The Comprehensive Guide To Sun Tunnels: Bring Natural Light To Your Home

The Comprehensive Guide to Sun Tunnels: Bring Natural Light to Your Home

By Angelina Zhuravleva  •  August 09, 2023  •  4 min
The Comprehensive Guide to Sun Tunnels: Bring Natural Light to Your Home

Ever wish you could bring more natural light into your home without costly renovations or skylights? Sun tunnels, also known as tubular skylights or solar tubes, are an affordable solution to brighten up dim spaces. As you shop for sun tunnels, you'll discover a few options based on your needs and budget. The good news is, with some basic knowledge, you can select the perfect sun tunnel for any room in your home. 

In this guide, you'll learn about the different types of sun tunnels, how they work, and what to consider when choosing the right one for your space. By the end, you'll be well on your way to enjoying the warm glow of natural light in rooms you never thought possible. Let's get started! 

The Different Types of Sun Tunnels 

When it comes to sun tunnels, you've got options. The major types are:  

  • Tubular skylights: These are the most common and inexpensive. They're essentially metal or plastic tubes that channel light from your roof into your home. 
  • Solar tube skylights: These add a reflective tube to better direct light. They provide brighter light than basic tubular skylights but at a higher cost. 
  • Light pipes: These use lenses and mirrors to capture and reflect light. They deliver very bright, focused light but are the most expensive type. Only choose these if you need a lot of light in a specific area. 
  • Hybrid skylights combine tubes with a traditional skylight dome for maximum light coverage. The dome captures light from all directions while the tube directs it into your home. These provide the most natural light but at the highest cost. 

In the end, you need to weigh your needs versus your budget. Tubular skylights should work great if you want basic natural light and an energy-efficient option. But a hybrid or solar tube skylight may be better if you want to illuminate a whole room or supplement electric lights. The key is choosing a size and type that will give you the light you need to enjoy the benefits of natural illumination. After all, studies show natural light improves health, productivity, and mood. 

Key Considerations When Choosing a Sun Tunnel 


The size of the sun tunnel you choose depends on how much natural light you want to bring into your space. For a small area like a hallway or powder room, a 10-inch or 14-inch diameter tunnel should suffice. For larger rooms, go with a 20-inch or 22-inch size. The larger the tunnel, the more light it will transmit. Consult with a professional sun tunnel contractor in your area to choose the perfect sun tunnel for your space. 


Sun tunnels come in a variety of materials:  

  • Acrylic: Inexpensive but prone to discoloration and scratches over time. 
  • Polycarbonate: Impact-resistant, durable and affordable. A popular, middle-of-the-road option. 
  • Glass: The most expensive but also the clearest, highest quality material. Tempered glass is impact-resistant. 

Choose a material based on your budget and how long you expect to use the sun tunnel. A more durable material like polycarbonate or glass is a smart choice for installation in an attic or other potentially high-traffic area. 

Reflective Tubing 

Sun tunnel system for transporting natural daylight into the room

The reflective tubing, or the light pipe, transports the light from your roof into your home.  

  • Aluminum: Highly reflective and affordable but dents easily. 
  • Polycarbonate: Impact-resistant, still quite reflective, and a step up from aluminum. 
  • Hybrid: An aluminum/polycarbonate composite for high reflectance and durability. 

Longer light pipes, especially those with bends, will benefit from a highly reflective material to maximize the amount of light transmitted. 


Seeking the expertise of a professional to install a robust and long-lasting sun tunnel is highly advised. This guarantees the best possible light yield and the ideal positioning and alignment. Furthermore, a professional installation ensures that the sun tunnel is securely integrated into your roof structure, minimizing any potential for leakage or structural issues down the line. The expert can also provide valuable advice on maintaining and caring for your sun tunnel, helping you enjoy its benefits for many years. 

Pros and Cons of Sun Tunnels, Tubular Skylights, and Roof Hatches 

Sun tunnels, tubular skylights, and roof hatches have unique pros and cons. 

Sun tunnels, or tubular skylights, are a cost-effective and minimally invasive solution, capturing sunlight on the roof and redirecting it into your home through a reflective tube. However, they might provide less light than a conventional skylight and can pose installation challenges in homes with attics. 

On the other hand, roof hatches enable attic access and allow natural light in, proving to be a relatively budget-friendly choice. Yet, they may provide less light than a skylight, require a hole in your roof, and can be challenging to weatherproof and insulate. It's crucial to weigh these factors when deciding which option is best suited to your needs. 

Directorii: Your Source in Finding The Best Sun Tunnels Contractors in Your Area 

So there, you have everything you need to know to choose the perfect sun tunnel for your home. Whether you want to brighten a dark hallway or bring natural light into the center of your house, sun tunnels are an innovative solution. With different sizes, shapes, and features to suit any space, you can find an option that fits your needs and budget. 

For assistance installing a sun tunnel, utilize Directorii to find the most qualified contractors to install it properly. You can search for local specialists, read reviews, receive free estimates, and compare sun tunnel contractors in your area on Directorii. Begin your search today!

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