What are the Drawbacks to Solar Tube Lighting, all You Need to Know!

A common question among most shoppers of lighting systems is, what are the drawbacks to solar tube lighting? Lighting tubes have flocked the market and most homeowners want to find more about these devices.

There are endless adverts and billboards which try to convince us about the benefits of having a solar tube light. Don’t get confused or uninformed, we are here to educate you. Read more to get enlightened….. 


Drawbacks to Solar Tube Lighting

The solar tube lighting system comes with drawbacks just like any other system. Here are some of the drawbacks evident when using the solar tube lighting system

Spacious to accommodate: For small homes, there is hardly enough space and it becomes tricky to install a solar-powered system. It requires a much bigger area to capture as much sunlight as possible to get more energy. If you are looking at having high power energy, you require a large space.

One source of energy: A major drawback about the solar-powered system is their nature of having one way of getting power. You can only get enough energy power when there is enough sunlight. You will need to store energy in case of bad weather conditions. 

Initial cost is high: Initial cost of setting up the solar system is quite high. On the other hand maintenance cost are low. Evidently, it can be an expensive move to change from electric power to solar energy. Additionally, it is a big project and requires high investment to have the same power as that of electricity.

Best suited for the non-critical issues: Solar power is an excellent and cheap source of energy. Solar systems are not dependable as sunlight has to be present for robust operation. As such, it does not fit all situations and occasions.

Types of Solar lights

Solar lights are a great addition for lighting purposes in areas around pathways and walkways. They are a very great way to provide free power that requires no grid. Suited for places like amusement parks or where there is limited grid power. 

They are a great addition in case of a blackout and operate on a scheduled night fixture. There are different type of solar lights and here are the two most popular ones: 

Solar-powered overhead light: A cost-effective type of solar panel that uses a single solar panel that is set at the top of a pole. Being innovated with storage capabilities this panel powers a lighting system fixture placed down lower on the pole. 

Typically these solar lighting systems are mainly used to provide power and energy that is regulated through a scheduled system. 

Solar-powered bollard: Also commonly referred to as ingrade light it makes use of only one single larger power assembly that has the capability to work on different fixtures. Of importance is to ensure that you do some trenching in between the fixture and the assembly area of the solar power unit. 

These lighting systems are suited best for areas that require lighting in the shade. Remember, the solar power unit should be remotely placed in an area with ample sun area or near a pathway.

How do Solar Lights Work

Whether you are talking about a commercialized solar light system or a garden lighting system they all have the functionality. A major difference that separates them is the design. Here is an overview of how solar light works. 

During the daytime, the sun shines on the sun panel prompting the photons from the sun to collect on the solar. Special made silicon cells are then stimulated to knock electrons to the wiring of the solar panel where they are collected.

All this happens from the time the sun rises to sunset. Full power is reached mostly around noon time.

The power collected is stored in a battery. The simulating electrons detect when there is reduced power production. Batteries that had earlier stored power will then start to feed these lights all night long. Enough power to last for a night is usually stored by this solar panel when fully charged.

Realistically, the light will only turn off when the battery is drained off the power of the electrons controlling the solar will detect that power is being produced again. Sun’s rays will have by now started to illuminate our morning time. Importantly, the cycle repeats itself again and again for comfortable family time.  

A solar panel is a cheap and affordable lighting system every home should strive to have. Eco-friendly and saves your wallet a great.

Solar Light Tubes vs. Skylights

Solar light tubes

Solar light tubes are cheap and affordable. They cost around $100 when set up by a professional. They are primarily installed on the roof. You can comfortably set them with having to make a lot of alterations. Installation of this type of light comes with a kit for further assistance. 

More energy efficient and have less heat gain compared to the skylights. Additionally, the setup for these lights requires less interior design finishing. 

Solar lights are a great addition and help to keep your home free of stale air. They are by far cheaper and easy to set up. With free kits available, solar lights are a great addition to every home.  


Skylights are quite expensive to install compared to solar lights. They cost around $2000 with a difficult installation procedure. More interior design finishing is needed for proper setup. Also, these lights are less energy efficient. 

A major benefit of skylight is that it adds a home’s resale value while also providing a magnificent view of the sky. UV light is partially filtered by these lights and have the best value of adding ambiance to your room. 

Skylights are the definition of elegance but come at a cost due to their expensive mode. They add new appearance to your home while at the same time improving the value of your home.

Similarities between light tubes and skylights

Here we are going to analyze some of the similarities evident between solar tubes and skylights. They are helpful for people seeking to add one of these lighting systems into their homes. 

Climatic Conditions

Both the skylight and solar tubes are both suited for warm and cold climatic conditions. However, areas that experience heavy snowfall will not benefit from either during the winter season. As such, some allowances are made under such extreme conditions to sure that you are well covered up.

Water Condensation Occurrences

A common similarity and vice evident in these two types of lighting systems is the ability of water to condense inside them. Condensation of water inside the skylight results from excess moisture content in your home. 

You can reduce this menace by using a humidifier. In the case of solar tubes, water condensation is prevalent during high humidity climatic conditions. Curb this by insulating the tube with R-15 or R-19 insulators. 

Both light tubes and skylight help to provide a bright atmosphere to your home. A light tube will help to illuminate while making your house adorable. Suited for people who love night displays especially women. 

A skylight on the other is a great addition providing a lighting experience and a memorable night sky view. These two lighting systems provide a lively experience to our homes and are great additions.  

Difference between light tubes and skylights

Porcelain freestanding bath in designed white bathroom

Solar light tubes and skylights vary greatly in terms of installation, price and even mode application. They both have their own distinct features that separate them. Here we are going to review some of the differences between solar light tubes and skylights.

Energy Efficiency

Solar tubes capture and diffuse light into homes making them more energy efficient to their counterpart. Skylight, on the other hand, allows as much as 3 times of natural light into homes making the loss a lot of energy through heat gain. In summer this is a common problem making them less energy efficient.

UV Light Rays

Skylights have a special feature that enables them to filter UV rays. Solar light tubes, on the other hand, are much effective as they completely prevent UV rays from entering the tube. UV rays are harmful can cause harmful effects on our body including sunburn. 

Solar tubes thus are more effective in blocking these harmful rays compared to the skylights. They are highly recommended by experts.

Appearance and Preference

Some people prefer skylights due to their exquisite appearance that adds ambiance to your home. Having an exceptional view of the sky is an extended way of incorporating the outdoor environment inside of your house.

Other people prefer to go with solar tubes that look more like a normal light fixture. In this case, the difference lies in everyone’s taste and preferences.


We have extensively critiqued different aspects of lighting systems. Different lighting systems have different characteristics and functions and it’s important to do thorough scrutiny before purchasing one.

They all help to make our lives better while at the same time are cost-effective in terms of saving. Provide ambiance and an eco-friendly atmosphere around your home by establishing one of these lighting systems in your home.