Whether you know it as a solar tube, light tube, sun tunnel, tube skylight, sun tube or tube skylight, a solar tube is a sheet-metal tube that measures either just under or just over a foot in diameter that acts as a source of indirect lighting inside your home. On the roof end is an acrylic cap that keeps the weather out. What you see inside the house, on the ceiling is a round, window-like opening that diffuses the light. Where a skylight functions much like a window, a solar tube is more a daylight-delivery system. Solar tubes can be used in conjunction with skylights, or as a skylight alternative, and are another means of increasing the amount of natural light inside your home.
In the Seattle area including Bellevue and Issaquah, families may prefer solar tubes over skylights in order to enjoy natural light in any room without a view of cloudy skies above. The choice is ultimately up to you: We will provide the expertise to install either or both in your Western Washington home.
Call Pro Roofing NW today at (425) 598-0998 to start planning your solar tube installation! We serve King County, Snohomish County, & Pierce County.
Advantages of Solar Tubes:
- Solar tubes let the light in: Like skylights, the key advantage of solar tubes is that they increase the natural light within your home, which has positive effects not only on mood, but also on energy efficiency. While often small, solar tube lighting is surprisingly powerful—on sunny days, one 10-inch solar tube provides as much light to a room as three 100-watt light bulbs. Some solar tubes even come with electric lights for use at night.
- They fit in anywhere: Skylights are a lovely way to flood a room with light, but one of their drawbacks is that they can’t be placed just anywhere. Solar tubes, on the other hand, offer significant flexibility in design. They’re a bit like pocket skylights in that they fit in places where skylights won’t, such as pantries, closets, and hallways.
- They’re cost-effective: Because they don’t require significant structural alterations such as changes to drywall or framing, solar tubes can be less expensive than their skylight counterparts. The tubes, themselves, are inexpensive, and installation by a roofing professional is a fairly straightforward process. They’re not as big or dramatic as skylights, but have the qualities of luxury home amenities at an affordable price.
Limitations of Solar Tubes:
- Solar tubes are not compatible with every roof: Generally speaking, solar tubes are designed for roofs with slopes between 15 and 60 degrees. For roofs with a steep pitch, solar tubes are unlikely to be a viable option, and flat roofs require specially made solar tubes. In addition, many solar tubes are made to be installed in roofs with wood or asphalt shingles. Metal and tile roofs require special accommodations.
- The style options for solar tubes are limited: The singular purpose and simpler design of solar tubes has other limitations as well in terms of features. Whereas skylights come with UV filters and can be outfitted with shades or vents, those options aren’t generally available with solar tubes. However, a professional roofer can assist with custom solar tube designs.
The Solar Tube Installation Process
Any project that involves removing large portions of the ceiling and roof structure is best left to a professional Unforeseen obstacles such as pipes, wiring, air ducts and more can often make what appeared to be a simple job far more complicated. It’s always advisable to do something correctly once, and the certified roofers at Pro Roofing NW can work within your budget to ensure your solar tube installation is clean and professional.
“Pro Roofing NW was excellent from start to finish.” - Anonymous