Living with Solatube Daylighting

solatube tucson hallway Living with Solatube Daylighting

Growing up in Arizona I had always heard of people moving here because of the weather. It wasn’t until I lived in Seattle and then New York before I realized the impact that sun has on our lives. The warmth and daylight that I had once taken for granted, I now craved during the dark months of winter. Tucson, Arizona averages 284 days of sunshine per year, and about 15 years ago my parents decided to harness this light by installing a Solatube Daylighting System in their home.

tucson home exterior Living with Solatube Daylighting

The home I grew up in is fairly standard for Tucson with adobe walls and a flat roof. When we moved into the home, my dad had the roof painted with a reflective coating to keep the house cool.  He and my mom also considered the best ways to light our home. We have a large great room with a big window that looks out onto a covered and enclosed patio area. This provides a decent amount of light, but the room remained surprisingly dark with no direct sunlight. Instead of wiring overhead lights, my parents discovered Solatube and had one installed in the great room as well as the main hallway, which received no natural light.

Compared to a standard skylight, Solatube Daylighting Systems are effective from dawn to dusk. They do this by harvesting light using a patented rooftop dome that then transfers the light through highly reflective tubing down into your home through specially designed lenses that evenly disperse the light into the room of your choice. As an added bonus, they also block infrared and ultraviolet rays to keep heat out and prevent fading of furnishings.

daylighting graphic Living with Solatube Daylighting

Solatube at Home

My parents have been extremely pleased with their daylighting system from the moment they got it. The change in our home was dramatic, especially in our rarely used great room. Suddenly it became the perfect spot to relax and read. Santa even chooses this room as the perfect place to display our gifts on Christmas morning.

solatube tucson living space Living with Solatube Daylighting

Our dark hallway is now bathed in light and looks great with the new tile my parents recently installed. The hallway is narrow but offers plenty of wall space for art. Before the Solatube unit was installed, they couldn’t properly enjoy gazing at the paintings. Installing an overhead light was an option, but it still would have produced shadows. Also, leaving the light on all day was not an economical option, which is why they originally sought out Solatube.

solatube tucson hallway Living with Solatube Daylighting

The Solatube technology has changed tremendously since the 90s when my parent’s lights were installed, so last month we upgraded their units with the latest Solatube Daylighting System. This included a new dome, upgraded tubing and a new decorative fixture. It’s hard to imagine my parents being any more pleased with their original Solatube lighting, but the upgraded components have made a huge difference. Even at sunset when natural light levels are at their lowest, the Solatube fixture still emits a reasonable amount of light and, during the day, the overall light dispersed is far brighter than it was before. The new decorative fixture is also much more refined and fits seamlessly into the ceiling.


Solatube Daylighting System – Installation

The upgrade took less than an hour to install, thanks to the fast, friendly and efficient service provided by the Sunshine Experts in Tucson. A new installation takes a little longer – about 2 hours – because there are a few more steps involved. Typical installations cost $400-$600 and, you can locate  your local Solatube dealer at

solatube install tubing Living with Solatube Daylighting

solatube install hand Living with Solatube Daylighting

solatube lighting install Living with Solatube Daylighting


Solatube Daylighting System – Before & After Photos

Here are some before and after photos of the Solatube Daylighting System installed in homes across the country. You can see that Solatube is not only effective to illuminate dark rooms but also works great as a primary light source for kitchens, dining areas, and bathrooms.

solatube kitchen before Living with Solatube Daylighting
Kitchen before Solatube

solatube kitchen after green Living with Solatube Daylighting
Kitchen after Solatube

solatube kitchen before brown Living with Solatube Daylighting
Dining area before Solatube

solatube kitchen after Living with Solatube Daylighting
Dining area after Solatube

solatube bathroom before Living with Solatube Daylighting
Bathroon before Solatube

solatube bathroom after Living with Solatube Daylighting
Bathroom after Solatube

More Solatube Daylighting Photos

These photos really show how effective Solatube is at delivering natural daylight to a variety of rooms, including closets.

solatube yellow bathroom Living with Solatube Daylighting

solatube closet Living with Solatube Daylighting

solatube laundry room after Living with Solatube Daylighting

solatube stairwell Living with Solatube Daylighting

solatube kitchen hgtv Living with Solatube Daylighting

logo Living with Solatube Daylighting

If you think Solatube would be a great solution in your home, then check out their free Solatube Home Daylighting Guide. This informational booklet explains the benefits of daylighting, how it can work in your home, and how fixtures and add-ons can be used to suit your taste and style.


Disclosure: This article is sponsored by Solatube International, Inc.. All opinions expressed are those of Timothy Dahl of Charles & Hudson. Solatube International’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.
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timothy dahl profile Living with Solatube Daylighting

Timothy Dahl

Founder/EIC at Charles & Hudson
Timothy’s background includes stints at This Old House, ELLE DECOR, Metropolitan Home and Woman’s Day. His work has been published on Wired Design, Bob Vila, DIY Network, The Family Handyman and Popular Mechanics and he has been featured on the Martha Stewart radio show and as a speaker at the ALT Design Summit, K/BIS and the National Hardware Show.
  • Jimmy The Plumber

    I need this!!!

  • Oh! Corcoran

    This is great!

  • Building Moxie

    a great look! thanks Timothy for the share.

  • monnaie

    Brilliant architecture Designs, Congrats!