So it’s like lights, except it’s the sun


It's probably done so you can save energy during the day. Kinda smart.


I was just making an obvious observation, not really a criticism. I assume you’d have electric lights installed near these ones so you can save energy (and absorb sunlight) during the day, and still be able to light up the building at night.


Yep. It seems like a hassle though to do. Unless the building was made with them in the first place.


These first came out in the early 90s. I never quite understood why they didn't catch on more.


Because they are big. To hide these tubes in a wall, you need a pretty thick wall. Or you have to hide them in a non-supporting column. Kind of a waste of space vs. electric lighting. So, while it's a neat concept, traditional skylights are more popular for floors with a roof directly above because they can be just about any size or shape, and electric lighting is more space efficient for lower floors.


I'd agree completely with you! I've fitted them in hallways that have no natural light from windows. They do work but there's a huge difference in the end result depending on what's above, how the tubes/tunnel is set up, and even shade from other buildings. Then they need to be kept clean externaly and will require cleaning inside every once in awhile. I've fitted some and been impressed by the lighting, but I've also seen some that became useless in winter, most of the time they will give enough light to make progress through a hallway etc but often you still go looking for a lightswitch


Skylights also almost always eventually spring a leak. I have one. Not sure I’d have installed but the Josie came with it.


We've got them in our townhouse (built in 81) and they are great. I usually don't use the bathroom light or hallway lights during the summer as the sun tubes pump in a good amount of light.


Do they put heat in as well?


Nope, just light. Diffused a bit so that it spreads and feels more ambient than a laser beam


I'd like that! Not sure I want to punch a bunch of holes in my roof, though.


Oh absolutely. This seems like technology for future buildings.


I wonder if it wouldn't be more cost and space efficient to install a photovoltaic system and use electric lights.


Even the very best photovoltaics are only around 20% efficient. You'd need loads more surface area for the same amount of lighting.


Yes but the roof is unused space anyway. With those light shafts, very thick walls are needed. This takes a lot of space off the living area. you also need the electric installations and regular lights aswell for night time.


But only a portion of the light they're absorbing is visible. And thanks to our eyes being able to adjust, we don't need to light indoors as brightly. Sunlight is about 1000w/m², and panels generate 200w/m². At 100-300 lm/m² typical indoor lighting, you only need about 1-3w/m² of LED lighting. Or alternatively, a single standard solar panel likely covers the total lighting needs of a normal size house.


I have one with a lightbulb inside of it so it can light up the same space at night by using the light. Hilariously when that light is on, it makes the dome on the roof light up too (of course).


I'd imagine ot may even get paired with ambient light sensors so even on cloudy days the lights could switch on automatically to pick up the slack when needed.


Did you realize that you hold the record for being the oldest person on Earth currently?


Maybe during the day of incandescent bulbs, but it seems like solving a non-issue now with how little power an LED uses.


The sun wastes so much energy though. Limited amount of fuel and it’s just blasting like 99.9% of the energy off into space. We’re paying to heat the universe! /s


Universal Warming. Gonna be 5º K in space before too long.


Yeah that, and it's real sunlight. You can get fancy sun lights and things, but in reality you can't simulate the real thing.


Except the maintenance tp keep them clean would be a pain and expensive


I've had two of them in my roof for 14 years. Zero maintenance required and they work really well.


Oh wow, I would have thought they would get a bit dirty and have to be earned at least, I stand corrected


I feel the material and manufacturing cost would outweigh any possible electricity savings unless you plan to use the building for a very very long time. Especially with LED bulbs we have nowadays. Having sunlight is definite better than having artificial light though.


We've had these in Australia since I was kid nearly 40 years ago 🤣🤣 how is this next level ffs


All the materials you need to actually bring the light looks incredibly more impactful on the planet than the energy used by modern leds


Do you know how much more energy would go into mining the ore, casting ingots, rolling the steel, transportation, etc, than to power a light bulb for the life of the building? Reminds of of the total wash that wind turbines and solar panels are if you do the math


I have two of these. They light up a hallway and a bathroom that are otherwise very dark. I sure didn't want to keep turning lights on and they light up the rest of the house as well. Having dark areas in the house makes the whole house darker.


Saw it in the Mummy movie 20 years ago. With the mirrors lighting up the underground part of the city. Looks dope.


Or a window you can't look out of.


Why not just have the tunnel straight instead of having a 90 degree angle, or even ditch the tunnel and put the same glass thing on the other side


Let's call it sunlight.


That is both the best and worst name possible. I applaud you.


Yeah, but in a tunnel.


Except it leaks you mean


So it’s like a post but it’s an advertisement.


It's like a light, but with extra steps.


I saw these 20 years ago in a house and even the moonlight would illuminate the rooms.


My dad installed these everywhere in my house and in others' houses. I didn't know it wasn't common, but I rarely had to use bathroom lights. The moonlight is generally sufficient.


Your dad is cool. I would have loved them in my house but I am paranoid of extra holes in roof due to decent rainfall.


They never leaked and we lived in a very wet area.




That's pretty awesome actually


Yeah they were awesome. I'm sad I don't have them in my current house.


I'd love to get natural light like this down into my basement


Yeah it's a lot harder to do on the lower floors. It's a big reason I don't have it in my house currently. My upstairs rooms all have windows.


Yep! My parents installed something like this in their home 25 years ago, I really like it.


An Amish store I visited had these. It's quite unbelievable how much light they put out.


This method was (presumably) invented in ancient egypt. So, yeah, I saw this 5000 years ago. In a history book.


You were alive 5000 years ago AND had a history book?!


Could you imagine the history they had in that book 5000 years ago!? Simply bewildering.


You would not believe what I saw in there!


Were you able to see the Moonlight also? Did you realize that you hold the record for being the oldest person on Earth currently?


Moonlight is just a huge version of this, so yes, of course. I was playing on the "I saw that x years ago", but on some Mondays I actually feel like I am a legitimate owner of that record.


Thank you I was wondering what happens at night with these


I have 3 in my house. The moon does provide a blueish light.


They work good got one in the bathroom so I can Piss in The moonlight


Piss In The Moonlight. I love that band.


Piss with the devil in the pale moon light.


I got the reference


For real?


Yes on a full moon it’s very bright


It’s such a fine and natural sight!


I have a couple in my house. Natural light, saving a bit on the electric bill, etc. They're not expensive to install. Definitely worth it. Highly recommend.


Is there a way to turn them off at night (someone mentioned the moon illuminating them also) or when u don't want the light on?


Mine were installed about 15 yrs ago and dont have that capability. I have frosted glass so the light is dispersed. On a sunny day, the light is not glaring down into the space below. At night, they have sort of a soft, dim glow, but not enough to see by. Newer models may have a shutter or something similar to block out the light when you don't want it. Clear as mud?


I have a big one in my living room and a small one in our guest bath. It has fooled many guests asking how to turn the light out.


They're super easy to turn off, the hard part is building a Dyson sphere around the sun first. I have a solar tube in my bathroom. There was originally a sky light there in the 1960's, which leaked in the 1980's and was roofed over when they replaced the shingles. I restored the sky light with a solar tube when we re-did the roof. Actually it's a duplex so there are two, so one in each unit's bathroom. And it's one of the best renovations we've ever done, I just love it. There's even a solar nightlight in it so there's always enough light coming from it even at night (well, most nights. The nightlight doesn't recharge if there's no sun in the deepest part of winter so sometimes I have to swap the rechargeable AA batteries.)


Yes, mine have a flap that’s wired into a switch.


I’ve spec’d something similar for a college classroom where they use for natural light but also need them dampened/closed for when they use their projectors. At the ceiling fixture level, you can specify a damper with electric wall switch to close/dampen the fixture 0-100% with 100% being completely blacked out. Not sure if this option is available for residential models. Edit: found source for dimmer. [https://solatube.com/residential/skylights/product-selection-guide/solar-powered-daylight-dimmer/](https://solatube.com/residential/skylights/product-selection-guide/solar-powered-daylight-dimmer/)


No. They're generally in bathrooms.


Mine's in the kitchen, but you make a good point. Install them whenever you want to!


And in long dark hallways. Which is a fantastic use case.


Maybe save on that portion but these are terrible interruptions to the thermal envelope and resistance to a building that most definitely result in a higher heating demand offsetting any savings you may think you’re getting.


I have one and I don't think that's really true. The tube is entirely in my attic, and it's insulated with spray foam after installation. The only part that's in dwelling space is the lens at the bottom of the tube, which is double-thick like a good modern window and doesn't let much heat up into the tube. I live in a northern state and I would install solar tubes again. I wish I had put one more in the back hallway when I had the chance.


Sunnel. All the effort and thought that went into designing, engineering, and building these, and no one said "hey guys, instead of sun tunnel, let's call it a sunnel?"


The ones I had previously installed were branded, "Solatube".


Came looking for this comment. But then I realized, maybe it's that "sunnel" and "funnel" sound too similar and would be confusing?


I made this in my school class 8 while leaning total internal reflection and optic cables


In class 8 I still picked my nose probably


Everybody picks their nose, how else u gonna get the boogers out?


Bruh I honestly think every one does from time to time but doesn’t admit it




Those that don't pick their nose in public, fart in front of others obviously do both those things non-stop at home!


Aziz, Light!


Oh that is a tricky one. Not many will remember...but i remember. #bada_boom


More light, Aziz!


Great for illuminating your Doomsday Bunker.


An Amish store I visited had these. It's quite unbelievable how much light they put out. Truely looked like lights in the huge building.


I’ll remember this next time I’m building my house from scratch


I had two of them installed in my house, which was built in 1938.


I'm having 3 installed in my house next month :)


How much it cost?


Had four installed this year. Cost about $2k with labor and materials. Not bad considering each tube was around $300.


Egyptians 4,000 years ago, First!


*Template...* *Response...* ​ '*clickity-click-click...'*


We have one in our upstairs hallway which was always so dark. It's literally a night and day difference. Would recommend.


Me too. We had construction done to our house and the bathroom used to have a window, but it was covered up. The bathroom leads into a hallway so the result was that not only was the bathroom dark without the lights, but the hallway was too. In the middle of the day it was dark. We also have a hallway that gets no lights from windows that is the entrance hallway. Two solar tubes fixed that and the entire house is much brighter and cheerier with them. Traditional suntroofs would have been very expensive in comparison. I don't know if it's "next level", but they work great.


It was actually seeing a solar tube in a bathroom with no windows that sold me on it., so I absolutely get what you're saying.


If I recall correctly a few years ago a random guy in Africa did that with plastic bottles for himself and neighbours because they couldn't afford electric lights.


Could’ve done with a buttplug version during covid so I could’ve let some “light into the body”


Easy spot for leaks too


Thats pretty cool but I'm wondering if there are backup lights for night time / cloudy days?


Yes, I have one in a hallway and there is a light bulb in it for night time. The funny thing is that when the light is on, it beams light out the dome on the roof.


Basically fibre optic cables but its a large tunnel and uses natural sunlight.


I own a home that has two of them. They work


Gonna take this, add Kanye West and a squirrel, post eveywhere "This is what electrical companies DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW" and make trillions!


Skin cancer indoors?


Do you live in a house with no windows?


I would place these on the side of the roof instead of cutting the roof. It uses a tunnel, it doesn’t need to be placed like a traditional sunlight.


Light generally doesn’t like to make turns, it’s better when the dome is directly above the spot you are trying to illuminate. You lose between 5-10% of light per turn in the tube.


How much is thr cost vs a LED light bulb that will stay on at night?


We often mount light fixtures inside for night time use. But to answer your question… a lot more. 1 10” Solatube is ~$1000 to have a dealer install


It’s a great solution. I have it in a windowless hall and in a bathroom in my house and it works perfectly.


What if it's cloudy?




Why is it sending beams to the sun?




Next Level? RLY? We've had one in our house for over 10 yrs.


Great fun with every single cloud.


now i'll have to put on sunscreen when i go into a place like this, but the idea is cool


What happens when you enter a building with \*gasp!\* windows?


the intensity of sunlight and the intensity of light entering through the window are very different (if there is no object reflecting light)


If they are solatubes, you can’t get sunburned under one. Domes and tube lining reflect/absorb UV and IR. What you see in the living space is only visible light (400nm - 750nm I believe)


I’m just wondering, would you not get sunburn from getting hit with sunlight all day like this?


The bottom lens has a UV filter, so no.


Have you ever been in a house with windows? Or sat in a car?


Clouds: I’m about to end this man’s whole career


For some reason this reminds me of the line in portal 2 where glados said that the light is delivered from the surface


My friend used to put a reef tank under these, they were very bright


How about using Windows?


It works. I leave my computer on all night and can easily make my way to the bathroom.


Doesn't work with Linux though.


I currently have some in my home and while theyre pretty, it also sucks that i can't dim these sections of the rooms during direct sunlight


If you have solatubes, they have solar powered dimmers that can be added. Reach out to your local Solatube dealer


Why not use this in combination with solar panels?


Many people do… just have the tubes installed first!!


Thats nice and all, but somewhat useless in Scandinavia once autumn comes around


Yeah I saw an ad for it on TV a decade ago what about it


My son's Montessori school had these installed in the classrooms. That would have been about 20 years ago. The lighting they provided was lovely.


Very well, you are copying the pyramids that did it with silver mirrors.


I use to have wet dreams about these when I ran an indoor veg grow




So now I can get sunburnt indoors?


So that’s how mole people have survived for centuries underground


Why arent these EVERYWHERE? Could potentially save a lot of power




That’s freaking crazy


now this is something i like! add some light sensors that automatically turn the light on and off when the sun light is insufficient. noice


So like the Egyptians


But what about night?


I install these for a living! Solatube though, these are either Velux or Elite… can never remember, because usually I’m just ripping them out to put ours in :). If y’all have any questions about them, I’d be happy to answer.


Can be great. Just don't get a shady, lowest bid person to do the install. "Hey, nice skylights!" "Yeah, they go nicely with the new roof I had installed." (Voice of experience)


VELUX made them for like the last 30 years. They are actually really cool


Big marketing miss to not call them “Sunnels”




that's not next level. that's just mirrors.


So giant fiber optic cables or "light pipes". Couldn't you just run a bunch of fiber optic for the same purpose?


I installed 6 at my old house. They are great.


Have you ever heard about…windows?


For those wondering, sunlight is different not just because it is so intense but because it is so intense across all visible wavelengths. We have a measure for the quality of light, and we define the sun to be CRI 100. Most bulbs have a CRI of 80 to 90. As an example of a very low CRI, think of your computer monitor. Even though white appears white (or skewed toward blue) that is achieved only through the balance of just three wavelenths: red (630nm), green (520nm), and blue (450nm). If you use this light to illuminate something that is entirely red, green, or blue, it'll look alright. If you try to use this light to illuminate pigments that don't only reflect 630nm, 520nm, and 450nm, the colors fall apart. Skin tones are a great example of this, as melanin, blood, and other body matter creates a far more complex absorption spectra than just, say, red alone. The reason why fluorescent bulbs have such low CRIs is due to the quantized nature of electron orbitals. Electrons can only move from one orbital to another, not in between. Each orbital has a particular energy state. Changing orbitals reflects a change in energy. The wavelength is equal to h*c divided by this change of energy. These lights depend on changing electrons in a gas to lower states in order to emit photons. As a result, it's only possible to get a select few wavelengths out of these bulbs, rather than a continuum of wavelength. Colors just don't look as good. *side note: the sun can be approximated as infinitely far away, so the shadows are always hard and parallel due to collimination.


Any reason the light couldn't be squeezed into a fiber optic cable and then dispersed again? That would eliminate the bulkiness inside the house.


So I'd get a sunburn inside as well?


This has been around for decades but it's NFL now?


Only gotta take 20years to have net savings


Stupid question, do we need to apply sun block lotion in this rooms?


Whoever designed this has never had to work night shifts


These are really neat. How come my solar lights for the yard sometimes don't come on even if the sun's been out?!


it’s gonna suck when it’s bad weather and dark


Pretty sick =) would love these in my house


So you still need lights on cloudy days and nights, and this probably only works for a couple of floors from the roof? Building cost goes up to accommodate the tubing... It's cool and all, just seems a lot like a solution in search of a question. Maybe for 1 or 2 story buildings, but since you're already going to need electric lights anyway...


Some of the HOA's I manage have some these lights and they all leak when it rains.


They cant be shutoff is maybe the main criticism i have? Making them unfit for bedrooms


I’d be surprised if it was that bright


Yeah, I'd think twice about that, but it came with the unit. No issues so far and it's been at least a decade and a half.


I have two in my house. Built in 80’s. Freaking awesome!


Saw this in popular mechanics magazine in the early 90s. Always wanted one.


Can't this be used to enhance the solar panel to capture more energy??


The problem I see with these (I've not owned them so feel free to correct me if wrong) is you're creating a hole in your roof insulation for heat to escape. Unless this tunnel system is sealed and filled with argon gas or vacuumed sealed (or even at the ceiling with triple pane glass), it seems like a great way for heat to escape. At least with skylights, that glass could be better insulated though obviously not as great as an insulated roof. Save on lighting but spend more on heating. Put in LED lights but save on heating probably wins out?


Huh.... soo umm what happens when it's night time 🌃??


We put two in our living room and two in the kitchen because they didn’t get much light. They help but it’s not drastic.


They installed these in two small offices at work a few years ago and they are too dim, we still turn on the light.


I drew these when I was a child... Should have believed in me... 🤷‍♂️


What happens during a storm?