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What Are the Drawbacks to Solar Tube Lighting?

Before we run down the potential drawbacks of solar tube lighting, let us first define what it is and what are its basic components.

What Is Solar Tube Light?

Solar tube lights, light tubes or sun tunnels are a type of solar lighting. Unlike traditional solar lights, which rely on flat solar panels to collect energy from the sun, solar tube lights rely on a series of curved mirrors to focus sunlight into a tube.

This tube then directs the sunlight to a diffuser, which spreads the light evenly throughout the room or any area. Solar tube lighting is a type of natural lighting that uses a reflective metal tube to redirect sunlight from the outside of a building into the interior.

The system typically consists of a solar collector or a dome, a reflector, and light fixtures or diffusers. The solar collector is usually mounted on the building roofs, and the reflector is placed in the attic. The light fixture is installed in the ceiling of the room that will receive the most sunlight.

man walking on a tunnel with a solar tube lights

Solar tube lighting is a passive lighting system that does not require electricity to operate. They are usually used as an alternative to skylights, and they have several advantages over traditional skylights. However, solar tube lighting also has a few potential drawbacks.

Draw Backs Of Solar Tube Light (Cons)

Not Suitable For All Climates  

Solar tube lighting is not a suitable energy source for all climates. In particular, it is not effective in cold or cloudy climates. Additionally, solar tube lighting requires a clear line of sight to the sun, so it is not effective in areas with trees or other obstructions.

Solar tube lighting is most effective in warm climates with plenty of sunlight. In cold climates or during periods of extended cloudy weather, solar tube lighting will not provide enough light to be effective. 

Condensation And Ventilation Issues  

Solar tube lighting can cause condensation and ventilation issues in your home. If you live in an area with high humidity, you may find that your solar tubes become covered in condensation, which can lead to mold and mildew growth.

In addition, if you have poor ventilation in your home, the solar tubes may not be able to adequately ventilate the space, leading to stuffy, humid conditions. Solar tube lighting may also cause your ventilation system to work less efficiently.

This is because the solar tube lighting can add heat to your home, which can make your ventilation system work harder to keep your home cool. Additionally, solar tube lighting can also add moisture to your home, which can make your ventilation system work harder to keep your home dry.  

Cannot Be Used As A Night Light

One of the main drawbacks or disadvantages of solar tube lighting is that it does not work at night. This is because the tubes rely on the sun to provide light, and when the sun goes down, the tubes are no longer able to produce light.

This can be a major problem if you are trying to use solar tubes to light up a dark area at night. This means that if you want to use solar tube lighting in your home, you’ll need to have another source of lighting for when the sun goes down.

This can be a bit of a hassle, but it’s worth it if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly lighting option. Though some solar tube lighting systems include solar panels and batteries to store solar energy as the backup source at night to resolve this issue.

No Lighting Control

Solar tube lighting has no lighting control. This means that you cannot adjust the amount of light that comes into your home.

This can be a problem if you want to have more light in certain areas of your home or if you want to reduce the amount of light in other areas or if you want to create a specific ambiance. Additionally, solar tube lighting can be quite bright, so if you have a small space, it may be overwhelming. 

Benefits of Solar Tube Light (Pros) 

Solar tube lights have a number of benefits and plus factors over traditional light bulbs, traditional solar lights, and traditional glass skylights.

More Efficient

Solar tube lights are a skylight option that can bring in an amount of daylight that is way more than what windows can provide. Not only will this improve the living space in your house, but it will also save you money on your electricity bills.

 Solar tubes are also much more efficient at collecting sunlight than other options available or fair size solar panels alone. This is because the mirrors used in solar tube lights can concentrate sunlight onto a small area, making it easier for the solar cells to convert the sunlight into electrical energy. Increasing its energy efficiency. 

Plus, using this can even make you qualify for a federal tax credit.

Easy Installation

Solar tube lights are much easier to install than traditional solar lights. The solar tube lights installation process can be done in a matter of minutes, whereas traditional solar lights can take several hours to install, which makes a lot of difference.

Tube installation does not need additional expensive materials and accessories like inverter, adapter and controller, for example. You can surely do it by yourself.

Moreover, if you’re not capable of installing it on your own, you can always ask someone to lend a hand, especially with the architecture and the pipes placement, or better consult with external solar tube providers and installers to do the job.

They can also offer additional services such as ventilation and condensation prevention.


Solar tube lighting system designs are much more aesthetically pleasing than traditional solar light models. The natural lighting provides warmth and comfort. An inviting ambiance that is perfect for the living room or hallway.

It can even add a different look and give a different environment to a dark attic. Solar tube lights can be installed in a variety of different ways and design styles, including flush with the ceiling or recessed into the ceiling.

This allows solar tube lights to blend in with the surrounding decor much more easily than traditional solar lights.  With a solar tube lighting system, you can now let the sunshine inside from the roof into a lot of hard to access dark spaces.

Perfect solution for closets, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and hallways that lack an opening or window. Though you cannot enjoy the air breeze or view the sky, you can still enjoy the natural light.

Aside from adding natural shades of beauty by its natural light it also blocks the heat energy in turn providing less work for your air conditioning systems and lower electricity bill.

Improves Quality of Health

Other than its applications, solar tube lights also emit much more natural light than traditional solar lights. Natural light from solar tube light has been found to have a number of health benefits. 

One of the most well-known benefits of solar tube lights is that they can help to improve your mood and overall sense of well-being. This is because solar tube lights mimic the natural light that comes from the sun, which can help to boost your mood and energy levels. 

Additionally, solar tube lights have also been found to provide a number of other health benefits, such as reducing eye strain, headaches, and fatigue. 


Solar tube lights are much more durable than traditional solar lights. Solar tube lights are designed to withstand the elements, including wind, rain, and snow. They are also designed to withstand the damage caused by wear and tear from daily use.

Making them suitable for residential, office, commercial and industrial use. Solar tube lights come in different sizes and typically have a lifespan of 10 years or more, whereas portable and traditional solar lights are usually made of glass and plastic material and typically only have a lifespan of 2-5 years.

With its domed design, debris and water would not likely stick as a benefit, solar tube products also do not need much maintenance.


To some people, solar tube lighting could be a good choice over traditional lighting for homes, but there are some things to consider first.

Overall, solar tube lighting is a great way to save energy cost, but it is important to consider all the factors before making a final decision. Hope that the different views we presented in this article can help you make the right choice.