Our Expert Guide to Buying a Sun Tunnel®

Everything You Need To Know and More

Why you need a Sun Tunnel® Skylight?

Natural light from above is a powerful design tool, accentuating the look and feel of your home throughout the day. But what about your interior rooms? The small bathrooms, closets, and other nooks and crannies where you’d love to have natural light, but there just isn’t room for a window or skylight? Enter: VELUX Sun Tunnel skylights, also known as solar daylighting tubes.

With VELUX Sun Tunnel® Skylights, you can brighten and reshape the way your home feels and functions. The addition of natural light in traditionally small and dark places can revitalize a home while boosting its occupants’ mood and well-being. For a simple daylight solution, VELUX Sun Tunnel skylights are easy to install, maintain, and operate – so it’s even easier to see why they’ll fit right into your home.

Your Biggest Sun Tunnel® Concerns Answered

Do Sun Tunnel® Skylights Leak?

Not a bit! VELUX Sun Tunnel® Skylights are specially designed and fitted with metal flashing to prevent leaks during heavy rain or humid conditions. During installation, Sun Tunnel skylights also require a smaller opening than traditional skylights, so there is less wear and tear on your roof, ensuring a weather-tight seal.

How strong are Sun Tunnel® Skylights?

If you live in an area with harsh seasonal conditions like hurricanes or wildfires, you may be hesitant to cut a hole in your roof for a Sun Tunnel. But VELUX Sun Tunnel skylights are built to withstand Mother Nature on even her angriest days! With a variety of tough polycarbonate domes and specially designed glass options, including Wildfire and Hurricane Resistant Glass, Sun Tunnel skylights stand strong while meeting stringent housing codes and requirements.

Do Sun Tunnel® Skylights make a space hotter?

Whenever you open a space to let in more daylight, you run the risk of letting in more heat too. That’s why VELUX Sun Tunnel skylights are designed to maximize natural light while minimizing the heat associated with it. Our Sun Tunnel skylights are built with UV-resistant domes or glass to help keep the temperature of your home balanced on hot summer days as well as during the cold winter months. Sun Tunnel skylights are also equipped with a diffuser to softly disperse incoming light and help prevent the excessive heat gain that comes from more direct daylight.

All About VELUX Sun Tunnel® Skylight

So far in this guide, we have used the term “Sun Tunnel” to refer to this particular line of skylights. In general, these skylights are known as “solar daylighting tubes.” By definition, a solar daylighting tube is a system of tube-shaped pipes that capture and disperse sunlight to different parts of your home. And at VELUX, we call it a Sun Tunnel®!

VELUX Sun Tunnel® Skylights – or solar daylighting tubes – consist of either a polycarbonate dome or flat glass roof application. The dome or glass is installed on your roof and allows light from the sun to travel down a highly reflective tube. Natural light travels down the tube and is softly dispersed through a diffuser installed in your ceiling.

The smaller size and adaptability of solar daylighting tubes are what make the VELUX Sun Tunnel® a game changer. More versatile than traditional skylights, a Sun Tunnel® is easy to install, affordable, and best of all, it can brighten up those hard-to-reach places with natural light.

What Sun Tunnel® Options Do I Have?

When it comes to Sun Tunnel® skylights, variety is mainly found between the exterior flashing options. VELUX offers multiple flashing options for pitched and flat roofs to keep your Sun Tunnel® leak-free while providing as much light as possible. Read on to learn more about these different options.

Pitched Metal Dome

For an equal collection of abundant sunlight from all angles, our well-designed Pitched Metal Dome is the standard on all VELUX Sun Tunnel® Skylights. In addition to a direct and consistent flow of natural light into your home throughout the day, this dome and flashing set also provides a straighter tube run through most roof pitches for a universal fit that is easy to install.

Low-Profile Metal Dome

For a more discreet look, VELUX offers the Low-Profile Metal Dome for our rigid and flexible Sun Tunnel® Skylights. Ideal for south-, west-, and east-facing roofs, this high-impact dome collects available daylight while its parallel design allows it to blend easily into your roofline.

Curb Metal Dome

For low roof slopes and tile roofs, we offer the Curb Metal Dome for rigid Sun Tunnel® Skylights. This clear, UV-resistant dome collects light while sitting atop a deck-mounted curb designed to create an airtight seal and prevent leaks.

Low-Profile Flat Glass

Built without a dome for a completely blended appearance on your roofline, Low-Profile Flat Glass with flashing is a great option in areas with strict HOA rules or where local ordinances prohibit acrylic domes on roofs. Because they lay flat on the roof, this option is ideal for installing on south-facing roofs.

Sun Tunnel® Sizes

For residential applications, we offer Sun Tunnel® Skylights in two sizes: 10” and 14” diameters. Your Sun Tunnel® installer will help you determine which size will fit your space best and provide the perfect amount of daylight.

Sun Tunnel® Tubes

When it comes to the tubing of your Sun Tunnel®, there are two options: rigid and flexible. Your Sun Tunnel® installer will determine which style of tube is appropriate for your installation based on the length of the tube needed, as well as your roof and attic setup.

Rigid Sun Tunnel® Skylight

If you have an unobstructed attic or a clear line between your roof and ceiling, the rigid tubing for VELUX Sun Tunnel® Skylights can help brighten your space with natural light! Rigid tubing can be maneuvered slightly, but it works best and delivers brighter light when used for long runs.

Go Solar: Sun Tunnel® Skylights installed with rigid tubes and the Solar Night Light are eligible for a federal solar tax credit based on the total cost of product and installation.

Flexible Sun Tunnel® Skylight

For an attic space that requires a bit more maneuvering, VELUX offers flexible tubing for Sun Tunnel® Skylights. Flexible tubes are recommended when you have obstacles like piping or an HVAC system in your loft or attic space to work around. And because of their maneuverability, they are our easiest product to install, making them the ideal daylighting solution for small spaces.

Sun Tunnel Accessories

From decorative diffusers that will add the perfect finishing touch, to a powered daylight controller to manage the amount of sunlight that enters a room, VELUX has all the accessories needed to complete your VELUX Sun Tunnel®.

All About Sun Tunnel® Installation

Sun Tunnel® Installation Process

Installing a Sun Tunnel® can take as little as an afternoon to install from beginning to end.

The exterior part of the installation process involves your installer going into the attic to check on rafter locations and take measurements to properly mark off where the ceiling and roof holes will go. After that, they will cut a hole in the roof to install the top collar, the upper portion of the tube, the lens, and finally the flashing.

After the exterior portion is finished, your installer will begin the work inside by cutting a hole in the ceiling to install the lower portion of the reflective tube that connects and seals the two holes that have been made so far. The last step involves installing the diffuser and trim ring to the ceiling. After cleaning up, you are free to enjoy the beautiful natural light!

Sun Tunnel® Skylight Cost

The cost of your Sun Tunnel® is determined by your model and the installation rate set by your installer. Check out the chart below for an estimate of how much product and installation costs for each Sun Tunnel®.

Installing Sun Tunnel® Skylight In Your Home

There are two main ways to install a Sun Tunnel® in your home: with an installer or roofer, or as a DIY option. Because Sun Tunnel® Skylights can be a complex home DIY project involving roof work and correct installation to receive warranty coverage, we recommend installing or replacing your own only if you have experience working with them before.

Installer vs DIY

Choosing to work with a professional for your Sun Tunnel® journey involves an installer or general roofer coming to your home and working with you on design, planning, and pricing. Ideally, the installer will have your desired Sun Tunnel® in stock and can quickly install it. Otherwise, they will have to order it from the manufacturer.

To DIY your Sun Tunnel® installation, you’ll need to buy the tube, interior and exterior parts through an authorized dealer such as Lowes, Home Depot, or other home improvement store. Typically, authorized dealers are staffed by knowledgeable employees that can help you answer any questions you have on the installation process. For VELUX Sun Tunnel® Skylights, you’ll also need to make sure to install them with VELUX flashing to ensure warranty coverage.

Sun Tunnel® Maintenance

How easy is it to maintain a Sun Tunnel® Skylight? Quite easy! Since the majority of a Sun Tunnel® is tucked away in the attic, post-installation maintenance is typically only needed for the diffuser lens. Regular care and cleaning of the diffuser can help prevent condensation while ensuring consistently bright light.

To clean a diffuser, simply remove the lenses by rotating the bottom lens counterclockwise until it releases. Both lenses should detach easily from the end of the tube. The upper frosted lens and lower clear lens will come apart and can be cleaned separately.

For answers to all your post-installation questions and more information about Sun Tunnel® maintenance, check out our Aftercare Guide for VELUX Sun Tunnel® Skylights!

More Questions? Talk with a VELUX Trusted Advisor

We tried to cover everything in this Sun Tunnel® Buying Guide, but if you still have questions call, text, or chat with a VELUX Trusted Advisor! They’re available to answer any questions you have about Sun Tunnel® Skylights, your home’s daylight design options, scheduling an installation, budgeting, and more!

Customer Stories

Installers and homeowners alike love VELUX Sun Tunnel® Skylights! Check out the stories below from real homeowners about their daylight transformations.