Solatube is a natural daylighting system that uses the sun's light to light the interior of your home. For obvious reasons, the Solatube does not produce light at night. To do that, you would need the Solatube Smart LED.
There are 2 main models, the 160 and 290. The 160 has a 10 inch tube and a light coverage area of 150-200 sq. ft. The 290 model has a 14 inch tube and light coverage area of 250-300 sq. feet. Each of the models comes with 2 options DS and DSe. The difference between DS and DSe:
"The performance standards established in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 require Tubular Daylighting Devices to meet a maximum U-Factor rating of 0.30 and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SGHC) of 0.30. In response to this challenge, Solatube DSe models were designed to exceed this criteria with a U-Factor of 0.28 and SHGC of 0.20, qualifying it for the tax credit established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The Solatube DS models were designed to meet the stringent Energy Star certification criteria. Energy Star is a government-backed program that helps consumers identify energy efficient products. The Solatube DS models have a U-Factor rating of 0.43 and a SHGC of 0.34, qualifying it for the Energy Star label."
From the FAQ section on pricing:
The following product prices are based on a national average:
The Solatube 160 DS Daylighting Systems starting under $255*
The Solatube 290 DS Daylighting Systems starting under $365*
The Solatube 160 DSe Daylighting Systems starting under $290*
The Solatube 290 DSe Daylighting Systems starting under $425*
In comparison, the cost of the Solatube Daylighting System is more affordable than most traditional skylights. The total cost of a traditional skylight is not only the material cost, but also the cost of framing members, paint, drywall, etc. Labor can become a very large portion of the cost because a contractor must frame out the skylight, drywall it, tape it, then paint it. Solatube Daylighting Systems do not require reframing and can usually be installed in about 2 hours.
*Kits do not contain extension tubes (purchase separately). Installation cost is additional if not installing yourself.