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Are Skylights or Sun Tunnels Better?

By May 22, 2023No Comments

Are skylights or sun tunnels better? Would you like to have a more illuminated environment inside your home? Letting more natural light into your home will bring several benefits. 

Besides reducing energy costs, using natural light can make our home spaces larger. 

With Louisiana Roof Crafters, you can enjoy beautiful night sky sights by installing skylights or sun tunnels. Likewise, this feature can bring more sunlight during the dark winter months, improving your mood.

Not only windows can bring in natural light to your daily life. Skylights or sun tunnels are also good alternatives.


However, how can you decide which of them to choose? You need to know the differences between them, and Louisiana Roof Crafters will show them to you here.

Skylights and Sun Tunnels

You may bring natural light into your home by skylights or sun tunnels. Both are installed through your roof. The key differences between them refer to their dimensions, placement, and appearance. Skylights are more aesthetically pleasing because of their unfiltered light and unsurpassed perspective of the sky. Meanwhile, sun tunnels are more adaptable in terms of size and placement.

What Is a Skylight?

A skylight is a window that you can install on the roof itself. It lets light from outside enter your house and offers you a glimpse of the world beyond your walls. Some skylights are open, letting in air and light. Light from skylights may help cramped quarters feel more spacious.

Two primary categories of skylights exist; they may be closed or ventilated. There is no way to open or close a fixed skylight. But a ventilated skylight allows outside air to enter the room.

It is possible to install a skylight in two ways. A curb-mounted skylight is installed onto a separate, field-built frame that elevates it above the roof surface. Deck-mounted skylights incorporate the framing into the skylight itself.

What Is a Sun Tunnel?

A sun tunnel allows sunlight to enter a room without needing traditional windows. It is more compact than a skylight and may bring sunlight into dark corners. We will commonly see sun tunnels in hallways and closets because of the beautiful effect they produce in these places. Yet, we have also installed them in kitchens and living rooms.

A sun tunnel uses an acrylic dome to collect sunlight, amplify it, and then, channel it into your home via a light diffuser. While a sun tunnel will let in some natural light, it will not provide any views or ventilation.

We can find two varieties of sun tunnels. When the hole from the ceiling to the roof is straight, you can use a rigid tunnel. Still, a flexible tunnel is a correct option when obstacles to work around exist.

How to Choose Between a Sun Tunnel and a Skylight?

As we can see, skylights and sun tunnels are the two options for bringing natural light into your home. Both offer advantages, and neither one is without flaws. Do you want more information on skylights? You can learn more, including how to install and repair them in our dedicated article.

  • Cost and Installation Time

A sun tunnel is ideal if cost or installation time are critical considerations. The cost of a sun tunnel’s materials is like that of a skylight. But its installation is far more affordable.

Installing a sun tunnel might take as little as a couple of hours and only two people. The process begins with cutting the hole. Besides, it is necessary to fit the tube and install the dome. Finally, the installers must place the diffuser. 

A skylight installation is more complex. It involves a longer process and more construction. So, it can take up to a week, depending on the size and difficulty. The procedure includes drywall cutting, framing, and skylight and drywall installation. Besides, your installer must weatherproof it with flashing and painting. 

  • The Volume of Light

While both skylights and sun tunnels bring in natural light, skylights provide more illumination. The light from a sun tunnel enters your home through a diffuser at the end of the tunnel. Previously, the light went through an acrylic dome on the roof that catches and enhances the light. Yet, a skylight is a type of window that allows light to enter a room without diffusing it.

  • Design

The design of a skylight can take many forms. They can be vaulted, pyramidal, flat, or domed. You can install tinting, glazing, UV protection, motorized blinds, or solar shades on the windows. In some cases, the doors will open, but in others, they will not. 

If you want to install a skylight, ensure you know what you are doing by reading our post “8 Points to Know Before Installing Skylights.”

On the other hand, a sun tunnel does not offer many design options. You can fit it with a dimmer or shade, a specialized diffuser, or a nightlight. Also, you can install a low-profile tunnel to preserve the flat appearance of the roof.

  • Use of Energy

Sun tunnels help you save money and natural resources by eliminating the need for artificial light. However, a skylight is your best bet if you are looking for the most efficient option. The light and heat they provide can help you save on your utility bills when combined with solar blinds.

  • Location

Are you limited on square footage? A solar tunnel is your most adaptable choice. Because of their large surface, you may only place skylights right above the room that needs illumination. 

On the contrary, a solar tunnel takes up far less room, and you may install it in dark areas like corridors and closets. You can use a bendable tube to install them in tight spaces and around obstructions. Likewise, they can span several stories, but the installation cost may be much higher.

Let the Sunshine Inside Your Home

Skylights and sun tunnels increase the resale value of a property by adding natural light and lowering energy expenses are two ways. 

Call Louisiana Roof Crafters at 985-238-4575 for more information. We service areas in Baton Rouge, Denham Springs, Hammond, Covington, Mandeville, Slidell, and New Orleans, LA.

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