What Every Homeowner Should Know Before Buying a Tubular Daylighting Device

Press Release (ePRNews.com) - Sep 24, 2016 - While some homeowners may find the term Tubular Daylighting Device cumbersome to say, they certainly have no problem finding the right words when it comes to singing their praises.

Tubular Daylighting Devices, AKA TDDs and solar tubes, are one of the hottest home design products since the advent of the light bulb more than 100 years ago.  They provide a quick, effective and affordable way to naturally brighten any room of the home. The trend toward daylighting spaces with tubular skylights has actually been two decades in the making, with their popularity now peaking with the “green” movement. Quite simply, power-guzzling, environment-polluting electric lighting is out.  And daylighting is in – and here to stay. 

Not All Products Are Created Equal, So It Pays to do Your Homework

Sola-Brite, Solatube Premier Dealer

Just like with any new household product, there are many facts homeowners should know before purchasing a TDD in order to ensure it is a valuable investment. 

Here are some key reasons to choose a tube skylight:

  Tube skylights provide exceptional lighting. Don’t let the small size fool you. The light output is incredible, providing as much light as you would expect from a skylight many times its size.

  Tube skylights are cost-effective. TDDs cost considerably less than other daylighting options, such as windows and skylights, including both product and installation costs.

  Installing a Tube skylight is fast, clean and easy. They require no structural reframing, tunneling, drywalling or painting.  A professional can install the product in less than two hours and most Do-It-Yourselfers can finish the project in one day.

  Tube skylights can go almost anywhere. The compact and flexible design of TDDs allow them to be installed in just about any room, including rooms without direct roof access and smaller spaces where daylighting would usually not be an option.

  Tube skylights are green.  Tubular Daylighting Devices allow homeowners to switch off electric lights during the day, which provides savings on energy bills and also reduces environmental pollution.

  Tube skylights are actually good for you. All of the incredible benefits of daylighting have only recently come to light.  It has been shown in several prominent studies that increasing daily exposure to natural light can enhance mental and physical well-being, boost concentration and energy levels and a variety of other unexpected perks.  (And you thought it just looked pretty!)  Installing TDDs in your home’s dark areas is a simple and effective way to make sure you get your daily dose of daylight.

Here is what to look for:

Buy The Brand Name.  Consider those brands that have come to define their product categories — Kleenex, Band-Aid, Xerox.  The names have become so synonymous with the products that people often use the names interchangeably with the product itself.  In the process, sometimes buyers assume they are getting a quality brand name product and may actually be getting a knock-off.  The same is often true for TDDs. 

Seek The Best Light Quality.  A Tubular skylight captures sunlight on the rooftop, redirects it down a reflective shaft and then diffuses it throughout the interior space.  The technology utilized throughout the system makes a tremendous difference in the lighting performance, not just in terms of how much light is delivered into the space, but also the quality of that light. An inferior system can provide insufficient light for the space or provide light with a cold or unnatural glow. Here’s why:

The tubing used by many tube skylight products is made from a reflective material that is used for electric light fixtures, not tubular skylights. This material is designed to “bounce” light just one time.  When used in a TDD, the reflective material must bounce light several times – often more than 25 times – until it reaches the room.  While bouncing the light, this inferior material absorbs much of the light and color, resulting in a dull, green glow in the room. 

Look for the Energy Star® Label.  This widely-recognized, enhanced energy-efficiency rating means that the product has met the stringent requirements of the Energy Star program through the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.  Not all solar tubes make the grade.  By demanding the Energy Star label, homeowners can be sure that they are purchasing the most energy-efficient tubular daylighting device on the market, which will in turn help them save on their energy bills.

Think Long-Term.  Any time you consider cutting a hole in your roof, one of your home’s most valuable assets, you need to factor in the long-term implications. Will the product you are installing hold up over time? Will it leak or require expensive maintenance? Is it backed by a solid warranty, and do you feel comfortable that the company will be around to honor it, if necessary?

Cutting corners on the purchase of a solar tube may save a few bucks on the front end, but it could put homeowners at risk for expensive repairs down the road. Homeowners may want to consider having their daylighting device installed by a certified professional to be sure that the product performs at its best for many years to come.


Consider Adaptability.  The flexibility of the TDD is a big part of its beauty. A TDD can be installed almost anywhere, even in the tightest of spaces, in rooms without direct roof access or other places where traditional daylighting methods simply would not work, like a basement. 


Remember that Beauty Counts too.  A Tube skylight product should not simply be about performing a function; it should also contribute to the overall beauty of a home. Most daylighting products look similar to a traditional electric light fixture from the interior space.  But homeowners need not limit their personal style to one-size-fits-all models when installing a TDD.

Homeowners may find that selecting the best Tubular Daylighting Device requires a little homework, but the rewards are reaped for years to come. Nothing beats a home bathed in the natural beauty of daylight.

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