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Skylights Vs Solar Tubes

Skylights vs. solar tubes: What’s the difference?

Want to add natural light to a meh room? Skylights and solar tubes are two options to consider. Let’s see how each one works and which one might be the better fit for your home 🙂


Skylights are windows installed onto your roof, typically made out of plastic (acrylic and polycarbonate) or glass. They offer views of the sky and allow the sunlight to reflect into your room. Skylights are versatile and come in a variety of shapes and styles. In this sense, Skylights offer homeowners more options in style and function.

Plastic is the more affordable option, but it comes with its share of limitations. It can discolor over time. And it does not block UV rays well unless you have a glaze or shades installed. In turn, your furniture can fade in color due to overexposure. Conversely, glass does not discolor and offers higher durability due to its safety glazing, but it’s more expensive. 

The orientation of the skylight is a critical factor. The slope affects when you receive sunlight and how much. If you need more light in your home office for morning work, then having one installed facing east could provide enough light to accommodate you. 


Solar tubes have a pipe design, ranging in diameter from 10 – 22″. The top contains a weather-proof dome that absorbs sunlight and prohibits UV rays from entering your home. Reflective surfaces move the light through the tube. Once it reaches the bottom, a diffuser (installed on the ceiling of a room), emits a bright light. These tend to look similar to recessed lights 🙂 

While smaller in profile, solar tubes pack plenty of power. They can disperse as much light as three 100W light bulbs

You can add them to any room in your home, making them a wise addition if you want to reduce your energy consumption without making dramatic changes to your home’s architecture. Moreover, there is minimal heat loss or gain with solar tubes because of their smaller size

On the cost end, solar tubes are easier and less expensive to install than skylights as they are a more simplified product. Installing both options can run you anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on how many you’re installing and the company doing the work — and, in the case of skylights, the style you choose.

Want a local installer? Contact us and we will get you connected today 🙂

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