How Energy Efficient are Tubular Skylights?

Tubular SkylightTubular skylights are also known as tubular daylight devices or light tubes. Tubular skylights are simple devices that capture sunlight via a plastic dome lens on the roof and transport the sunlight via a tube to inside the home. The tube is reflective on the inside to minimize the loss of light. The sunlight enters the home via a diffuser cover in the ceiling. The purpose of tubular skylights is to provide sunlight inside the home with minimal structural impact and reduce the need for electric lighting.

What Does Energy Efficient Mean?

For something to be energy efficient, it must help reduce home energy usage. A device can be energy efficient either directly by the device using less energy than similar devices or indirectly by the device causing less energy to be needed. The government’s Energy Star program is based on the concept of a specific appliance using much less energy than other similar appliances. This is direct energy efficiency. Another way to save energy is from devices such as tubular skylights that indirectly allow the home to use less energy.

How are Tubular Skylights Energy Efficient?

Tubular skylights are energy efficient, because they allow the home to reduce lighting, heating, and cooling costs without using any energy themselves. These skylights provide light inside the home even when there is little sunlight available such as on cloudy days and early in the morning. This reduces the need for electric lighting. Compared to conventional skylights, tubular skylights save heating and cooling costs. Since tubular skylights do not cause heat gain in the summer, they do not cause additional air conditioning like conventional skylights can. Also, tubular skylights do not cause heat loss at night, so they do not add heating needs during the winter.  According to the Department of Energy, tubular skylights do not cause heat loss or heat gain, because the tube contains a trapped pocket of air between the lens and the diffuser and trapped air is a great insulator.

Related Resource: Types of Skylight Blinds

Tubular Skylights are Energy Efficient

Tubular skylights provide many benefits and can be installed without making structural changes to the home. Tubular skylights use no energy themselves, but allow for less lighting, heating, and cooling costs. Tubular skylights provide an amazing amount of light during the day without adding additional air conditioning needs. They also do not increase your heating needs, because they do not lose heat overnight.