Natural light is so potent, it boosts your home’s atmosphere and the mood of all who enter. The more natural light you can get inside your home, the better. From refreshing views to vitamin D, it improves your health and well-being, and it’s worth maximizing.
Skylights and sun tunnels are a practical way to bring more natural light into your home, and give you consistent energy savings year-round.
Sun Tunnels and Skylights 101
What Are Sun Tunnels?
Sun tunnels are one of the newest lighting trends—making it possible to add natural light creatively and conveniently. These features channel sunlight down a highly reflective tube and into your home while preserving daylight’s intensity. Indoor areas where you couldn’t get natural light in the past can now have it flooding through.
Sun tunnels can be effectively installed on a pitched roof or a flat roof to give you teeming natural light. They’re protected by a weather-proof plastic globe, and they extend into your home. A diffuser allows light to enter your rooms to enhance their brightness and increase your lifestyle.
Tubular sun tunnels help bring in more sun than a traditional skylight. And they work great to brighten your closets, hallways, bathrooms and other small rooms. They don’t take up a lot of space, and keep the cool air inside during the summer and warm air inside during the winter.
These fixtures are more cost-effective to install than skylights unless the sun tunnels need to go through several floors to reach their destination.
Types of sun tunnels include:
- Rigid sun tunnels—These give you better light transmittance than a flexible sun tunnel, and allow for the light to channel from your roof directly to your room’s ceiling. The less the light bounces off the tube’s internal surfaces, the more natural light you will enjoy indoors.
- Flexible sun tunnels—These are more cost-effective than the rigid version, and are best suited for shorter distances from roofing to the ceiling of the room you want more light in.
Select between a rounded dome or a flat glass cover on your roof.
- Rounded dome— These are attractive and allow the maximum amount of light to enter your home.
- Flat glass cover— These stylish panels are aesthetically pleasing and make for an attractive feature on your roof. However, light reflects off a flat surface, so they won’t allow as much light to enter your home as a rounded dome cover.
What Are Skylights?
A skylight allows daylight and ventilation to enter your home through your ceiling. They help with energy use and can actually make a room seem bigger than it is. Some of today’s skylights open to allow fresh air into your home.
In the past, skylights had a reputation for leaking. They have improved over the years and are now made of quality material and built to keep moisture out of your home. Solar blinds are often added to maximize energy efficiency, and they can also give you the flexibility of allowing light in during part of the day, and keeping it out at other times.
Installation costs vary based on the size of the skylight and the type of glass in it. New drywall, paint, and a frame are also part of the installation process, and they need to be done by a reputable team of experienced professionals to ensure their long-term performance.
When you select your skylights, choose ENERGY STAR® rated ones. Their criteria for skylights ensure you are having a quality product installed in your home. They often offer a tax credit when you obtain a certificate from your installation team.
Factors to Consider When Choosing between Skylights and Sun Tunnels for Your Home
Once you decide where you need more natural light, it may be obvious which solution will work best. In general, sun tunnels are made for small places, while skylights are for more expansive spaces. Here are some additional things to consider when deciding between the two:
- Energy efficiency
- Skylight or sun tunnel style and quality
- Glaze on the glass
- The comfort it will provide your space
- The enhanced natural light it will deliver
- The ability to control light or heat
- Its installation cost
- The ease of access to utilize its features
Placement of Skylights and Sun Tunnels
Where do you place the skylight or sun tunnel to get the most sunlight into your home? Have the sun tunnel installed as close to the apex of your roof as possible to maximize natural light indoors.
Installing a sun tunnel on the south facing side of your roof (or the side as close to the south as possible) will give you the maximum amount of natural daylight available. Realize that installation on the north, east, and west facing roofing still adds a great deal of natural light to your home.
How Many Sun Tunnels or Skylights Do I Need?
The number of sun tunnels or skylights you have installed is your choice. Consider what would look best inside your home:
- Adding one or two large skylights or sun tunnels in a room
- Adding several smaller skylights or sun tunnels in rooms
Get Premium Installation for Your Skylights and Sun Tunnels
Improper installation of skylights and sun tunnels causes damaging moisture infiltration. You shouldn’t have to worry about whether your skylight or sun tunnel will leak.
At Christian Brothers Roofing, we install premium VELUX Skylights in the greater Kansas City area, and we do it right the first time. Our skylights and sun tunnels allow for maximum natural light entrance into your home so you can enjoy the warmth they bring to the atmosphere and the year-round energy savings they provide.
Learn more about the skylights and sun tunnels we offer.