McClurg's Home Remodeling Blog

How Sun Tunnels Bring Natural Light to a Room

Posted by Brian Ciota on Tue, Sep 20, 2011

Kitchen Sun TunnelSun tunnels are a relatively recent innovation. They’re designed to bring light into dark hallways, bathrooms and interior rooms that have little or no natural light, and for areas where glass skylights are not an option. A sun tunnel is a skylight that captures daylight at the roof, carries it through a tubular shaft and delivers light into your home.

The SunTunnelTM from VELUX is a product we often use because it is easy to install and emits a significant amount of natural light. VELUX says the Sun Tunnel skylight is optically engineered to capture light through a high impact dome on the roof. Light rays travel through a highly reflective tunnel, transmitting a pure natural light. A diffuser assembly at the ceiling distributes natural light evenly into a room while limiting bright spots and glare.

Sun tunnels are best suited for asphalt shingled or wood shake roofs with a slope of 14o to 60o.

VELUX manufactures two types of Sun Tunnels:

  • Flexible Tunnels with reflective tubing that resembles a shiny dryer hose and can bend around obstructions in the attic, rafters and chimney.

Sun Tunnel Options:

  • Sun Tunnel SkylightRigid sun tunnels are available in three different sizes: 10” 14” or 22” diameter tubes. Flexible tunnels are available in 14” and 21” sizes.

  • Domes are standard arcylic or polycarbonate for debris resistance. A flat glass is available in the rigid line.

  • If you are installing the product in an area of the roof with a southern exposure, consider low profile flashing that will blend with the roof line.

  • A night lighting kit, which has a light bulb in the tube to allow the light to be used in evening hours is also available.

  • A designer lamp, the Lovegrove chandelier, which uses solar lighting to generate light that matches a 60-watt bulb.

Sun tunnels are energy efficient and meet EnergyStar criteria. Sun tunnels purchased before December 31, 2011 can qualify for a 10 percent federal tax credit up to a $200 limit.

Although VELUX says sun tunnels can be installed in two hours by someone with basic carpentry skills, we recommend hiring a professional because of the hazards associated with working on a roof and the fact that most homeowners do not possess the tools required to cut into the roof.

How to Start Your Bathroom Remodeling Project

Topics: Energy Star, Tax Credits, Skylights