How to Choose Solar Tube?

If you are reading this, maybe you feel that your house needs more lighting than is already available. Therefore, you might consider installing the best solar tubes.

Of course, there are other lighting options available. For instance, you could add more electric lighting fixtures and seriously rack up your power bill.

In addition, you could bring a technician to cut parts of the roof and install translucent roofing or skylights to increase the lighting. However, in this case, you will spend a serious amount of money.

Of all the options available to you, using solar tubes is the best of them all. In addition, when you install them, you are going to add a lot of natural light to your rooms.

What to Consider When Buying the Best Solar Tubes


To get the best solar tubes, you need to know the features to look for. Therefore, consider the following factors to get value for your money:

The Design

Most of the solar tube reviews show that these sun tunnels come with flexible tubing. However, others also come with rigid tubing.

On the same note, some designs are best suited for flat roof installations. Equally important are the designs for pitched roofs. Therefore, we are just trying to say that there is something for everyone in the market.

Another important thing that we might mention about the design is the type of material. Most of these lights come with polycarbonate domes. However, such are also weatherproof, so they can stay exposed in extreme weather without sustaining damage.

When you install the solar tunnel, will it protrude above the roof or will it flash with it? This is an important thing to consider about the design. The flashing types are many people’s favorites. However, even the protruding ones are not bad at all.

Illumination Rating


You have to consider whether the light that you want to buy is going to be enough for where you want it. For instance, a solar tube that has a rating of 150 square feet is not going to provide enough illumination in a 300 square foot room.

In the first place, consider the diameter of the solar tunnel. For instance, a 14-inch diameter tube can allow in more light than a 10-inch one.

Therefore, if you have a large living room, say one that is bigger than 300 square feet, you should consider getting a 14-inch light, or at least two of them.

On the other hand, if you just want to illuminate a small kitchen or a bathroom, a 10-inch solar light pipe will work just fine. Basically, whatever you need is available in the market.

Tube Length

Most of the solar light pipes that we reviewed here come with 4 feet tubes. However, in some instances, this might not be enough.

For example, some houses have a bigger space between the ceiling and the roof. Therefore, they would need equally longer tubing. In other cases, you might need shorter tubing.

Radiant Skylights come with longer tubing at 8 feet. Therefore, you may consider that if you have a bigger space between the ceiling and the roof. However, for the others that come with 4-foot tubing, if you need more, you would need to buy it separately.

Price and Warranty

The budget can be a deal-breaker for many people. Therefore, most people look for something that they can afford, of course, with the best features.

In this case, you have seen that some solar tubes such as those under the Kennedy brand name cost quite a hefty amount. However, in some instances, the price is okay if the features justify it. In this case, they do.

Of course, you should be wary of products that are too cheap. However, it does not mean that extravagant prices are a guarantee of quality. Therefore, find a good balance between the features and the price.

Another important consideration is the warranty. Most offer a warranty of 25 years, which is a good thing. However, others such as those under the Kennedy brand name come with a lifetime-limited warranty. Therefore, you can see that the high price is justifiable.

It is also good to check what the warranty covers. For instance, some will cover manufacturing defects. Overall, just make sure that the solar light pipe that you get has a warranty.

Frequently Asked Questions


For first time buyers, the waters around solar tubes can be a bit murky. Therefore, this solar tube review article cannot be complete without answering a few.

What is a solar tube?

Just as the name suggests, this kind of solar light is actually a tube or a tunnel through which sunlight enters your house. It acts as a periscope by reflecting light inside a tube, and the diffuser on one end that spreads the light evenly. How much light you get from this simple apparatus will depend on the size of the tube diameter and the room.

Are solar tubes better than skylights?

There are some differences in the design of these two lights. For instance, the skylight just allows direct sunlight to enter the room. However, in the case of the solar tube, it diffuses the light into the room. Therefore, it is more efficient because it keeps the heat out, something that the skylight does not do.

Are Solar Tubes Worth It?

They most definitely are since they allow the diffusion of natural lighting into your room. However, they also have their limitations. For instance, a solar light pipe cannot replace electric lighting. In addition, they do not enhance your architecture too much. Another thing is that if the weather is overcast, the light entering the room will be minimal.

Are Velux Sun Tunnels any good?

They are easy to install, come with long warranties and come in 10 or 14-inch diameters. Therefore, they meet all the prerequisites of a good solar tunnel. In addition, Velux is one of the most renowned brand names for solar tubes in the USA.

Solar Tube Reviews

Before you can buy any home improvement product online, you should always read reviews. Therefore, in this section, you shall know the features of every product. You will also see the pros and cons. Consequently, you will not be buying your light pipe blindly.

1. Natural Light Energy Systems Solar Tube – 10 inch

Natural Light Energy Systems is an Arizona-based company. For many years now, they have been making tubular skylights and solar attic fans. In addition, they back their products with a long warranty of 25 years. Therefore, it is easy to see why many homeowners trust them. One of their leading products is the 10-inch Tube skylight.


First, this maintenance-free skylight comes in a tubular design. In addition, the only cost that you will undergo is that of buying and installing it. Consequently, you can have a few worry-free decades of solar lighting. This 10-Inch diameter solar tube will shower your sitting room, closet, bathroom or kitchen with enough solar light.

The manufacturer includes UV protection in these lights. Therefore, even if the light falls on your paintings, walls, rugs or furniture, it is not going to damage them. In addition to UV protection, this product installs in a watertight manner. Therefore, your roof will never leak.

If you love working with your hands, you might want to do this installation on your own. However, while it is so simple to install, it is best that you do not mess up with your roof. Therefore, hiring a handyman might be a good idea.

This light has many things going for it. However, it has a certain disadvantage. Although the manufacturer claims that it fits all roof types, in fact, users feedback that it is most suitable for pitched asphalt shingle roofs.


  • It has a built-in release system for condensation to prevent damage from water
  • Once it is installed, it is maintenance-free
  • It is Energy Star certified which means it is a real energy saver
  • Sells with a long warranty of 25 years


  • Best when installed by an experienced handyman
  • The illumination coverage area is 150 square feet. so you will need more for bigger homes

Bottom Line

When you buy this light, install it to cover the recommended amount of space so that it can work as advertised. In addition, with such a long warranty, it will stay intact for a long time.


2. Natural Light Energy Systems Solar Sky Light Kit – 13 inch

When you want to add some natural lighting in your house, the issue is not only about choosing the best solar tube skylight. It is mostly about illuminating your space while at the same time blocking the harmful UV rays. Therefore, you might love the Natural Light Energy Systems 13kxxx because it offers that and much more.


This is a 13-inch skylight. However, do not let the small size fool you. You see, the manufacturer has included a reflector and a diffuser. Collectively, they give this light a wide illumination range of 300 square feet. Therefore, if you have a big living room that needs some natural lighting, you might try this light.

The diffuser is prismatic in design. Therefore, it is really able to scatter the light throughout the room. In addition, it is also able to capture the moonlight and add it to the house. Therefore, you will feel the effects of this light tube in the day and at night when the moon is out.

One thing that most people worry about is the installation. Therefore, you will love how this light works. First, it comes with everything that you need for installing it. In addition, you can use it on any kind of roof. The instruction manual is also quite clear.

There are so many good things about this light tube skylight. However, the disadvantage is that unless you are quite good with your hands, you will have to pay a handyman to install.


  • Lets in light and keeps a lot of the heat out
  • Installs nicely and does not cause your roof to leak
  • Comes with 4 feet of tubing that is enough for many installations
  • Comes with all installation hardware


  • Inconsistent instructions and reference drawings

Bottom Line

This light pipe is going to wash your room with enough natural light such that you will think that someone left the light on. In addition, once installed, no maintenance is needed.


3. ODL EZ10SCANH Solar Lights Tubes – 10 inch

If you have the need to add natural lighting to your house, you might want to use the ODL tubular skylight. These solar skylights are literally maintenance-free and they can last decades. However, before you can commit your money, check the features below:


First, this tubular skylight is 10 inches in diameter. Of course, there are models that come in 13-inch or larger diameters. However, 10 inches is still large enough to light up your space. In addition, with a length of 48 inches of the tube, it will be enough for most installations. Therefore, it hardly requires you to buy extra tubing.

The material of this solar skylight is fiberglass. Therefore, you are guaranteed that it will remain intact for a long time. In addition, exposure to extreme weather will not cause damage. At the same time, the tubing is made of light sheet metal. Therefore, even when you are installing it, you will hardly feel the weight.

The acrylic dome has UV protection. Therefore, it filters all the light entering your home through the ODL tubular skylight. Consequently, your paintings, furniture, carpets or clothes are not going to sustain any UV damage. You can also bask in the light without worrying about your skin.

While this is a high-quality skylight, you need to be wary of some things. For instance, you will take a long time to install this light, even with some skills. Most people report installation times of more than 10 hours.


  • The light is sufficient for the recommended space
  • Works as advertised by adding healthier and natural lighting
  • Excellent customer service from ODL
  • It is waterproof when installed right


  • It is easy to bend the tubing when twisting it into place

Bottom Line

The 10-inch ODL tubular skylight will increase the natural lighting in your rooms. It is perfect for areas where the sun stays low in the sky in the coldest months. It will still capture enough light and spread it in your rooms.


4. ODL EZ14SCANH Solar Tube Skylight – 14 inch

Unlike the 10 inch ODL that can only illuminate limited space, the ODL EZ14SCANH tubular skylight has a diameter of 14 inches. However, size alone is not enough to make you buy a skylight. Therefore, keep reading to see other features.


First, the light is made of fiberglass material, which stays intact even when exposed to the elements. However, the tube material is made of high quality but thin sheet material. Therefore, once the installation is done correctly, you can be sure that you will never find the need to cash in on the warranty.

The acrylic dome has built-in UV protection. Therefore, even when the sun is very hot and your room is washed out in bright light, your stuff is safe. For instance, furniture, carpets, walls and paintings can sustain damage from UV rays exposure. However, this solar tubular light protects them.

One thing that most people worry about is the installation. However, in this case, it would be much better to hire a handyman to do it for you. With minimal or no skill, you will take many hours.

The only disadvantage that you might not like about this light is that the manufacturer does not sell extra tubing. Therefore, you would have to order it from somewhere.


  • Gives out proper daylight without the blue tinge associated with solar
  • The acrylic dome offers UV protection
  • These lights truly offer all the lighting that you need for your home
  • Once installed, it does not require care and maintenance


  • You will need a handyman for the installation job
  • The 48-inch tubing may not be enough for high attics

Bottom Line

The joy of installing this solar tube light is that it requires no maintenance at all. In addition, you can illuminate your rooms with ODL solar lights without racking up the power bill.


5. Natural Light Tubular Skylight Kit for Flat Roof – 10 inch

One of the things that many homeowners love about Natural Lights is that they have something for everyone. For instance, if you have a pitched roof, you will want to get a tubular skylight designed for such. Equally important, if you have a flat roof, you will want a tubular solar light such as this one. But first …


The components in this kit include the 4-feet tubular for reflecting the light, attaching the ceiling ring and the diffuser. Please note that this design is for use on flat roofs only. Therefore, if you need one for a pitched roof, you might try other models.

The diffuser is in the shape of a dome. It is designed in such a way that it spreads natural light into your rooms evenly. Therefore, you will not experience any shadows in your rooms. However, since the diameter of this light is only 10 inches, it also has a 13 inches model  if you might want to illuminate a huge space.

This solar tubular skylight has a rating of 150 square feet. However, if you live in an area that experiences high sunlight all the time, it can do more than that. Of course, it will do less than that when there is overcast weather.

Natural Lights makes its solar tubes with high-quality material. In addition, they can also provide extra tubing if you need it. In addition, this particular light has been hurricane-tested and approved.

The only disadvantage that you might experience with this light is that the light can get really weak when there is not much sunshine.


  • Easy to install since it is for flat roofs
  • Certified for energy efficiency
  • Has the same output as a 300-watt bulb
  • Has a long warranty of 25 years


  • The lighting will be really weak during overcast times

Bottom Line

If you have a flat roof and you would like a solar light pipe designed for such, you might want to try this 10-inch one from Natural Lights. In addition, the 25-year warranty is quite assuring.


6. Velux TGR 010 1000 Sun Tunnel – 10 inch

Velux is one of the renowned brand names in the world. They are popular for their products that bring natural light into living rooms and other living spaces. Some of their products include windows and now, they bring you sun tunnels such as the Velux TGR 010 1000.


The dome part that allows the light in is made of polycarbonate material. In addition, it not only allows a maximum amount of light inside, but it also filters out the UV rays. Therefore, you will only experience healthy daylight in your living space.

The amount of light that you will get from this dome tubular skylight depends on a few things. For instance, it depends on how bright the day is. Therefore, on a very bright day, you will get so much light you can confuse it with regular electricity. However, this does not mean that it won’t work on the dull hours. It can even wash your room in light from the moon.

If you look closely, you will realize that the design of Velux lights is different from the others. For instance, the finishing is low profile flashing. Therefore, when you install the light on the roof, it will be at the same level, with no raised parts.

This is a high-quality light. However, it has some disadvantages. For instance, since it levels out with the roof surface, it is hard to install if you are not skilled. Therefore, you will have to spend money to pay for a technician.


  • Nice flashing metal design
  • Made with high-quality material
  • Has a good Velux warranty
  • Enables you to light up your indoor living spaces affordably


  • Needs keen installation because of the unique design to prevent leakage

Bottom Line

Velux natural lighting products have passed through the test of time. Therefore, you might want to try more of their new products such as their tubular skylights.


7. Velux LR 014 2000 Solar Lights Tube – 14 inch

Velux has something for everyone and for every budget when it comes to natural lighting for our homes. Therefore, you might consider getting the 14-Inch Velux TLR 014 2000 Sun Tunnel to enhance the natural lighting in your home. However, read on to see its features.


In the first place, like all the other Velux sun tunnels, even this one is made with high-quality material. Therefore, its durability is assured. Likewise, it is almost maintenance-free. Therefore, once you undergo the cost of buying and installation, that is all there is to it.

The TLR014 2000 is actually a complete kit. Therefore, when you buy it, you will find that it comes with all the installation accessories that you need. For instance, there are adjustable elbows, a tunnel, a ceiling ring and a diffuser. Therefore, unless the space between the ceiling and the roof is too high requiring you to get extra tubing, this light is OK as it is.

The polycarbonate dome is responsible for allowing the light in. In addition, it is the most exposed part of this tubular skylight. Thankfully, it has a high-quality build. Therefore, it will withstand decades of exposure to the elements without being beaten down.

The only disadvantage that you might get from this solar tube light is that on the overcast days, there will not be much light, but that is something that we have come to expect from solar lights.


  • Can last decades with no maintenance needed
  • Illumination up to 300 square feet.
  • On the bright days, it is going to wash your room with plenty of light
  • Enables you to save money on energy bills
  • High quality build for durability


  • Requires expert installation

Bottom Line

Sometimes, for your peace of mind, it is just best to choose a well-known brand name for your solar lighting needs. In like manner, try this Velux sun tube skylight diffuser.


8. Kennedy Skylights Solar Tube – 10 inch

Many solar tube reviews are not going to bring you the Kennedy Skylights because they are more high-end. Therefore, they seem to be unpopular with budget buyers. However, we set out to explore the features of this one to see whether it is worth the price. Keep reading …


First, the tubing is not flexible, you know, as we have been used to from other brands. Rather, it is a rigid tube. However, this does not hamper its usability in any way. Equally important, it actually makes the installation easier and faster.

Second, when we say that this is a high-end light, what we mean is that it is perfect for houses that sport luxurious décor. Therefore, if you have one of those rustic country houses, you might want to install a few of these solar tubes. In addition, you will be getting plenty of free natural lighting.

Third, this is a 10-inch diameter light. Therefore, while it cannot perform in the same way as the 14-inch light, it still offers enough lighting on a sunny day. Consequently, on bright days, the light will be too much such that you will wonder who left the lights on.

There is so much going for this light. However, like all others, it has its disadvantages. For instance, installation is never easy for pitched roofs. Therefore, you might want to hire a handyman.


  • Adds a touch of luxury to your ceiling
  • The rigid design is better than the flexible tube designs
  • Really spreads a lot of light on bright days
  • Comes with a lifetime limited warranty


  • The price of this light is high

Bottom Line

This rigid tubular skylight is going to cost you a good amount of money. However, we feel that the features more than justify that price.


9. Kennedy Skylights Solar Tube – 14 inch

If you have a large country house with large rooms, you will need a tubular skylight that can illuminate such space. Therefore, you might want to try the 14-Inch diameter Kennedy Skylight. However, see its features first to know whether it will meet your needs.


From the price alone, you can tell that this is a high-end solar tube. However, it also has a larger diameter as compared to many other lights. Therefore, at 14 inches, it is not only high-end in cost, but it will also light up a bigger space.

The manufacturer integrates a patented diffuser. This diffuser is engineered to enhance how the light spreads around the room. Therefore, it will spread the light evenly around the room, leaving no dark corners. On the same note, you get white light as opposed to other solar lights that have a bluish tinge.

Just how much space can you illuminate with this solar light tube? The manufacturer gives it a rating of 300 square feet. Considering that an average American living room is 330 square feet, just one of these solar tubes might be enough.

The high quality builds, the lifetime warranty and the even spreading of the light make this solar light tube very nice. However, on the flip side, you have to pay a high amount of money for it.


  • Comes with a lifetime warranty covering defects and roof leakage
  • It is leak-proof
  • It is simple to install in a couple of hours even on your own
  • The whiter light makes it more user-friendly


  • Sells at a steep price

Bottom Line

Despite the high price of this solar light tube, the benefits outweigh the cons by far. Therefore, you might want to buy it for your living room, kitchen or other space at home.


10. US Sunlight Solar Tube Skylight – 14 inch

Whether you have a high or low slung roof with minimal space between ceiling and roof, this US Skylights solar tube is going to work for you. In addition, it also comes with a long flexible pipe of about 96 inches. Read on to see more of its features.


This sun tunnel is effective at spreading the natural light of the sun to your rooms. In addition, it has a high-quality diffuser that spreads the light evenly in the room. On a bright day, it will be so effective you will wonder whether someone left the lights on. Additionally, the ceiling ring looks so good you will have everyone thinking it is an LED light.

When you install it expertly, there will be no leakage at all. In addition, it does not require any kind of maintenance. It also comes with an 18 by 18 inch flashing part that remains visible on the rooftop. Additionally, this ensures there is no rainwater getting in.

Because of its design, this tube is able to tunnel more than 90% of all the sunlight that enters the tube. Therefore, you will have a lot of natural light finding its way into your room as long as there is sunshine. In addition, even when there is moonlight, some light will still seep inside.

Despite the good features that this light comes with, many people still say that they had a problem fitting the ceiling ring properly.


  • Free natural lighting all the time
  • Comes with a long flexible tubing
  • Can be installed on low or high roofs effectively
  • Comes with all installation hardware


  • The light is minimal on the overcast days

Bottom Line

Sold with everything that you need for installation, the Radiant Skylights solar tube is going to last decades without requiring maintenance. However, it needs careful installation, probably by a handyman.

Conclusion and Recommendation

We have brought you the best solar tube reviews. You have also seen the pros and cons of each product. However, before you make a decision, you may wonder: what are the drawbacks to solar tube lighting?

Definitely, when you install a solar light pipe in your home, you will notice a big solar tube before and after the difference. However, this will happen when you get the best sun tunnel. In this case, we recommend that you get one from Velux or Natural Light Energy Systems. Equally important are those from Solatube.

To conclude, all the solar tube skylights that we have brought you here are high quality, and they do their job very well.

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