Before we jump into the drawbacks of solar tube lighting, it’s essential to know precisely what it is. In short, solar tube lighting refers to a device that channels natural light into your home through tubes.
As implied by the name, the light source used here is the sun. Tubes run from the roof of a house through its ceiling to provide light inside. Solar light tubes for homes come in different diameter sizes and can be however long they need to be. A 10″ tube is comparable to three 100-watt light bulbs, which make this renewable light source a popular choice for darkened areas in your home that rely on electrical lighting during the day.
A diffuser within the solar tube spreads incoming light, allowing your home to be filled with a soft but bright glow. If you want to convert your lighting systems to a renewable energy source in your home, solar tube lighting is an excellent option!
Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Tube Lighting
Before jumping the gun and purchasing a bunch of solar tube lighting systems, you should gain some insight into solar tubes’ pros and cons. As with many renewable resources, people tend to be sceptical about trying them out due to a lack of knowledge around it. Gaining as much information about the positives and negatives of solar tubes can help you make an informed decision.
What Are the Drawbacks to Solar Tube Lighting?
There’s nothing wrong with understanding the drawbacks of a product. Contrary, understanding what shortcomings it has will help you estimate the value of its benefits better. Below, a quick overview of the drawbacks of solar light tubes for homes is given.
One Energy Source: This disadvantage might confuse some people, but having only one energy source can be problematic. Since a solar tube lighting system works with sunlight, it only functions well when direct sunlight is received, making its function limited.
Not Suited for Every Home: Since solar tube systems are installed through a roof, many homes might not be suitable for it. Flat or steeply pitched roofs might pose challenges, and the material of your houses’ roof might also call for an adapter. Longer tubes also provide less light, making solar tube lights ineffective in certain areas of your home and performing poorly in double-story homes.
Limited Design Styles: Solar tube lighting systems are relatively basic, making them a wrong choice if you want to add an ambiance of luxury to your home. Many solar light tubes for homes are small, and their only function is to let in light.
No Ventilation: You cannot install ventilation with solar tube lights, making it impossible to release heat or catch a gentle breeze through them.
What Are the Benefits to Solar Tube Lighting?
Now that you have a clearer picture of the drawbacks of solar tube lighting, you can read through the explanations below to understand which benefits they have.
Easy Installation: Besides having a low initial cost, solar tube lighting is easy to install, and many different DIY kits are available for those who want to cut costs during the installation phase.
Energy Efficient: Of course, a big advantage of solar tube systems is their energy efficiency. Installing these will help you cut back on daytime electricity, and using renewable energy for your home contributes to a greener environment. Besides this, solar tubes also reduce interior heat gains in the summer, giving your air conditioner a break from working too hard to cool your house down. During colder days, heat has a challenging time escaping through the small solar tube, which means heating costs can also be reduced.
Various Installation Possibilities: Although solar light tubes for homes are limited in design, you can install them almost anywhere. Choose hallways, kitchens, closets, stairwells, laundry rooms, or even bathrooms as their installation spot. If there’s a mechanical chase or closet to run the tube through, solar light tubes can also be installed into lower floor levels.
Low Maintenance: With its curved exterior head design, solar tubes make it more challenging for elements to settle on and obstruct sunlight. This feature means that they require little cleaning, making them low maintenance. Many solar tube lighting systems are also vacuum sealed or offer a condensation release feature. If you live in an area with high humidity, this feature will reduce your solar tubes’ required cleaning.
Having a better understanding of solar tubes’ pros and cons should help you make an informed decision about this renewable light source. As technology improves, many new designs will start to saturate the market, making these lighting systems more suitable for different homes and aesthetically pleasing to have. Even though the drawbacks of solar tube lighting systems are prominent now, new developments might eradicate them soon.