Should I Install a Skylight or a Sun Tunnel?
Posted in: Architecture
On July 31, 2023

Should I Install a Skylight or a Sun Tunnel?

Sun tunnels and skylights are a great way to add more natural light into a home. This can help you save on energy bills by requiring less artificial lighting to brighten a space. Some homeowners want to bring in more natural light to great a more cheerful space. Most times, the layout of the space that you want more natural light in will help you determine whether you need a sun tunnel or a skylight. 

What Is a Sun Tunnel?

Install a Skylight or a Sun Tunnel

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You may have heard of a skylight, but what is a sun tunnel? Sun tunnels are highly reflective tubes that channel sunlight into a room from your roof. Oftentimes, they are installed in rooms that skylights could not reach. They can even provide natural light to the first floor of a two-story home. 

Sun tunnels come in two options: flexible or rigid. The type you get will be dependent on the room that you are trying to install it in. The roof and ceiling are both factors that impact which sun tunnel you can install. When a skylight contractor comes to your home, they can assess the area where you want the sun tunnel and determine which option works best in your space. 

Natural Light

Install a Skylight or a Sun Tunnel

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Consider the layout of the room in your home where you want the skylight or sun tunnel. Does it already have any natural light? Skylights and sun tunnels are both great ways to add more natural light to a space. Sun tunnels can help you reach areas of the home that skylights may not be able to provide natural light for. For example, a first-floor kitchen in the center of a two-story home would need a sun tunnel, as a skylight could not reach the first floor of a two-story home. 

If you have a room where either a skylight or a sun tunnel can be installed, you may determine that you want a skylight to let more light in. Sun tunnels use a reflective tube to bring in sunlight. With skylights, you receive more direct sunlight, as it is a direct window to the outdoors.  

Skylight or Sun Tunnel Location

Install a Skylight or a Sun Tunnel

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The location that you want to install a skylight or sun tunnel in can also help you determine which one to choose. Because skylights are direct windows to the outdoors, you may not be able to install them in every room. This is especially true to homes that are more than one story. 

Other factors that impact whether you install a skylight or sun tunnel include the ceiling and roof. Skylight contractors are experts in determining the best location in a space to install a skylight or sun tunnel. Some locations in your space may be more ideal than others. They will be able to break this down for you to help you plan your home renovation project. 

Time and Labor

Install a Skylight or a Sun Tunnel

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Sun tunnels are known to be easier to install than skylights. Skylights require more time and labor to install. For this reason, as well as the cost of the materials themselves, sun tunnels tend to be the more cost-efficient option. Skylights require roofing contractors to make a frame for the skylight, cut out drywall, reinstall drywall, and add flashing. A sun tunnel can be installed using less people. It requires cutting a hole in the roof to the ceiling, fitting a tube down the hole, and installing a dome on the roof end of the tube. 

Federal Solar Tax Credit

Only certain skylights qualify for the federal solar tax credit, which allows you to receive a 30% tax credit for the skylight installation. Unfortunately, sun tunnels will not qualify for the federal solar tax credit. If you want to qualify for the federal solar tax credit, you will need to install a specific type of solar powered skylight. The skylight contractor you choose to install the qualifying skylight will not impact your eligibility. Therefore, you can choose the most experience skylight contractor to help you complete your home renovation project.  

Read more:
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