Sometimes, windows simply aren’t enough to bring in natural sunlight to a room. Having a sunlight-filled space is essential for any room in your home as it provides your body with much-needed vitamin D and can make your room feel more spacious and inviting. Natural light is also known to improve your energy and mood, and can even ward off seasonal depression.

If adding windows isn’t an option, then installing a skylight or a solar tube is your solution. But what exactly is the difference between the two?

Skylights and Solar Tubes


Most homeowners are familiar with skylights and how they work. They are windows set into your roof and are typically made of glass, acrylic or polycarbonate. Skylights not only provide additional sunlight to your room, but can aid in proper ventilation as well. Skylights are an especially good option if homes are built closely together, and you would like additional privacy. In some cases, skylights can also be used as an access point for emergency workers in case of fires or other natural disasters.

Solar Tubes

Solar tubes are structurally similar. They are also known as sun tunnels or light tubes and are installed by roof replacement contractors on your roof to catch sunlight. The light that is caught then travels through a cylindrical piece of reflective material that connects to an acrylic dome in the ceiling which acts like a light bulb, only the light that is emitted from it is not artificial.

Though skylights capture more natural light than solar tubes, they also absorb more heat from the sun. If you live in a hot climate, a solar tube may be the more practical option.

Tri-County Contracting is the premier exterior services provider in the southeastern Wisconsin region. If you are interested in installing a solar tube or skylight in your home, be sure to give us a call at (262) 679-6100, or fill out our contact form to receive a free quotation. We have been expertly serving home- and business owners in Waukesha, WI, and its surrounding communities since 1978.