Over the last few years, solar tubes for roof have become one of the biggest trends in the alternative energy industry, and it’s easy to see why.
Many homes have areas where light bulbs aren’t very effective. Hallways, stairwells, and general living spaces are cast in shadows even during the brightest days. Solar tubes work off of the idea that sunlight can be used to not only assist traditional lighting for these dark areas but ultimately take over the lighting duties as a whole.
It works like this: a small dome is placed on the roof to collect sunlight. The dome is connected to tubing made of a highly-reflective material, which then takes the collected sunlight (at full brightness) through its length & out a diffuser mounted in ceiling of the space to be lit. The result is a monumental improvement on the amount of illumination that is present in the space as it is now awash with natural light.
But before any actual installation of a solar tube takes place, homeowners need to know how to choose the best solar tube for their roof. Factors to be put into consideration include:
Understand Pitch & Type of Roof
Solar tube installs are optimal based on the pitch/slope of a roof. What’s more, the kind of materials a roof is made of (e.g., composition/asphalt shingles versus terra cotta shingles) may impact how much adapting might need to be done for the install.
Number of Floors
If a homeowner has a two-story home but is trying to light areas on the ground floor, it will require a lengthy solar tube & some tight finagling to get where it needs to be.
Amount of Light Needed
Solar tubes can vary a bit in diameter, but the most effective sizes are 10” and 14”. Knowing which to use will be determined by how much light is desired. The larger the diameter, the more light.
Traditional Dome or Low-Profile Collector
Since solar tubes start on the roof, how the light collector looks sort of matters. The dome collector has been a constant in the design for decades. In recent years, however, the use of low-profile collectors that are less conspicuous in appearance.