May 12 2010

Solar Energy – Save the Planet without Breaking the Bank

by April

If you like the sound of solar energy for your home, but aren’t ready for the plunge of a full-blown power system, there are other options available.  Of these options is solar lighting with solar tubes.  There are also solar powered attic fans and solar pool filters, both of which I will cover in upcoming blogs.

Solar Tubes

Solar tubes are different from traditional skylights, which was often merely a window in your ceiling/roof.  Solar tube lighting consists of a dome mounted on the roof of your home connected to lengths of tubing lined with highly reflective material.  The light is reflected downward to a diffuser on your ceiling that resembles a recessed light fixture.

Solar tubes come in different sizes, to light larger or smaller areas.  They are even sold in Do It Yourself kits and, though I wouldn’t let my husband attempt it, they can be installed in just a few hours and of course a professional can install it as well.

The pros are big on this product.  It can go almost anywhere and needs no structural changes for installation.  You can keep your lights off during the day saving energy, and money.  Natural light is good for you, barring any strange allergies to the sun.  Studies show natural sunlight helps mental and physical well-being, helping to boost energy levels and concentration.

Solar Tube Lighting - Before and After

Like most energy saving products, be sure to check for sales, rebates, and tax credits.  For some good tax credit information check out


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