DIY Tubular Skylight Installation

A tubular skylight, or solar tube, is a device which can provide natural light for rooms that don’t have windows.

What it does is to collect sunlight on the roof and bring it into the room using a reflective tube.  This is ideal for dark kitchens, hallways, and bathrooms.

For this DIY project, you must be comfortable working on your roof.  Installing a tubular skylight can take two to four hours.

You’ll need to purchase a Tubular Skylight Kit (also known as a “solar tube kit.”)

Aside from that, you’ll need basic tools for the job.

Here are the steps for installing a basic DIY Tubular Skylight:

  1. Look for the perfect location where you’ll be installing the tubular skylight.  The spot you choose should be between the roof rafters and ceiling joists, so as to avoid destroying your home’s structural elements.  It will be easier for you if the location you choose allows for the tubular skylight to extend straight from the roof to the ceiling.
  2. Once you’ve found the right location, it’s time to cut the holes.  From the inside of the room, place a nail in the ceiling, where the center of the diffuser will be placed.
  3. From the attic, use a plumb-line to locate the spot above the nail and drill a hole into the roof.
  4. Go back to the room and use the ceiling ring from the tubular skylight kit to draw a circle in the ceiling.
  5. Cut the circle using a drywall saw.
  6. Install the ceiling ring.
  7. Now go up the roof, and, using the hole you drilled, draw a circle using the flashing from the tubular skylight kit.
  8. Use a reciprocating saw to cut that portion of the roof.
  9. Remove any roofing nails that can be found around the hole.
  10. Apply caulk on the underside of the flashing.
  11. Then insert it underneath the shingles.  Push the flashing up so that its raised portion will be in contact with the shingles.
  12. Secure the flashing with the screws that come with the tubular skylight kit.
  13. Once you’ve placed the flashing, measure the distance from its top, down to the ceiling. This will be the length of your tubing.
  14. Prepare the tubing you need.
  15. Remove the protective film from the inner portion of the tubing, and insert the tube through the flashing until it reaches the ceiling ring.
  16. Screw the tube to secure it into place.
  17. Attach the dome to the flashing on the roof, and secure it with the screws provided.
  18. Attach the diffuser and trim ring to the ceiling ring.


Be sure that no electrical wires are touched by the skylight.  Take extra caution when you’re working near wire in your ceiling.

There are different brands of tubular skylight kits available in market.  Be sure to carefully read and follow the instructions provided, for the correct installation.

To find tubular Skylight Kits, please visit the following page:

Click here to find Tubular Skylight Kits

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. No warranties or guarantees are made, and any construction project you undertake is under your own responsibility and risk.  For professional advice, seek assistance from a qualified technician or consultant.

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2 Responses to “DIY Tubular Skylight Installation”

  1. armil@electricalwork January 16, 2011 at 10:40 pm #

    Great article about DIY installing of tubular skylight. When doing work something like this, you should always take a precautionary measures like what this article said to prevent any untoward incidents.

  2. Niko@LongBeachConstructionServices January 30, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    I followed the instructions as you said and everything installed perfectly.
    I almost shocked myself but i live life dangerously. Glad I didn’t though.

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