Well, during the day at least…back when I was a kid I remember a neighbor of mine getting a light tube installed in their house. They cut a hole in the roof and routed this tube down to the bathroom through the attic. In the bathroom they cut a hole in the ceiling to put the light “fixture” in place and voila – they had light in the bathroom without even flipping the switch. I imagine this was the precursor to the modern day solar light tube, which harnesses the light from the sun, sends it by reflection down inside the tube, and delivers free light to anywhere in the house that you want it. I am sure they are a little more advanced today than they were back then but the idea remains the same.
All day long the sun shines down on our houses so why not take advantage of it? We all have rooms that do not get a lot (or any) natural light during the day…my bathroom is a good example of this. We have a tiny little window inside the shower that is on the “non-sunny” side of the building so we barely get any light all day from it. So every time we have to go in the bathroom, we have to turn on the light and use electricity. If I had a basement like the one I had growing up, we would have to use power all day in order to see down there. But with one of these tubes, we could get free light all day long without paying any utility bills. Pretty cool…
These lights can be installed anywhere in the house and can be routed through multiple levels and they have varying diffusers you can install at the end, giving you different kinds of light for different rooms. Some of them even have places for real light bulbs to plug in, so you can just have one fixture on the ceiling that gives you free light during the day and a light bulb you can turn on at night that uses electricity. They run from about $175 and up, depending on the install and which model/company you go with. Some of the companies that sell these are:
I for one know that I will definitely be putting these in my house…when I have a house. Saves energy and saves money over the long term…the idea cannot really be beat for efficient use of the sun’s free energy!