Solatube - The zero electricity light



When I first saw the Solatube my first thought was, "Why have I never seen this before?"  How much simpler could a product be?  It is basically a tube that goes from your celing to your roof, catches sunlight, and pipes it down to brighten your home or office.  Forget discussing incandescents or CFL's, I would much rather use a light source that uses zero electricity!

The obvious reason I've yet to see many of these is that they are much easier to install when a house is being built, and not that easy to retrofit.  I would  like to think all home-builders (if they still exist) who claim to build "green" homes have the Solatube in their arsenal.  If they don't, why not?  If you're building a new home or an addition to your existing home, how much have you thought about natural lighting?

To be honest I really don't know much about this product, but I'd love to learn more.  Have you had any experience with it or do you know anyone who has?  Why aren't there more of them out there?

One of the biggest reasons new energy and water conservation technologies aren't more popular is that the average homeowner just doesn't know they exist!  This blog's goal is to find the best technologies out there, prove they work, and help spread the word.

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I like the idea of natural sunlight and saving money on electricity. I just wonder if you will be at risk for sun damage similar to when you get sun exposure through the car windows.
Hello! John is completely correct, and many of you are right on target with the product experience. Essentially, you don't see too many of them yet in homes as daylighting isn't the first to come to mind when thinking about lighting your home. However, we are seeing more and more that in commercial construction, especially when looking to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Although, as John said, I think we will be seeing these in more and more homes as we become environmentally, and energy conscious. The general purpose for our products is to bring light into rooms that do not currently have windows. This not only provides a great amount of lighting to a dark room, but also expends zero energy costs to you! We do offer both a 10" and 14" for residential applications, we also have add-on kits, for example: a Light add-on kit, if you want to convert it to an actual light in the evening, or a Ventilation add-on kit for bathrooms and we even offer a Daylight Dimmer kit when you're getting too much daylight ;) You can tailor the amount of daylight you're receiving to your liking. Hopefully that helps. If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to call us at (888) SOLATUBE or feel free to visit our website at - there's a lot of info on there about our products, possible 30% tax credit you can receive, warranty information, etc. as well as where to find the dealer in your area, as John mentioned. Here's a couple quick links to do so: Thank you for your interest in Solatube International, Inc! Have a bright day, everyone!
I love light tubes and have one in my home. When installing, don't forget to tightly seal the unit at the ceiling and to install insulation around the shaft where it passes through the attic, similar to how you would insulate the walls of a skylight shaft. Without these measures, a light tube can be a a very efficient path for the heated and cooled air that you've paid for to leave your home.
Randy- I cannot see how you could possibly think that installing a window or a skylight is simpler than installing a Solatube. If you have sheetrock involved, painting, texturing, and framing involved, how could that be "simpler" than installing a Solatube? Forget the sheetrock, painting and texturing. The framing alone would take longer than installing a Solatube.
This is a great product anyone can install. Where possible, Skylights (and even windows) are simpler.
Hi - I am what Solatube classifies a Premier Solatube Dealer servicing the East Bay area, and San Francisco area of Northern California. As a premier dealer we maintain a showroom, have a staff of expertly trained installers and also sell to contractors, and do-it-yourself homeowners. Dealers are spread throughout the US and you can find them easily by going to and locating via zipcode. Regarding not seeing these in a lot of new homes, I think the reason for that is many builders prefer to give customers the option of what sort of lighting they want to install. Many green home builders are installing Solatube Daylighting Systems. I predict you will see more and more of this product in new home construction going forward. By far you will find by far more homes that have installed Solatube Daylighting Systems. The good news is that it is not a difficult install. In most cases a Solatube Daylighting System can be installed in less than 2 hours, with little or no mess, and are an affordable improvement ( 1/3 to 1/4 the cost of a traditional skylight). The product is available ( mainly) in 2 sizes for residential homes. The 160 DS is approximately a 10" diameter and can brighten up about 150-200 square feet. The 290 DS is approximately a 14" diameter and can brighen up approximately 250-300 square feet. Premier Dealers provide fee in home consultations. A consultant will come to your home and advise you on what size you need for a particular room and provide an free written estimate. The good news is if you install by May 31, you can receive a 30% tax credit from Uncle Sam on Solatube Daylighting System product(materials only) purchases On a basic kit this can approximate $100 or more. So, if you are in the Bay Area and want to know more, I encourage you to visit us in Pleasanton or call 1-800-846-6621 for more information. Visit or your local dealer. They look forward to "Brightening Your Day" Have a Bright One! John Izzo
Thanks John. Good info! I'll pass this along to some friends in the Bay Area.
I started with one solatube in my totally dark bathroom. It was in the middle of the house and had NO windows. Wow! With the solatube it bacame the BRIGHTEST room in the house. I keep forgetting that I am getting pure daylight and constantly go to turn off the lightswitch when I leave. I am getting two more next week. I LOVE the effect! It makes me feel healthier and happier.I highly recommend solatubes. Here's a tip though, my husband tried to install the first one and found it more challenging then they describe in the directions. We had to have the solatube specialists come out and finish the install. For our next two we are simply going with the pros - well worth it!

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