There is no denying the hype around solar tubes in Maryland, USA. But in all the excitement, do you really understand what their true nature is? Beneath the surface, these clever gadgets use solar energy to naturally light your spaces, cutting down on artificial lighting and your energy costs. However, false beliefs frequently distort reality. Discovering the truth about Solar Tubes reveals their transformative potential while emphasizing their cost-effectiveness and eco-friendliness. Understanding Solar Tubes enables Marylanders to embrace sustainable living while taking advantage of brighter, more energy-efficient houses, from catching daylight to increasing indoor ambiance. Set off on a quest to enlighten your areas of expertise and knowledge right now.

Thus, the following information regarding solar tubes will be included in this article.

  • What are solar tubes?
  • The types of solar tubes
  • How do solar tubes work?
  • Pros of solar tubes
  • Cons of solar tubes
  • The idea about their Costing & Installation

the illustration shows a solar tube installed on a residential roof

What is a Solar Tube?

Metro areas are seeing an increase in population. But the area in which we can build residences is limited. Thus, homes are constructed in incredibly compact spaces, particularly in densely populated cities. This prevents sunshine, which is a basic human need, from getting to every area of the house.

Solar tubes, sometimes referred to as “Daylight Pipes, Light Tubes, or Sun Tunnels,” are the answer to this issue.

Sunlight enters the space via solar tubes and is directed via a weatherproof polycarbonate globe dome. These tubes, which typically have a diameter of 10 to 14 inches, let the rooms be naturally lit by the sun.

Because of their compact size, these tubes fit neatly in between roof rafters. Also, they don’t leak and are less expensive than skylights.

the image depicting various types of solar tubes as you requested

Types of Solar Tubes

There are now two varieties of solar tube designs on the market: rigid and flexible solar tubes.

  1. Experience the innovation of flexible designed tubes from Shumaker Roofing. With their adaptable structure, installation around obstacles is a breeze. The reflective walls ensure optimal transmission of natural light, brightening any space efficiently. Choose versatility and brightness with Shumaker Roofing’s tube solutions for your property today.
  1. Rigid tubes establish a direct link from roof to ceiling, enhancing light intake compared to flexible alternatives. This design optimizes natural illumination, improving the ambiance and energy efficiency of indoor spaces. With a straight path, light transmission is maximized, offering superior brightness and clarity throughout the day.

How Do Solar Tubes Work:

A solar tube is a reflecting material-filled cylindrical object. Their purpose is to maximize the amount of sunshine that enters the room through the tunnel below.

However, exactly does this happen?

This is how a solar tube lights a room by directing sunlight into it.

  • The material used to construct the dome above is waterproof.
  • Similar to a mirror, the cylindrical tube that enters the ceiling collects sunlight and reflects it off its internal surfaces.
  • After passing through several surfaces, the captured light enters the interior space and emerges through an acrylic dome in the ceiling.
  • Since the light is dispersed evenly throughout the space, no area will overheat from direct sunshine. Because the light bounces off the walls, the area is also totally free of UV radiation.

Pros of Solar Tubes

A small room can be adequately illuminated with the light from a 10-inch solar tube. One of the greatest & most environmentally friendly ways to light up areas in your home or factory is with natural light from the tube. Not only does using natural light save energy bills, but it also lessens carbon emissions.

Increasing one’s daily exposure to natural light has several positive health effects, including:

  • It’s an excellent source of vitamin D.
  • It helps with issues related to blood pressure.
  • Boost your physical and emotional health.
  • Boost your energy and focus levels.

In addition to natural light, solar tubes have the following advantages:

  • These tubes will prevent the user from consuming electricity throughout the day, hence lowering pollution levels in the environment.
  • When compared to alternative lighting options, solar tubes are a cost-effective option. Not even the installation process costs a lot of money. However, the lighting makes any space feel opulent.
  • These items also have the benefit of being simple to install. They don’t need any painting, digging, dry walling, or structural re-framing.
  • In contrast to skylights, solar tubes do not leak. Debris cannot enter the tube because of the dome on top, which keeps it from building up.

Solar tubular skylights are unquestionably the best option for using clean, renewable energy in our homes without causing harm or incurring energy costs for the many reasons listed above.

Cons of Solar Tubes

While solar tubes offer an eco-friendly solution for maximizing natural light indoors, they do present challenges. Issues such as limited light output during overcast days and the need for regular cleaning can affect their efficiency. Despite this, their energy-saving benefits and contribution to reducing electricity bills remain noteworthy.

1. Not Suitable for All Roofs

Installing solar tubes is possible on roofs sloping from 15 to 60 degrees. In situations when the slope is extremely steep, such an A-frame, installing solar tubes becomes nearly impossible. Additionally, these tubes perform better on roofs made of wood or asphalt rather than tin or metal.

2. Not Enough Control

One can choose to diffuse or even shade the sunlight with a skylight. They can occasionally be raised to allow for the entry of fresh air. Nevertheless, the amount of sunlight that passes through the tube in a solar tube cannot be controlled. Furthermore, they provide no ventilation.

3. No Addition to The Architecture

Unquestionably, solar tubes offer the space an upscale feel. They do, however, serve the simple purpose of letting in sunshine. In contrast to skylights, they don’t enhance the building design. In addition, the skylight provides a stunning view of the sky. It enhances the room’s aesthetic appeal. This is not a property of solar tubes.

4. Water condensation inside the dome

In regions with high humidity, the enclosures covering solar tubes often experience condensation buildup, potentially shortening their lifespan. To combat this issue, specialists suggest installing R-15 batt insulation within the tubes. However, this solution may come with a substantial cost, posing a challenge for some homeowners seeking efficient lighting solutions.

the image depicting "The Installation Process" for Shumaker Roofing

The Installation Process

The cost of the solar tube, including installation, is less than half that of a skylight due to its relatively easy installation. Compared to skylights or any other lighting alternative, a new solar tube can be installed in a relatively short amount of time.

This is the process for installing a solar tube:

  1. In the attic, the installation gets started. First, the installers measure the area, locate the rafter, and mark the holes.
  2. Subsequently, they make a hole in the roof and remove any roof nails surrounding the upper portion of the hole.
  3. They install the lens, flashing, top collar, and upper section of the tube.
  4. They drill a hole inside for the light.
  5. The bottom part is then added, and the tunnel is used to link the two holes.
  6. Finally, they install the diffuser and trim ring and seal the seams.

Since solar tube systems are an affordable substitute for electric lighting, skylights, and glass windows, many people have installed them. Both home and commercial offices would look great with them.

Our Recommendation

Considering the myriad benefits and challenges of solar tubes, we recommend Shumaker Roofing’s flexible solar tube solutions. With their innovative design facilitating easy installation around obstacles, they ensure optimal transmission of natural light, enhancing any space efficiently. For homeowners prioritizing cost-effectiveness and sustainability, Shumaker Roofing’s solar tubes offer a compelling solution. Harness the power of sunlight to illuminate your living spaces while reducing energy costs and environmental impact. Choose Shumaker Roofing for superior quality, expertise, and a brighter, greener future for your home.


To sum up, solar tubes are a shining example of innovation that provides places with affordable, environmentally friendly lighting options. Their many advantages exceed their disadvantages, even with downsides like moisture issues and reduced light output on overcast days. Flexible solar tubes from Shumaker Roofing provide a flexible and effective way to capture natural light, encouraging energy conservation and improving interior spaces. Urban communities must embrace solar technology as they struggle with growing energy demands. Through the integration of solar tubes into architectural designs, people can both enjoy the many advantages of natural illumination and contribute to a greener, brighter future. Utilize solar tubes to harness the power of the sun and sustainably light your area.

FAQs About Solar Tubes

1. What exactly are solar tubes, and how do they function?

  • Solar tubes, also known as daylight pipes or sun tunnels, are innovative devices designed to channel sunlight into interior spaces. They consist of reflective cylindrical tubes topped with a weatherproof dome that captures sunlight. The light is then reflected off internal surfaces and dispersed evenly through a diffuser in the ceiling, providing natural illumination without UV radiation.

2. What are the key benefits of installing solar tubes?

  • Solar tubes offer numerous advantages, including energy efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and health benefits. By harnessing natural light, they reduce reliance on electricity, lower energy bills, and promote physical and emotional well-being by increasing exposure to sunlight.

3. Are solar tubes compatible with all types of roofs?

  • Solar tubes can be installed on roofs with slopes ranging from 15 to 60 degrees. However, extremely steep roofs, such as A-frames, may pose installation challenges. Additionally, roofs made of wood or asphalt are better suited for solar tubes than those made of tin or metal.

4. What maintenance is required for solar tubes?

  • While solar tubes generally require minimal maintenance, occasional cleaning may be necessary to ensure optimal performance. Dust and debris can accumulate on the dome, reducing the amount of sunlight entering the tube. Regular cleaning helps maintain maximum light transmission.

5. Can solar tubes be installed in existing homes, or are they better suited for new construction?

  • Solar tubes are versatile and can be installed in both existing homes and new construction projects. Their compact design allows for easy installation between roof rafters, making them a sustainable and efficient lighting solution for a variety of architectural designs. Whether you’re renovating your home or building from scratch, solar tubes offer a practical way to illuminate interior spaces with natural light.