Tubular Skylights Pros and Cons - solarguidelight.com

What are the Pros and Cons Tubular Skylights?

Having the right amount of light in your space can make even this smallest room feel more open. A sunlit room doesn’t only help with the visual appeal of a room but can also help with energy costs.

There are two ways to get more natural light in your home, and those are windows and skylights. A window can be hard to renovate, but adding a skylight is not nearly as invasive. But what type of skylight should you go with: traditional or tubular?

Tubular skylights are constructed of the same materials as traditional ones and offer the same lighting capabilities, so why should you go with them over the traditional? Let’s look at the tubular skylights pros and cons to help you make that decision.

Tubular Skylight Installation

Installation of a tubular skylight is way easier than the traditional skylight. In fact, the process typically takes only a few hours. Once the place is chosen, all that it takes is mounting it with the right flashing, and then the diffuser is set. Once that is done, your contractor is basically done.

With this easy installation, it is probably pretty evident that it will cost significantly less than a traditional option.

Cost of Tubular Skylights

Typically, the cost of installation of a tubular skylight is about half of that of a traditional skylight. Depending on the size and features, a kit for installation can range from $150 to $450.

Then you have to decide what kits you will add to it. You can add LED lights and dimmers as well as a vent kit. These will add, at a minimum of an extra $100, and can push the price of your install as high as $1000.

Light – How Much Does This Skylight Produce

The smallest tubular skylight is a 10” model. This offers the same light as three 100W light bulbs. That should be enough to light a small to medium room very well. On the other side of the spectrum, there is also a 14” option that very easily can light up a medium room without much trouble.

If you are looking to install a tubular skylight, some of the most common places to do this are hallways, stairwells, bathrooms, closets, a kitchen, and a laundry room.

Like with anything else, there are some rooms it is best left out of, and those are anywhere you will be looking at a screen. These types of skylights offer a lot of glare and may be a pain in rooms like the living room or an office.

Which Options Works Best for Your Home?

This type of installation typically doesn’t require any alterations to the framing; there is little to consider when looking to add a tubular skylight to your home. However, there are a few things that you should inspect before you begin making this renovation.

Here are the things you should take a look at in advance of the installation.


If you live in a very humid place, you will have to consider the chance of condensation building up. This can be addressed by wrapping the tube with insulation. Some models are fitted with a fan that can be used to combat moisture. If you are also in a place that has to deal with extreme weather, you may also want a model that has a very sturdy dome.


You need to make sure that you have space enough for at least 14’ for the tube. The location of the installation should be on the southwest side of your roof. By making sure the location meets these requirements, you will get a straight shot to the light, which will mean more light in your room.

Roof Material

Most tubular skylight kits are set up to be used with shingles made of asphalt. These kits are able to be used pretty effectively with shale or shingles too. By using the right flashing adaptors, you may even be able to use them on metal or tile roofs.

Slope of Roof

If your roof’s slope doesn’t fall between 15-degrees and 60-degrees, then the kits will not work with your roof. The good news is that there is such a broad spectrum that your roof will definitely fall somewhere in it.

Now that you have some idea of the considerations you need to make when choosing your kit, it’s time to take a better look at the pros and cons of tubular skylights.

Tubular Skylight Pros

  • Cost-efficient and will deliver decreased utility bills
  • No heat or glare, natural source of light
  • Reduced risk of fabric fading under it
  • Limited repair and maintenance
  • Less money upfront for installation
  • Tax credits available
  • Lack of loss of cool and heated air
  • Many designs are leak and damage proof
  • Easy to install dimmer kits
  • Water condensation is non-existent
  • Good for selling your home

Tubular Skylight Cons

  • You can’t see the sky
  • Not able to open
  • Damages to flashing can cause roofs to leak
  • Not able to dim lights without a dimmer system
  • Models are not all made for the same temperature range

Popular Brands

With a good understanding of the pros and cons, you may also be wondering what some of the most popular and superior built brands of kits are. There are quite a few, but some of them are:

  • Velux
  • Sunoptics
  • Fakro
  • Solatube
  • ODL


Adding more light into a room can elevate its appeal, make it feel bigger, and help make your home healthier for everyday life. There are a lot of reasons to add a tubular skylight to your home, but in the end, whether you choose this option is really up to you. That is why we have broken down the pros and cons of tubular skylights above for you.

With this information, we hope the decision-making process is easier and less stressful. Now all that is left for you to do is choose the contractor and get to renovating that room to make it brighter and more beautiful!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Thomas Clarence - March 31, 2021

I’m glad you mentioned that tubular skylights can decrease your utility bills. I would like to get a tubular skylight installed in my bathroom. Being able to utilize natural light in my bathroom will allow me to use less electricity.

    Solar Guide Light Staff - April 3, 2021

    Hey Thomas, agreed! Tubular skylights can reduce utility bills and bring in natural light. Thanks for reading!

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