- Home Improvement
What is a Tubular Skylight? Tube Skylight Review
Add Natural Lighting to Your Home
One of the best decisions I have made in home improvement was to install tubular skylights to let natural light into my kitchen. These lights, also called tube lights, are a way to go green as they will make a huge difference in how often you have to resort to using your electric overhead lighting.
My kitchen has only a small window to the north, so it gets very little direct sunshine at any point during the day. Since I had my skylights installed, I no longer have to turn on my kitchen lights every single day in order to see what I'm doing in my kitchen.
Before my skylights, I frequently had to change my overhead light bulbs. Since the light covers are totally enclosed, I could only use incandescent bulbs, which seem to burn out much more quickly. So out I would come with the stepladder to change those pesky bulbs. Well, no more!
When I first broached the idea of installing skylights to my handyman, he suggested tubular skylights as opposed to regular skylights. He told me of the many advantages over traditional skylights, and I have learned them to be true firsthand. I am now saving time, money, and energy.
Before and After Photos
You can see what my skylights look like on a dark and rainy day. (See above photo.) On a sunny day, the room is totally bright.
Unfortunately, I failed to take a before picture in my own kitchen, but the difference in the before and after was just as dramatic as the ones of the kitchen to the right. There are even more great examples of before and after pictures on the Horizon Energy Systems website where I found these photos. The lights can be installed in kitchens, bathrooms, dark hallways and closets--virtually anywhere!
The first photo reminds me exactly of my kitchen, how dark it was before and how bright afterwards. The differences are astounding. I no longer need any other lighting during the daytime unless it's a dark, dreary day outside.
Grow plants indoors with tubular skylights!
When I contacted the site owner of Horizon Energy Systems to ask permission to use his before and after photos, he said that he also is "pioneering indoor growing of vegetables and fruits using tubular skylights." What a great idea! I now am already able to give live plants the light they need in my kitchen--something I couldn't do before installing tube lights.
Other advantages of tubular skylights
- Tube lights emit more evenly dispersed light, as it comes through highly reflective tubing.
- Tube lights block harmful UV rays.
- There is no fading of furniture as when the sun hits through traditional skylights.
Tube skylights are more flexible
When first contemplating what kind of lights to install, my handyman conveyed to me that the tube lights would be easier to get through my roof, my attic, and to the spots they needed to be. There is no major construction, no cutting through shingles and beams and ceilings. Unlike a traditional skylight which would have to shine straight down, the tube-shaped hose can be moved to get through to the ceiling.
After sunlight hits the globe on the roof, it goes through a tube down to the diffuser on the ceiling, where the light is distributed into the room. The light that comes through, too, is just as bright as what comes through larger skylights, even though it passes through a much smaller area.
Tube lights are leakproof
Not leaking is another advantage that my handyman pointed out to me. The way these tubes are inserted on the roof under the shingles with a globe on top makes them virtually leak-proof. Going through a round instead of square hole requires no need for seams that must be tacked as on traditional skylights.
Tubular Skylight Kit on Amazon
Tubular skylights are cheaper!
Okay, handyman, you’re got my attention now. Sure, he gave some great reasons to go with his idea, but when he told me that the tubes were cheaper, I was sold. I paid him a total of $700 for installing two of these little green wonders in my kitchen. That’s only $350 apiece (labor included) as opposed to what might cost a couple of thousand dollars just for one traditional skylight.
If you can install them yourself, the cost would be even cheaper than what I paid for the parts plus labor. Another money-saving benefit is saving on the electric bill and stash of replacement light bulbs--all while enjoying natural sunlight.
DIY Video: Installing Tube Skylights--in just about 2 hours!
I love my tubular skylights!
A brighter kitchen
Since my tubular skylights were installed, I rarely have to turn on my regular lights during the day. As a matter of fact, it was some time before I got over reaching for the light switch to "turn off the light."
Only on dark days when I really need to see what I’m doing do I flip on that light switch. I am loving not having to get out the stepladder frequently to change out my overhead bulbs. Natural light fills my kitchen during daylight hours and offers a faint glow on a moonlit night. I am absolutely thrilled with my decision.