A tubular skylight is a self-contained modular unit with a clear acrylic dome on the roof and a polished, highly reflective tube that ducts down through the attic and ends on the ceiling with a lens.
It looks just like a ceiling-mounted light fixture, but it doesn’t use electricity and it contains no light bulb (although you can add one so you can use the fixture as a lamp after dark). Its daylight comes from outdoors.
You can’t see the sky through it. Its purpose is to use daylight to light up your room rather than to decorate it.
A conventional skylight is a window in your ceiling. It’s big and clear so you can see the sky through it. It lets in light and it also adds decoration and interest to the room.
Tubular skylights are much smaller than “box” skylights, but they can add even more light to the room because they concentrate the daylight into one spot.
They capture light more effectively on the rooftop than a flat rooftop window does, and they efficiently transfer more light through the internal reflective system into the room. Plus, tubular skylights diffuse the light better because they use optics to spread it out rather than lighting only the space directly below the skylight.
Rosie’s favorite tubular skylight: Solatube, the industry leader.