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16 Jul

Tubular Skylights And Traditional Skylights – What Is The Difference?

When you want some more natural light in your home, skylights are a great option. But which is better? Tubular skylights or more traditional skylights?

What Are Tubular Skylights?

Tubular skylights offer a different solution for homes especially in situations where traditional skylights aren’t viable. If you have a larger roof cavity or attic, a tubular skylight may be your only option. In a tubular skylight, sunlight is captured through a dome on the roof and reflected down a mirrored tube before reaching the diffuser, which sends light into the home. Diffusers are often much smaller than traditional skylights but still deliver plenty of light. The diffuser also prevents heat from entering the home.

Generally, tubular skylights are much more cost-effective and easier to install.

What Are Traditional Skylights?

Traditional skylights are much larger, and this is part of their appeal. They’re generally square or rectangular and let natural light directly into the home. You can look up during the day and see the sky or gaze at the stars of an evening. This creates a wonderful aesthetic for any home, which is why many people choose the traditional option.

Installation is a much more difficult, and costs are higher, but many people like the overall look and feel of a traditional skylight.

The Main Differences

There are several key differences between traditional and tubular skylights. These differences may sway you one way or another, as it really depends on what you’re looking for when considering skylight installation. Some may look at the outright cost as the major consideration, while others may take a more long-term approach and consider energy efficiency. To help you make the right decision for your home, here are the main differences between the two.


While most people would hire a professional to install their skylights, the installation process is still important to understand. Why? Because the installation process will go some way to determining the overall cost of your skylights.

The process of installing a traditional skylight is much more complex. There is more carpentry involved, and flashings need to be carefully installed to prevent leaks. In addition, the internal ceiling needs to be finished more carefully to obtain a quality look.

Tubular skylights, on the other hand, can be installed in a couple of hours. The dome is installed on the roof with appropriate flashing, and the tube is extended to the ceiling. The diffuser can be set into the ceiling with only minimal internal work.


When analysing the price difference between traditional and tubular skylights, it’s a little difficult to provide accurate figures. Each style has a budget range all the way through to more premium products with advanced technology. As a rough guide, however, tubular skylights with a metal tube can cost as little as $700 for smaller models and $1,200 for more advanced and larger models.

Traditional skylights, however, are generally more expensive. The prices range from $1,500 up to $3,500, including installation. It can be a pretty stark difference, and a lot of the price variance is down to the complexity of installation.

Energy Efficiency

For those who place a lot of emphasis on long-term benefits, energy efficiency is one of the main considerations. Making use of natural light is always energy-efficient because you don’t need to use electricity to power your lights when you’re getting ample sunlight from above. However, there are more factors at play than just the light.

Depending on their size, traditional skylights are known to deliver more natural light into the home because they cover a larger area. Tubular skylights capture light through a dome on the roof, with the light then being diffused into the home. The major issue is with the transfer of heat. The diffuser on tubular skylights prevents unwanted heat from coming into your living space, which is something traditional skylights don’t offer. So, in summer, you may enjoy natural light with a traditional skylight, but you also get the intense heat, which means your air conditioner needs to work harder to maintain your desired temperature.

To help control the heat let into the home you need to spend up to $500 per traditional skylight for an optional remote-control blind. When the blind is closed this helps to block out the heat, but it also blocks out the light.

Need Help Choosing The Right Skylights In Sydney?

Solar Bright offers a huge range of skylights for all different types of homes. We’re specialists in skylight installation in Sydney, and we can recommend the perfect solution for your home. The Solar Bright team is ready to discuss your needs, and you can always count on us for quality products and installations. Contact us today to find out more!

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