What Are the Drawbacks to Solar Tube Lighting

Solar Tubes also known as sun tunnel or light pipe (daylight pipes) are an alternative to get sunlight inside the room. While they have started to become pretty popular among consumers, some have concerns on Pros and Cons of Solar Tube Lighting.

Most people come up with the question:-

Is there any disadvantage of using a Solar Tube lighting?

If yes, what are the drawbacks to solar tube lighting.

So today we are here to answer this question.

For beginners who don’t know what a solar tube light actually is. It is actually an alternative to skylights. It is a metallic tube which protrudes from the roof of your house. Natural light is channeled along the length of tube in to the building.

In the past, solar tubes didn’t actually produced any solar electricity but these days, the solar tube lights comes integrated with photovoltaic technology to provide artificial light when sun is not around. Solar tubes are a reliable and cost effective way to add natural light to the inside of your home.

Solar Tube Lights


  • Energy efficient
  • Easy installation
  • Lower overall cost


  • Can’t be opened
  • No view of the sky
  • Can’t withstand extreme weather conditions and temperatures.

Advantages of Solar Tube Lighting

As mentioned above in the pros and cons of using solar tube lights, they are pretty easy to set up and install. The good thing is as they are based on Solar energy, they are energy efficient. Though the upfront cost might be a little high for some people, its running cost is very low.

Because they run on sunlight, they are much brighter than conventional lighting.

Disadvantages of Solar Tube Lighting

Just like any other system, solar tube lighting system also comes with some disadvantages. Here are some of the most evident drawbacks when you tend to use a solar tubes.

Need More Space : Solar tube lights take a lot of space to install. In smaller homes, there is not enough space and each inch counts. So if you are looking for an appropriate sunlight energy coming to your building, you need a bigger and spacious area which at times is not possible.

Only One Energy Source: In Solar powered systems, the only source of energy is via sunlight. So if the days are cloudy due to bad weather conditions and you don’t get enough sunlight, it won’t be feasible. You will either have to arrange an alternative lighting source or sit in the dark.

High Upfront Cost: The initial cost of anything related to solar powered system are quite high. But the good news is they have little to no running or maintenance cost. But in case its a bigger project, it might require a lot of capital to install these solar tube lights.

Not Very Much Dependable: Though technology have come a long way and solar powered systems like these solar tube lights can be very much dependable but not in every situation. For robust operation, you need a consistent and strong sunlight at day time.

We hope that we have made this quite clear on what are the drawbacks to solar tube lighting and if you should or not use them.

How much do Solar Tubes cost?

As we already talked above, solar tubes are a cheaper alternative to skylights. They cost almost half of the total installation cost of skylight. The solar tube lights have lower material costs and easier installation that;s why they are a lot cheaper than others. A solar tube on general costs between $500 to 1000 dollars while a skylight would not cost less than 1800 to 2000 dollars.

Solar tube lighting system might use built in replacement batteries to power them at times of uncertainty. These rechargeable batteries when go to waste is a source of pollution.

While there are a few drawbacks to solar tube lighting, i still think they are one of the most versatile system you can utilize if you have good space and you can afford them.

Do let us know your thoughts in comments…