Roofing

Skylights & Sun Tunnels, The Need to Know

Introducing natural light to our homes through windows and skylights improves not just the health of our living environment but also our moods and physical health. Natural daylight regulates our circadian rhythms, improving our sleeping and eating patterns and contributing to our general good health.

Although modern buildings incorporate this concept into their designs, many older buildings tend to have smaller windows and reduced natural light. At Authentic Restoration, we see many clients considering the installation of skylights or a sun tunnel as part of their home renovations.

A Closer Look at Skylights & Sun Tunnels

With such an extensive range of products on the market, it may be difficult to know which one is right for you. So, in short, here’s what you need to know about your natural light options:

Skylights

A skylight is attached directly to the roof of your home, allowing light to enter the space beneath it. They are great for attic or garage restorations and are an ideal way of transforming an area into a brightly lit and habitable space.

The Pros:

  • Modern skylights are sleek, energy efficient and come in a vast range of designs, with the potential to allow fresh air and extra warmth into your home.
  • Reduced need for artificial lighting and heating may contribute to lower fuel costs.
  • Solar blinds can complement your skylight, further increasing energy efficiency.

The Cons:

  • Initial installation can be costly and inconvenient as it may involve new drywall and paint.
    Restricted to internal spaces with a direct outside wall, i.e., roof space
  • Overtime, skylights may require some roof repair work or in the worst case scenario, replacement

Sun Tunnels

Also known as a sun tube or tubular skylight, sun tunnels can bring natural daylight to any poorly lit area of a home without direct access to an outside wall. They are ideal for bringing sunlight into interior spaces such as closets, utility rooms or bathrooms.

How Do They Work?

A sun tunnel gathers light through a weather-sealed globe installed on your roof. It then channels the light through a polished sheet metal tube to your chosen room. The reflective surface acts as a mirror, directing light through the length of the tube, without losing its intensity. What does this mean? In short, the light level that reaches say, a basement room via the sun tunnel, will still be as bright as the light on the rooftop.

The Pros:

  • Great for “green” construction projects as they’re entirely air and weather tight.
  • Installation is usually a fraction of the cost of skylight installation.
  • More versatile than a skylight for “awkward,” poorly lit spaces that may otherwise go unused.
  • Reduced need for artificial lighting lowers energy costs.

The Cons:

  • Because they’re fully sealed, they are unable to be opened to allow ventilation or fresh air into your home.
  • The cost to install may increase if your sun tunnel needs to go through multiple stories in your house to reach a lower level room.

Which One is Right for My Home?

Knowing which product is best for your space comes down to various factors including personal choice, room requirements, and budget. Authentic Restoration recommends discussing your options with a reputable building contractor to find out which option best suits you.