You probably live in Arizona at least in part because of the consistent sunshine. If you have rooms that you wish had even more natural light, you should consider a skylight or solar tube. Which one is better? Read the comparisons below and decide for yourself.
Benefits of Skylights
Increased ventilation – Unlike solar tubes, skylights can be opened for additional ventilation. Because they are often hard to reach, most skylights can be controlled remotely. Some can even be programmed to open automatically at certain times of the day and come equipped with a rain sensor to close them when it rains (which isn’t too often in Arizona!).
Window treatments – Skylights have many more window treatment options than solar tubes. They range from blackout shades to light filtering shades, and come in a wide range of colors. Like the skylights themselves, the coverings can often be adjusted remotely.
Size – If you want to be able to see the nighttime sky, a skylight is the right choice. They are larger in size than solar tubes and provide an unobstructed view of the sky.
Not as visible from outside – Even though they are larger, skylights do not protrude from the roof as far as solar tubes, making them less visible from the outside of your home.
Pure light – Some people claim the light from solar tubes – even though it is natural sunlight – has a bluish or unnatural tint to it. Skylights let the light directly into your home, so there is no way for it to look unnatural.
Benefits of Solatube Solar Tubes
More affordable – Installing solar tubes is more cost-effective than skylights.
Less heat – Even though they let in a tremendous amount of light, solar tubes tend to let in less heat than skylights, a definite plus in Arizona.
Easier to install – Because they are made from flexible tubing, solar tubes can bend around obstructions or be installed in one place in the roof and bend to another location in the home. Their size also makes them easier to install between ceiling joists and rafters.
May stay cleaner – Solar tubes have a domed top that protrudes from your roof. This dome is less likely to collect leaves and dirt than the flat surface of a skylight. It is also a smaller target to hit for birds flying overhead.
Can get light to first floor in two-story home – A solar tube can be installed in the roof of a two-story house and provide light in a first-story room by running the tube through an unused upstairs closet or utility room. This is definitely something a skylight cannot do.
Skylights vs Solar Tubes in Arizona
So which do you think is better? It’s a very tough decision. We truly believe it depends on your specific situation and taste, which is why we highly recommend talking to one of our experts at Sunshine Experts. We have been helping customers with their daylighting needs in Greater Tucson, Phoenix and the surrounding areas of Southern Arizona for over 20 years and look forward to serving you.