What is a Sun Tunnel?

The concept of tubular skylights has been around for almost 2 decades but every so often I’m reminded that many folks don’t know what they are and have certainly never seen one (or didn’t realize what they were seeing!)

Just the other night I was meeting friends for a game of basketball at the gym and they happened to notice
my car’s license plate…

Just a few guys knew what it meant.  Hmmm, guess there’s still lots to do in the department
of product education!

So, here goes, in case you aren’t familiar…

A Sun Tunnel is a tubular skylight and a big departure from traditional skylights for several important
reasons:

1) The tube runs from your ceiling to your roof through the attic or crawl space and can be installed in locations throughout your house that traditional skylights may not be workable.  Sun Tunnels can either be rigid or flexible tubes and come in different diameters.   Larger diameters are appropriate for larger rooms.  Rigid tubes are appropriate for shorter “runs” (the distance the tube must reach) and straight runs make for an easier installation.  Flexible tubes can bend through the attic if there are obstructions or to reach an advantageous roof exposure.

2) One of the first questions people have about Sun Tunnels concerns what they actually look like in the ceiling and on the roof.  Here are a couple of shots to help you out.  The veluxusa.com website is a great resource for more inspirational photos.

Here’s what a Sun Tunnel looks like in bathroom.  They work well in so many other places…kitchens, great rooms, hallways, laundry rooms, garages and on and on…

Here’s a Sun Tunnel on a roof…the neighborhood may never notice the addition!

3) Yes, there are several brands of tubular skylights.  You definitely get what you pay for as far as the least expensive brands available at big-box stores.  However, you can pay more than you need to with well-known brands who tend to charge for the “extras”…longer tubing, etc.  Velux Sun Tunnels are manufactured by the largest residential skylight manufacturer in the world…probably why the name “Sun Tunnel” is now being used to refer to tubular skylights, just as “Kleenex” is to facial tissue. 

Just as a point of reference, a Sun Tunnel installation by one of my 5-Star Certified Velux installers will run anywhere from $500 to $700, based on the size of the tube and type of roof.

Speaking of the roof, Sun Tunnels can be installed on tile roofs…we work with tile roof specialists to ensure quality installations.

For those DIY homeowners out there,  this is a potential DIY project  ..you can buy the Sun Tunnel kit from us if this is your cup of tea!  I’d suggest taking a good long look at your roof…what looks easy from the ground is quite often quite different when you’ve climbed a tall ladder.

Finally, the rigid Sun Tunnels are qualifying for the 30% energy tax credit until the end of 2010.

Hopefully, this has been a good introduction to Sun Tunnels….please don’t hesitate to call if you have
any additional questions!  913.492.2989
Jeff

photos courtesy of Velux and my camera!