Tubular Skylights

Windowless, the room on our house’s north-side stores some family heirlooms and books, safe from fading in the sun. But we wanted energy-efficient natural light. Aha, Tubular Skylights

For 23 years, we’ve been in awe when even the full moon illuminates that room. On a bright day, it seems like a 1,000-watt bulb is on! 

Tubular skylights – also called Sun Tubes, SolaTubes, Sun Tunnels – are mirrored chimney-pipe and/or flex-pipe with a clear bezel on top and diffuser below. Light reflects inside the unit, capable of travelling through multiple floors – even making turns –, brightening basement rooms, closets, and other dark spaces.

  • Saves lighting, wiring, electricity costs.
  • No climate-destroying emissions!
  • No lightbulb replacement needed. 
  • Can be retrofitted into existing construction. 
  • No moving parts. 

Note: proper roof-pitch, roof-placement, installation, and gasketing are crucial.

The pipe’s air pocket acts as insulation, minimally affecting room temperature despite the season.  


Laura & Gil

Our friends Laura & Gil Richardson are, in their own words, “imperfect” but they are much further down this Planetarian path than anyone I know. They are a treasure trove of sustainable living inspiration and we’ve asked them to share one simple swap per week that they’ve made (and the products they love) in hopes it might inspire you to make them, too.

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