How A Solatube Daylighting System Works

Solatube daylighting is all the rage across the world today when it comes to bringing more natural light into your home. This is due to the cost of energy, especially from lighting, rising significantly over the last decade. But how does Solatube lighting actually work? What if we at Element Comfort Solutions told you that there were two different ways to illuminate your home with natural lighting? In this blog we’ll go over the different means of supplying your home with natural light, how Solatube works, and which option is best for your home.

Traditional Skylightsopen window glass

Traditional skylights are more commonly found option for allowing natural light into your home via your ceiling. Skylights are essentially a window cut into the roof of your home. Similar to windows, a skylight is made of a pane of glass encased in a frame. Some have the ability to open, again similar to a window, while many remain permanently closed. Traditional skylights allow an abundance of natural sunlight into your home, allowing for that all around natural lighting look year-round.

There are several benefits to skylights. Not only do they add natural lighting into your home, but they cut down on lighting costs. You’ll save money during the day by not having to turn on lights in busy and popular parts of your house thanks to the skylight offering the room natural lighting. Being able to open your skylight can help ventilate your home, allowing you to cool it off in the warmer months. This can also help you save on energy costs as you won’t have to run that air conditioner as often when your windows and skylight is open. Skylights can also offer views of the outside. Normally these are limited to just the sky, but if you’re lucky to live in an area with natural views, then you’ll be able to trees, mountains, and wildlife from the comfort of your own home. Unlike most windows, skylights give your home natural lighting while preserving privacy.

Skylights also come with a set of drawbacks though. For instance, if your skylight has the ability to open, which can be a hassle all its own, most don’t come with screen to protect against bugs or other animals from entering your home. Installation is also quite cumbersome and expensive as the company or installation crew will have to perform major roof work, custom frame your skylight, and then have to repaint your ceiling once the light is installed. Skylights have many parts that are easily damaged by weather and normal wear-and-tear. And because skylights are more like windows, they allow a lot of heat to enter in the summer while providing poor insulation in the winter. Because they allow unfiltered sunlight into your home, they’re also known to cause fading of your carpet and furniture.


Tubular Daylighting Devices

Tubular daylighting devices, often referred to as sun tunnels or Solatubes, are similar to skylights in that they allow natural light into your home, however the way in which the two systems work are vastly different. Tube skylights use three main components to capture sunlight: the dome, tubing, and a diffuser. Domes go on the outside of the house or building and are usually made of high grade, durable glass or another clear, reflecting material. The tubing is placed inside the house or building, usually stemming down through the roof and ending on the inner side of the ceiling. The tubing is also made of reflective material, usually a specially coated metal that bounce any errand rays reflected by the dome, down into the lighting area. The diffuser attaches to the inside of the tubing and the ceiling of your home or building. Diffusers allow you to control how much natural light you get in a certain area, so it’s never too bright at any point in the day.

Solatubes are the compact versions of skylights, but can do much more for a room than a simple glass paned skylight. Each tubular skylight is designed to reflect light through a system of highly specialized devices and bring that light into a certain room, such as a hallway or walk-in closet. They’re specifically designed to capture the sun’s rays, no matter what angle, time of year, or interference of weather may happen. Sun tunnels are also insulated, so no heat will escape during the colder months. Though they use and reflect sunlight, they don’t transfer heat like a traditional skylight does. This form of solar lighting is designed to go where skylights can’t, but offer just as much, if not more, natural lighting than their larger, rectangular cousins. They can extend, bend, and curve in any direction to give any room you want that feeling of being outside.

Solatube daylighting systems offer high grade solar lighting that are built to last for years. Built with the highest quality materials, Solatubes combine the newest optical equipment with highly advanced designs to provide crisp, natural light to your home or business. No matter where the sun is, or what’s in front of it, Solatube will help you keep those light switches off, saving you money and providing you with even better lighting.

When To Use Which

If you want a traditional way to not only get natural sunlight into your home, but have view of the outside as well, then skylights are more your style. If you’re looking for a way to brighten up a few rooms during the day, tubular daylighting devices are perfect for your house or business. But if you’re looking for a one-two punch of energy efficient, money saving, view adding, whole property lighting techniques, a combination of  and skylights can provide just that.

If you’re looking for solar lighting in Vancouver or the surrounding areas, Element Comfort Solutions has you covered. We can install Solatubes Daylighting Systems, retractable awnings, even vinyl decks at your property. Learn more about Element Comfort Solutions, see what services we can do for you, or contact us today to get your free quote for your next project.