Here’s a brief overview of non-oil light-producing options from the authors of The Carbon-Free Home. In part:

Increasing the natural daylight in your home is something to take into consideration if you find from your energy diary that you need to turn lights on during the daytime. We are fortunate that our house, designed in the 1930s, has no issues with dark rooms. Every bathroom has a window and every hall has natural light. But some condominiums, apartments, and splitlevel or ranch houses we’ve seen have a serious lack of daylight.

Sunlight pipes (also called tubular daylighting devices) are low-tech devices that work wonders in dark hallways or bathrooms that have an accessible roof to penetrate. Be careful: every time you make a hole in the roof there is a chance for water penetration and damage. Solar tubes must be carefully installed and the flashing and caulking checked regularly.

(via Chelsea Green)

From one of the manufacturers, here’s a diagram of one such solar tube:


(Image via Sunpipe)

And, here’s an article on installing solar tubes.

Has anyone created their own version of a solar tube? Other than finding a high-quality plastic dome, reflective film for the interior (mylar?), and making sure you don’t create a nice water inlet along with your light tube, is there any reason not to try and homebrew this?