Tubular skylights are an inexpensive option when you are seeking to highlight an area with natural light. They are quick and economical to install because they do not require the construction for a skylight shaft from the roof to the ceiling below. This makes tubular skylights a good solution for you if you are interested in adding natural light to a small area such as a walk in closet, hallway, or a small bathroom that has no window. They are also a good option in large rooms in need of more natural lighting.
Tubular skylights emit more light than traditional skylights because of the high reflectivity of the mirror-like light pipe. They are far more energy efficient than traditional skylights because they are designed with a sealed shaft that minimizes the transfer of heat or cold into your home unlike traditional skylights which generate heat. Tubular skylights scatter 100% of the natural light spectrum through the use of a diffuser, thereby eliminating the spot light effect common with the traditional skylight. 99% of harmful UV rays are absorbed by both the specially designed dome and by the light pipe, thereby eliminating the bleaching effect on floors and furniture.
A tubular skylight can be installed in less that two hours-a fraction of the time it takes to install a traditional skylight. No structural changes are required in most cases as the most popular sizes being 10", 13", and 14" models fit between traditional framing at 16 inches on center. However, tubes come in sizes up to 22" which can provide natural light for roughly 500 square feet. They can also function as light fixtures. There are kits available so you can use your tubular skylight as an artificial light fixture at night. There are also kits available so they can provide ventilation by adding a fan option.
Most residential tubular skylights cost anywhere from $200 to $500, not including installation. Their light delivery varies according to the outside sunlight conditions, the diameter of the tube, the transparency of the exterior dome, the reflectivity of the tube inner wall, and the transmittance of the ceiling diffuser. Light tubes make the most sense in dark areas of the home, away from windows, where you would otherwise use electric lights during the day. In any location they can improve the livability of your home by providing refreshing outdoor light.