Tips on Choosing a Skylight or a Sun Tunnel for Your Home

If you want to bring more daylight into your home, you may wonder whether to install a skylight or a sun tunnel. Here are several tips to help you choose the best option.

Outside View

If you want an extended outdoor view, you should fit a skylight rather than a sun tunnel. A skylight is like a vertical window but on the ceiling. Being able to see the sky will create a connection with the natural world. A sun tunnel consists of a roof dome that captures light. This illumination then travels through a metal tunnel to the ceiling diffuser. With these openings, you get the benefit of extra natural daylight streaming into your home, but you won't enjoy a view of the sky.

Subtle Opening

A rectangular or square skylight automatically makes a statement and becomes a focal point in a room. This may be just what you want. However, if you want to bring more light inside in an unobtrusive way, you might prefer a sun tunnel. The ceiling diffuser is more subtle, and it can even look like a light fitting. It can be fitted with LED lights as well. As you can't see outside, it won't attract as much attention.

Heat Gain

One aspect of a skylight you need to consider is heat gain. Because they face upwards, skylights can capture more light and heat than vertical windows. This can result in rooms becoming hotter in the summer. However, you can install glazing options such as Low-E glass to counteract this effect and make your skylights more energy efficient. Sun tunnels don't tend to bring much extra heat into a room, as they consist of a smaller dome and the light needs to travel further through the tunnel. Thus, heat doesn't transfer as easily to the rooms below as it would with a traditional skylight. However, you can install remotely controlled blinds to cover a skylight to deflect heat.

Make Your Home Seem Larger

If you have a small room or a compact house, one of the reasons you may be considering a skylight is to make it feel larger and more open. If you want to create this effect, you should go with a traditional skylight to give the illusion of larger rooms. A skylight does this by breaking up the opaque ceiling and letting you see further. Plus, areas filled with light tend to seem bigger than dimly-lit rooms. If your house doesn't have an open-plan living design, a traditional skylight can help to give the impression of more openness regardless. Sun tunnels are often installed in smaller areas, such as hallways and walk-in wardrobes that don't require much illumination.