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Sun Tunnels and Skylights are great ways to bring natural light into dark areas of your home.  Can’t decide which will work best for you?  Here’s what you need to know:

Sun Tunnels  

A sun tunnel is essentially a small window–typically 10” or 14”–that is installed on your roof.  Light enters through a weather proof, UV resistant, plastic dome.  It then travels through a reflective tube of sheet metal.  The sheet metal acts similar to a mirror, allowing light to bounce through.  It ends in a diffuser in your ceiling, which spreads the light throughout your space.

Sun tunnels can go directly through your attic space, and even to your first floor, without interfering with existing fixtures. 

Benefits?

  • Bring natural light into your home.
  • Easy, straightforward installation.
  • The diffuser can have a solar light inside, which stores energy. This means that you can have light at night, without using traditional electricity.
  • Potentially eligible for energy and solar credits.
  • Extremely energy efficient, and blocks UV rays.
  • Affordable.
  • Can often be installed where skylights and other windows are not practical, or even an option (ex: hallways, bathrooms, closets, laundry rooms, etc).
  • It is a sealed system that is well insulated—so you will not experience any noticeable heating or cooling loss.

Drawbacks?

  • Sun tunnels do not open and close.
  • While they bring significant light to an area, they do not offer a view of the sky.
  • Very few size and shape options.

Skylights

A skylight is essentially a window installed on your roof.  They typically range in size from 14”-72” and come in a variety of shapes—square, rectangle, circle, etc.   

Benefits

  • Bring natural light into your home.
  • Many models (“vented” skylights) open and close, allowing for fresh air. Some can be controlled remotely, and others even auto close when it rains!
  • Offers an unobstructed view of the sky.
  • Often increase a home’s resale value.
  • Many options to fit any roof and aesthetic.
  • Can be energy efficient, and Energy Star rated.

Drawbacks

  • Installation is longer, and more complex. It can involve cutting out rafters, and reinforcing other rafters.
  • Higher risk of leaks if not installed properly.
  • Generally costs more than a sun tunnel.
  • The room where the skylight is installed must have direct access to the roof.

Both sun tunnels and skylights are great ways to brighten up any area of your home.  We can help you evaluate the spaces in your home, and help determine which might be best for you. Contact us today for a free residential evaluation and estimate, 585-400-7663 or office@400roof.com.