Living off Grid – Solar Tubes

Reader Contribution by Ed Essex
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We have a lot of off grid design features in our house. One of those is solar tubes. Since they seem to generate so much interest with visitors I thought I would share what I know about them after using six of them for three years.

Someone mentioned solar tubes to me a few years ago. I had “sort of” heard about them but never really looked in to what they were. Solar tubes are a cylindrical version of a skylight. They have a plastic dome on top which sits on the roof of your home. The dome top is attached to a round polished tube which extends through your attic and ends at your ceiling. At the ceiling end you will find a diffuser or round lens which diffuses the light. Put a different way, light starts at the exposed dome above the roof and travels through the polished cylinder and ends at the diffuser. I have borrowed a picture from Google (shown below right) to illustrate.

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