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What are the Drawbacks to Solar Tube Lighting?

Written by K. Miller / Fact checked by J. Fussell

What are the Drawbacks to Solar Tube Lighting

Certainly, nothing brightens up your place like natural light. However, adding skylights or new windows can be disruptive and expensive.

Fortunately, there’s an effective technique to give your place a radiant dose of natural illumination without a burdensome installation process.

You can refer to solar tube lighting as this is an excellent alternative to adding windows and skylights.

The lighting that solar tube lights emit is subtle but bright enough to generate the needed illumination.

We will explore in this post if solar tube lighting is a practical investment. If you’re asking “what are the drawbacks to solar tube lighting,” we’ll also discuss its downsides so we can come up with a better buying decision.

What are the Downsides of Solar Tube Lighting?


Have you heard about solar tube lights? This refers to a tool that transmits natural illumination into your dwelling place via tubes. Since they are solar, their primary energy source is sunlight.

These solar lighting tools come in diverse diameter sizes and can be longer as needed. The tubes pass from the roof of your residence via the ceiling to give off the illumination needed inside.

What is good about them is that they are adept at emitting natural light yet they don’t require a stressful installation process.

A diffuser found inside the solar tube light disperses incoming light. Consequently, this allows your resident to be brimmed with a subtle bright glow.

But, just like other excellent solar product systems, solar tube lighting comes with a few drawbacks as well.

Chiefly, it is practical to delve into the minor glitches of the product you’re planning to buy and install at home. In reality, understanding what downsides the product has will greatly aid you to assess the significance of its benefits more excellently.

You will uncover below some of the weak points that you need to watch out for once you consider installing solar tube lighting at home.

The demerits of installing solar tube lighting at home:

Expect a lack of proper ventilation when solar tube lighting is installed.

You cannot set up ventilation with solar tube lights. As a result, it becomes impossible to dispense heat or capture light winds through them.

You only have a single source of energy.

It cannot be denied that this might be baffling for you. Nonetheless, having a single source of energy can be precarious.

Since a solar-powered tube lighting arrangement operates with the sun’s energy, it only works excellently when a lot of sunlight is absorbed.

Hence, the way it functions is somewhat limited.

You can only be provided with a few customization alternatives.

Unfortunately, solar tube lighting won’t be able to provide you with several customization options.

Compared to skylights, solar-powered tube lighting does not have as many alternatives for customization.

Skylights have the option of UV films, diffusers, and vents to alter the manner the light is allowed to enter.

Solar tube lighting systems only come in definite design styles.

If you intend to create a luxurious atmosphere in your place, solar tube lights might not be appropriate options.

The reason for this is because they are comparatively basic. Plenty of solar light tubes designed for homes are not big. Likewise, their sole objective is to allow the light to get in.

Some homeowners indeed prefer low-key solar-powered tubes; however, others perceive this as a disadvantage. Solar tubes are usually small, and they’re not uniquely looking.

So, if you want something that can transform the way your home looks, then solar tube lighting systems might not be able to offer you that.

Solar tube lighting is not well suited for every home.

Most homes might not be appropriate for solar tube lighting systems because they are installed through roofs.

Highly pitched or flat roofs are more likely to pose some challenges. Furthermore, your roof’s material might also require an adapter.

It is worth mentioning that longer tubes also offer less illumination. This is the reason why solar tube lights can be inappropriate in specific spots at home.

Generally speaking, solar tube lighting works better for roofs that come with slopes between 15 and 60 degrees.

While it is probable to find solar tubes that are particularly built for flat roofs, finding them can be a pain in the butt.

On the other hand, if your roof is steeply sloped, then you might not have any advantage in finding solar tube lighting systems that perfectly work for you.

In addition, when installing solar tube lights, see to it that you set them up in a location where there are 6 meters of space or less between your roof and ceiling.

Apart from that, they’re likely to perform poorly in a double-story dwelling place.

Solar tube lights won’t provide you with outside views.

Compared to skylights, solar-powered tube lights won’t be able to provide you a beautiful view of the sky.

And, since the opening does not direct you outside, you can acquire outdoor illumination, but sadly, you won’t have outdoor views.

So, if you prefer enjoying aesthetically appealing outdoor views, then a solar tube lighting system might not be the ideal pick for you.

The durability of solar tube lights is unpredictable.

Another hitch for solar tube lights is that they are more prone to damage under terrible weather conditions.

Take into consideration that when the weather gets too cold or hot, the acrylic dome that is usually on the outside of the solar-powered tube can get damaged.

So, if you reside in a place where it could get extremely cold or hot, solar tube lighting systems might not be your perfect match.

You can opt for skylights instead since their glass material is more durable to tolerate inclement weather conditions.

Classic solar tube lighting system setups usually don’t operate at dusk.

Regular solar tube light setups won’t operate at dusk because they solely reflect daytime illumination into your residence.

All the same, some newer versions are built with innovative design features that enable them to illuminate your dwelling place even when it’s dark outside.

Besides, some solar-powered tubes are outfitted to generate solar-operated electricity.

This means that they could charge up in the daylight and power artificial lights in your residence when it gets dusky.

It is important to mention that such versions tend to be pricier. Regardless, there is no doubt about how practical these tools are.

With them, you can be guaranteed consistent light for 24 hours, without the need to set up an extra light fixture.


In a nutshell, it is critical to have a deeper grasp of the disadvantages of solar tube lighting systems. This way, as homeowners, you can weigh the cons and can decide better if your home is fine with them.

Such a renewable light source also comes with lots of perks. And, as technology advances even more, countless new designs will begin to saturate the market.

While solar tube lights come with some downsides, this does not mean that they are not worth investing in. The good news is that, soon, these solar lighting units will be designed to become more appropriate for different homes.

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