What is a Sun Tunnel? Everything You Need To Know

What is a Sun Tunnel? Everything You Need To Know

May 07 2024

At Restoration Roofing in Collierville, TN, we’ve witnessed a surge in homeowners seeking to brighten their homes naturally with skylights and sun tunnels. While traditional skylights offer a direct view of the sky, they aren’t always the best fit for every space. This is where sun tunnels, an innovative alternative, come into play.

Understanding Sun Tunnels

Sun tunnels, sometimes referred to as “solar tubes,” consist of an acrylic dome on the roof connected to a light diffuser in the ceiling via a reflective tube. This design allows them to illuminate rooms without direct sunlight, making them ideal for spaces away from the roof’s edge.

There are two types of sun tunnels—flexible and rigid—each suited to different spatial configurations between your roof and ceiling. Flexible sun tunnels can navigate around obstacles in tight spaces, while rigid sun tunnels provide a direct path for light in clearer vertical lines. Each type ensures that you can select a light diffuser that matches your home’s aesthetics.

How Sun Tunnels Work

By employing the principles of reflection, sun tunnels capture light through an acrylic dome, amplify it, and channel it down through a reflective tube to a diffuser, brightening any room without the intensity of direct sunlight. This technology provides a softer, more ambient light to darker areas of your home.

Installation Expertise at Restoration Roofing

As the only 5-star VELUX-certified installer in the Midsouth, our team at Restoration Roofing is uniquely qualified to install skylights and sun tunnels. We have undergone extensive training with VELUX to ensure every installation is performed accurately and maintains the integrity of your warranty.

How is a Sun Tunnel Installed?

The specific type of sun tunnel suitable for your home depends largely on your attic’s layout. Despite this, the installation process remains consistent across both types of sun tunnels. Here’s a step-by-step overview:

  1. Preparation: Openings are precisely cut in both your roof and the corresponding areas of your ceiling.
  2. Tube Installation: The reflective tube is then carefully positioned and extended from the roof to the ceiling.
  3. Acrylic Dome Placement: On the roof, the acrylic dome is securely installed at the upper end of the tube.
  4. Light Diffuser Setup: At the interior ceiling end, the light diffuser is mounted to evenly distribute the light captured by the dome.

The entire installation typically takes about three hours with a two-person team. However, installations involving rigid sun tunnels may require additional time if obstructions in the attic space must be navigated.

Do Sun Tunnels Leak?

While any roof installation has the potential for leaks, sun tunnels are designed to be resilient. Most leaks are due to incorrect installation or subpar craftsmanship. Issues might arise around the acrylic dome or its flashing if not properly sealed, but with correct installation, sun tunnels should remain leak-free for the duration of their material lifespan. Typically, the acrylic dome might need replacement after about 10 years, and the tube itself after about 20 years.

How Much Light Does a Sun Tunnel Provide?

Unlike traditional skylights that offer a direct view of the sky, sun tunnels use a sealed tube to channel light into your home. They provide substantial natural light but not as much as direct skylights. Sun tunnels are particularly effective for lighting interior spaces that lack direct access to external walls, such as hallways, bathrooms, and closets.

Cost of Installing a Sun Tunnel

Installing a sun tunnel can range from $850 to $2,250, with variations depending on the complexity of the installation, the length of the tube, and the chosen materials. While the cost of materials like the acrylic dome and tube generally remains constant, labor costs can vary significantly between contractors. Always ensure you are working with a reputable installer like Restoration Roofing to guarantee proper installation and to take full advantage of our specialized training with VELUX products.

Benefits of Choosing Restoration Roofing

Choosing Restoration Roofing means not only receiving expert installation but also the peace of mind that comes with our exclusive partnership with VELUX. This partnership allows us to offer unique skylight solutions, backed by a commitment to quality and durability. Plus, our installations include an added layer of professional assurance with every skylight and sun tunnel fitting securely and seamlessly into your home’s architectural design.

Is a Sun Tunnel Right for Your Home?

Sun tunnels offer a quick and efficient way to enhance natural light in your home’s darker spaces, such as hallways, laundry rooms, and bathrooms. However, the choice between a sun tunnel and a skylight often depends on your specific lighting goals and room configuration. At Restoration Roofing, we provide personalized consultations to help determine the best natural lighting solutions for your home.

For professional installation of skylights and sun tunnels, or to learn more about how these solutions can transform your space, contact Restoration Roofing, your trusted 5-star VELUX installer in the Midsouth.

For all your roofing needs, trust the experts at Restoration Roofing. We’re more than just a Collierville TN roofing company; we’re your partners in home protection. Contact us today!

Give us a call at 901-854-3402 or fill out our Contact Us form and we will reach out to you with our next available inspection. Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more tips on finding the best roofing contractor for you.