To answer this question there are a number of issues that needs to be considered
- What is a Skylight alternative?
- What is the correct comparison for these products?
- How much should I pay for a Skylight alternative?
- And no, a skylight alternative is not worth it?
What is Skylight alternative?
A skylight alternative could be considered as anything that provides light whether it’s a torch, candle light, LED, or incandescent light globe, essentially there many options that provide light. In this particular case the solar powered LED - skylight alternative focusses on the old traditional issues of natural lighting products to suggest they are a comparative improved alternative to all skylight products. These products that are categorised as a skylight alternative is simply a solar panel (often marketed as a “solar collector”) electrical wiring (often marketed as a “transfer cable”) and an LED light (often marketed as a “light diffuser”).
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What is the correct comparison for these products?
Suggesting that a skylight alternative is similar to a standard natural lighting skylight is like purchasing a “daylight” coloured LED from your local hardware store and believing that you were going to receive the same benefits as walking outside into the natural light.
As much as solar powered LED - skylight alternative marketing wants you to draw the comparison between a natural lighting product and the solar powered LED - skylight alternative, it should only ever be compared to a standard electric lighting option that will never provide the positive benefits of a natural lighting product. The real reason people choose to install skylights is to bring natural light into their home replacing the current electric lighting.
How much should I pay for a Skylight alternative?
The next big question is how much should I pay for a skylight alternative? The saying you get what you pay for is very true when it comes to Skylight alternatives, the quality of solar panel will significantly impact it’s efficiency to collect solar and power your LEDs, wiring and driver electrical components require a certain level of quality to ensure fires are not caused as has occurred in certain products that were recalled from the market. LEDs also require a certain level of quality to ensure longevity. Even The most popular solar skylight brands sell a cheap hardware branded product and a premium quality unit to trade suggesting that pricing for these products should start at a minimum of $400 but have been quoted up to $1500.
And no, a skylight alternative is not worth it
After recognising that these products are simply an LED light, you can quickly answer if they are worth it. The average value of a solar powered LED product is $600 excluding installation. The average warranty of the electrical components of these products is 2 years. Even if the product last 5 years which is unlikely, replacement parts and average yearly electrical savings compared to your standard electrical lighting will never see a payback.