Solatube – the brighter choice

What makes a Solatube sun tunnel the brighter choice?

When choosing a sun tunnel system to light up dark areas of your home, there are a number of important considerations to bear in mind, particularly as not all sun tunnel systems are created equal. So, don’t believe everything you hear, and instead think about some of the following points:

Designed for purpose

Most importantly, it’s worth remembering that Solatube were the original creators of the sun tunnel concept. This was a considered solution to an actual need, resulting in the first Solatube sun pipe; a product that was designed within the parameters of a specific brief in order to fulfil an actual need.

This first design continues to be developed and improved on an ongoing basis by Solatube as materials and technology improve, ensuring that this process of continuous investment in the product keeps Solatube at the forefront of sun tunnel systems throughout the world.

However, the same cannot be said of other systems. Everything else out there is a ‘me-too’, copycat system. Their design brief and objective has been, not to make the most effective and efficient system for delivering daylight deep in to buildings, but instead, how to copy a Solatube and make it cheaper. And it’s this approach to cutting corners and budgets that shows through when you compare other sun tunnel systems with a Solatube.

So, what else adds up to a Solatube being the brightest choice to make when choosing a sun tunnel system?


Well, for a start, Solatube has been around the longest and now has over 30 years of experience in delivering daylight in to dark interiors. And it’s this depth of experience that translates in to such a well-designed, efficient and effective product.

Knowledgeable staff

With so many years behind them, it is unsurprising that Solatube boasts the most knowledgeable staff. Knowing how to get daylight piped down in to dark interiors and rooms is something we have plenty of experience of. My own business, Solatube Southwest, has specialised in Solatube and sun tunnel systems since 2008; that’s 13 years of knowledge and experience I can use to help ensure you end up with the best solution for your own daylighting needs.

CE/BBA accreditation

Few, if any, other sun tunnel products achieve a CE marking or BBA accreditation, making Solatube sun pipe systems stand out from the crowd. With both these accreditations, it makes Solatube daylighting systems the ‘go-to’ sun tunnel of choice for many architects, specifiers and installers. The extended Solatube Daylighting Systems BBA Certificate recognises the high quality of Solatube products and emphatically confirms that they achieve the seal of approval to meet British Standards for construction, unlike other cheaper, copycat systems.

99.7% reflective

Time and time again I come back to explaining the importance of reflectivity in delivering the most light at the end of a Solatube. And it’s worth repeating again, so here goes.

Practically all copycat systems out there use a reflective material of no more than 98% (because it’s cheaper – no surprises there), whereas Solatube sun tunnels use the worlds’ most reflective material at 99.7% reflective. Doesn’t sound like a big difference does it – 98% or 99.7%? However, it makes a MASSIVE difference in sun tube systems, and here why:

      • 98% reflective: Each time light bounces down the tube it loses 2% of its energy, or light. Over just 10 bounces that equates to a 20% loss of light.
      • 99.7% reflective: Each time light bounces down the tube it loses just 0.3% of its energy, or light. Over 10 bounces that equates to a tiny 3% loss of light.

Over longer tube runs that difference becomes even greater – with 20 bounces you lose 40% of the light with the less reflective tubing and just 6% with Solatube.

The price is reflected in the quality

OK, so a Solatube system may appear to be a little more expensive on the face of it. However, when you consider how much light a Solatube systems delivers compared to other makes, then you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that a Solatube might work out cheaper, or certainly no more expensive.

Usually, in order to deliver as much light as a Solatube you would need to compare it with a larger diameter sun tunnel system, which typically will be more expensive. And larger diameter sun tunnel systems will often not fit between roof timbers without more expensive structural timber work.

The other way of looking at it is that you need fewer Solatube sun pipes to provide the same amount of light from other sun tunnel systems.

And smaller, or fewer, Solatube sun pipe systems means greater thermal, or energy efficiency for your home.

So, that’s a few more points worth considering when purchasing a sun tunnel system. And if you are interested in bringing natural light into your home, please contact us at Solatube Southwest; 07989 976 010) to find out whether a Solatube sun pipe can help you. Typically, a fully installed system might cost anywhere between £900 – £1,200; that’s supplied, professionally installed and includes the VAT.

Call 07989 976 010