the system working efficiently. Also it helps, removing any leaves or debris from the tube that could block any sunlight is needed. Solar tubes want limited upkeep and can give reliable natural lighting for years without so much fuss.

Electricity Savings

As we know Solar tubes are an energy-efficient way to bring natural light into the house. When they channel sunlight from outdoors into interior spaces, they let you eliminate or reduce the need for artificial lighting during the daytime. This might lead to a substantial reduction in your energy bills.

Pros of Solar Tube Lighting

There are many reasons why a home or business owner would have to choose solar tube lighting over other available options.

Natural Sunlight

Just like skylights, solar tubes bring in natural light, which is best for managing moods and health. Morely, sunlight is a natural source in which the Vitamin D exists, which makes our bones stronger and helps regulate sleep. Having regular access to natural light will not only be a benefit to human health, but it also helps in reducing the need to use an artificial light source during the day.

Low Installation Costs

Solar tubes are very easy to mount, that  makes for low installation costs. If you used to do the job yourself, solar tubes would be installed for less than $500. Similarly, the maintenance cost of solar tubes is lower compared to traditional electric lighting. If the installation will be properly done, there is no need to worry about a monthly bill.


Solar tubes do not provide just harmful gasses or contribute to global warming because they run on renewable energy. This thing makes them an ecologically sustainable solution. If you start Using a solar tube to power lights this can help your community in achieving energy efficiency. It can also be another tool that helps your family achieve energy independence, allowing  you to power your home without using any energy from a local utility company’s power grid.

Design Flexibility

As we know solar tubes are much smaller than skylights, so they offer design flexibility without altering the structure of your roof . For example,  if you are seeking to add light to smaller spaces of your home like for the kitchen or for the bathroom, closets or hallways, solar tube lighting is a best option that will also guarantee a long-term energy and cost savings.

Cons of Solar Tube Lightning

There we describe some cons of solar tube lighting. Solar tube lighting may have complications, just like  any other system installed in your home. Here are some drawbacks:

Roof Slope Matters

Because of their installation limitations, solar tubes can not be the ideal lighting solution for every home. For most of the solar tubes to work, they want to be mounted on a roof with a slope of 15 to 60 degrees. So, if your roof is much steeper or flatter, the standard solar tube installations can not work. Solar tubes for flat roofs are available, but they can be harder to find and install.

Need Backup for Bad Weather

Solar tube lighting depends on a single source of energy—sunlight. Sunny days are ideal, but cloudy, snowy and rainy days will come. On these days and at night, you’ll have to switch to an alternate source of lighting, which means you can’t rely exclusively on solar tube lighting all year round.

Limited Design Style

 Solar tube lighting solutions have a limited style for their design, so they don’t always fit in the design aesthetic of certain homes. Moreover, they are smaller in size, so solar tubes can not be a visual centerpiece in the same way that a skylight would be. Furter, they are sealed into the roof, so they are only able to provide light, not fresh air.

Lack of Lighting Control

The other disadvantage of solar tube illumination is that there is no way to regulate it. It can be brighten on some days and dim on others. You are able install a dimming kit, but the efficiency will be reportedly spotty.

Roof Warranty Impact

One potential drawback of solar tube lighting potentially has an impact on the roof warranty. Installing a solar tube has created an opening in the roof to accommodate the light-capturing dome,

which would be considered a violation of the roof warranty by some manufacturers. Moreover proper installation can reduce the risk of roof-related issues, there remains a possibility that the warranty would be voided if any issues arise. It is needed to choose reputable solar tube manufacturers and experienced installers during  consulting with the roof manufacturer to understand how the installation will affect the warranty. You should take precautions to be sure you are taken the necessary steps to mitigate the concern


They are made with aluminum, so they can conduct heat. Therefore, in humid areas these lighting solutions can create condensation problems. Insulation can be installed to minimize these problems, but that is an added cost.

Other drawbacks of solar tube lights


Almost all of the solar tubes feature additional aluminum reflectors, which can be the best enhancement for the sunlight. Moreover, this add-on does generate a lot of noise, especially on windy days.

Takes Up Lots Of Space

This is another drawback which we already have shortly described in the upper paragraph but there we explained it deeply, now we know that it mainly comes into play during the installation process. These units want a lot of space during the installation, so ensure that your home has enough room before you make a purchase for a solar tube.

They’re eco-friendly

This helps you in cutting down your electricity use, you’ll help to decrease carbon emissions and air pollution, thus for all of these things this is being kinder to the planet.

Key takeaways

Solar tube lighting has its advantages and its disadvantages. The drawbacks to solar tube lighting such as inconsistency and a lack of versatility and customizability.

If we Add to this then they’re not suitable for very hot, cold, or humid climates, and their minimalist aesthetic does not appeal to everyone.

Moreover, this does not four fully or needle mean you should avoid solar tube lighting.

There is no black-and-white answer – solar tube lighting can be a best option for some, and not the greater choice for others. Whether this solution is best for you depends on a range of factors, such as where you live and the amount of sunlight you receive.

If you would easily find this summary of the drawbacks to solar tube lighting helpful, then go ahead and share it with your family and friends who are facing these problems.

How Much Does Solar Tube Installation Cost?

Installing the cost of a solar tube is given below and solar tube installation is not only a great way to add natural sunlight into any room, but this is  the best way to save money on your energy bills. Moreover, there are many variables that can be affected by the final price of the project, so the cost of installing a solar tube is nearly  between the range of $500 to $2,500.

And If you opt for a do-it-yourself (DIY) solar tube installation, it would be around $500. Moreover, if you want to buy a professional installation, the average cost is closer to $1,000. The total cost is made by factors such as the size of the solar tube, the complexity of the installation, labor costs and other additional features or modifications required for the specific project. It’s essential to consider these aspects when you are making a budget for a solar tube installation and weigh the benefits of professional installation against the cost savings of a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach.

Are Solar Tubes the Right Solution for You?

If you are seeking to cut energy costs by the lighting, solar tubes can be one of the greater solutions available. They offer distinct advantages over other natural lighting options, but they also have limitations. Check with the roofing and lighting contractors to choose if your roof could accommodate solar tube lighting.


Any room can have solar tube illumination installed, right?

A: A lot of rooms, as well as the kitchen, bathrooms, and even storage, can be shone by solar tubes.

Do solar tube lights need to be maintained?

In general, solar tube lights require little maintenance. To guarantee optimal light transmission, it is suggested that the dome and diffuser be cleaned regularly.

Can sloped roofs accommodate the installation of solar tube lighting?

Yes, sloped roofs may accommodate solar tube illumination. For proper installation on sloped surfaces, flashing kits that have been specially designed are available.

Are solar tube lights appropriate for all types of climates?

A variety of climates allow for the usage of solar tube lights. However, a region’s access to sunlight may impact its effectiveness.

Are there several solar tube light sizes available?

Solar tube lights come in various sizes to meet lighting requirements. Selecting the right size based on the room size and desired light output is critical.


Solar tube illumination offers several advantages over conventional skylights as an economical and environmentally responsible substitute. However, it’s vital to consider the disadvantages of solar tube lighting, including low light production in poor weather, reliance on the sun’s location, restrictions, restricted installation options, additional space, and upfront expenditures. Solar tube lighting can still offer a useful and sustainable lighting solution for your home or commercial area if you know its limitations and address frequent worries through proper installation and maintenance.

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