Skylights and Sun Tunnels: A Complete Guide

Want to bring natural light into your home? That’s understandable. Sunlight is so much warmer than artificial light. It can also help you reduce your energy usage. You have a couple of options to achieve your goal – skylights and sun tunnels. Not sure which is right for you or even what the difference might be? Let’s talk about it!


Skylights are more like windows installed in your ceiling than actual lights. They use a domed cover usually made from high-quality plastic or glass and allow large amounts of natural light into the space below. Skylights can be installed singly, in pairs, or in multiples. They’re great additions to almost any room in the home, but particularly for areas like the kitchen and any room where you want more light. 

However, skylights can be expensive to install. They also require cutting through your roof and may not be the right choice for all homes, particularly if you have an attic or significant space between your roof and the ceilings in your home.

Sun Tunnels

Sun tunnels are probably less familiar to most homeowners. These innovations allow you to capture sunlight from outside the home and then route it into your interior spaces without the need to install large skylights. 

While size and form factor will vary from home to home, a sun tunnel basically involves cutting a circular hole in the roof and installing a solar collector with a plastic or glass cover. That connects to a tube that’s been lined with a highly reflective material that bounces natural light down its length. It terminates in the ceiling of the room where you want additional light.

Sun tunnels can be installed singly, in pairs, or multiples. They don’t provide as much light as skylights, but they’re not as costly and don’t require as much work to install. They’re perfect if you’re looking for an unobtrusive way to add light to specific spaces, like your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room.

Making Your Decision

As you can see, skylights and sun tunnels both do the same basic job. However, they’re pretty dissimilar. Not sure which is right for your home? Want to talk about your options? Get in touch with us today to learn more about skylights versus sun tunnels and how each can improve the lighting in your home.

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