9 Reasons to Choose Sun Tunnels
Sun tunnels are a feature that feels luxurious, without the luxury price tag. If extra windows or a skylight just doesn’t seem like the right fit for your house, sun tunnels (or solar tubes) may be just the thing. Particularly useful in spaces where electrical lighting is at capacity, solar tubes really brighten up those darker corners and nooks. Designed with a minimalistic footprint, many sun tunnels can easily be mistaken for a regular light fixture, thanks to a variety of light-diffusing lenses and finishes that blend in with your décor.
What is a Sun Tunnel?
Sun tunnels are becoming mainstream as homeowners discover how they increase natural light in the home. Also known as sun tunnel skylights, sun tubes, solar pipes and solar tubes, sun tunnels are essentially a tube that goes from your roofline into your ceiling to shine just the right amount of daylight in.
It’s important to note that they don’t provide a view to the outside and they don’t provide any additional ventilation. They have one job – to bring in extra natural daylight – and they do it very well!
They also have a much smaller footprint than traditional heavy skylights. In fact, until the sun goes down, it appears just as a normal recessed light fixture. They can also be installed with a solar pack and LED light to keep the light going long after dark.
What are Sun Tunnels Made of?
Sun tunnels are made of tubes of polished and reflective sheet metal. This tube acts like a mirror that bounces light from the source, down to the exit point (your ceiling.) The lens, or diffuser, is made of high-quality glass and is available in different opacities depending on how much or how little light output you’d like.
How are Sun Tunnels Installed?
When a sun tunnel is created, it’s just like installing a piece of ductwork from roof to ceiling. Instead of leading from a heat pump or furnace, the metal tube leads from a sealed weatherproof dome on the roof.
This is secured by flashing and underlayment to prevent any air or water leaks from getting into the tubing. It’s angled to maximize light as it enters the housing set up in the interior ceiling. You can choose what diameter you’d like your sun tunnel to be, but it should be narrow enough to fit between the joists.
9 Reasons Why Sun Tunnels are a Great Choice for Adding Natural Daylight
1. Sun tunnels are cost-effective
Sun tunnels are much easier on the wallet than skylights. There are no structural changes needed for installation. Also, the materials used are more basic than a closed or hinged skylight. For this reason, you can usually add several sun tunnels to your home for the cost of a skylight. Sun tunnels are becoming so popular because they require only a small investment to bring more light and more life into your home.
2. Sun tunnels are energy-efficient
Because sun tunnels don’t require any electricity to add extra light to your home, you can save on your energy bills. Even better, you can have a solar nightlight installed in the sun tunnel. Throughout the day, the solar panel on the LED light will charge. This will let you continue lighting your space for free at night for optimal energy efficiency.
3. Sun tunnels are easy to install
The installation of sun tunnels can be installed in as little as one afternoon, even on lower-level floors.
4. Sun tunnels are low maintenance
Sun tunnels take on the appearance of recessed or semi-recessed lighting. You can even enclose them in a favourite lighting fixture and there’s no framing or moulding to maintain. To keep them clean, all you need to do is dust the lens and occasionally wipe the lenses and covers down.
5. Sun tunnels increase natural light
If your home has some dark corners or feels dim, you can forgo adding extra light fixtures. There are a variety of lenses available to diffuse the incoming daylight as much or as little as you like, eliminating glare or overly bright lighting.
6. Sun tunnels minimize heating and cooling loss
Sun tunnels are much smaller in diameter than a traditional skylight and have little UV exposure, there is very little temperature fluctuation and no hot spots surrounding the sun tunnel.
7. Sun tunnels can be installed in tight areas
Anywhere tubing can be installed, you can have a sun tunnel. A master bedroom closet can be instantly brightened up and sun tunnels can be added to a kitchen or living area in place of recessed lighting. They’re also excellent for windowless bathrooms.
8. Sun tunnels can be installed with rigid or flexible ducting, depending on how much light reflection you’d like.
Sun tunnels come in two models – flexible tunnels and rigid tunnels. Rigid sun tunnels work best when a straight-line installation from roof to room is needed, or for an area with no obstructions. Flexible sun tunnels work around any roof cavity obstructions (within reason). The reflective tunnel ensures a good, bright light that reaches the areas it’s supposed to.
9. Sun tunnel skylights are leakproof.
Completely sealed from the roofline downwards, sun tunnels are very much worry-free. Because they have a very small footprint and entry point into your home and do not open, sun tunnels are extremely unlikely to leak.
Sun tunnels are a fantastic way to save on energy and illuminate your home. At Budget Glass, we love glass! We’ll be happy to help you discover the many benefits of sun tunnels or skylights for your home and can work one on one with you to ensure a seamless installation. For more information on this and other residential glass products and services we provide, please call our Nanaimo office at (250) 758 – 3374 or send us an email to get started.