FAQS – Sun Tunnel
Q. What is a Sun Tunnel?
A. Referred to in the trade as a “Tubular Skylight” the VELUX Sun Tunnel® is a portal allowing sunlight into a dark area of a home or office. We usually use Sun Tunnels in bathrooms, closets or dark hallways often in the center of a structure where a skylight would be a poor choice due to the distance from the ceiling to the roof.
Q. How do they work?
A. Very simple; by reflecting daylight from a dome flashed on the roof, through a highly polished or mirrored duct, to a ceiling-mounted diffuser.
It is amazing how much light a Sun Tunnel brings into the room and what a change they make to a home or office.
Q. Where do you install most Sun Tunnels?
A. Bathrooms and hallways are probably our most frequent installations, but family rooms and kitchens are close behind. Sun Tunnels can bring light into the center of a home which is often beneath the tallest part of the attic. They can traverse up to twenty feet through the attic.
They are a very cost-effective way to bring daylight into a living space. We seldom install Sun Tunnels in bedrooms and we rarely install only one Sun Tunnel on a home.
Q. What is the difference between VELUX and other brands of tubular skylights?
A. We like to think that VELUX Sun Tunnels are the best tubular skylights on the market. They offer a 20-year warranty on their reflective coating, which is a process other off-brand units have trouble replicating.
Beware of cheaper units as they often have trouble keeping the shiny interior of the ducts from crazing or separating from the metal over time.
And others claims concerning a percent of light transfer are difficult to verify. Houseworks does not recommend the flexible tubing or duct…it just doesn’t provide the light that the rigid product does.
Q. What sizes are available?
A. VELUX manufacturers two sizes of residential Sun Tunnels, 14″ and 10″. We sell and install the 14″ primarily because it brings in so much light. The 10″ is often used in older houses where the distance between the structural lumber does not permit a 14″Sun Tunnel.
The 14″ Sun Tunnel has literally twice the reflective surface of the smaller units and brings in about twice the light. We also carry a 22″ commercial Sun Tunnel but that is seldom used in residential applications.
Q. What does a Sun Tunnel cost?
A. Installed we charge $1,100 for a 14″ Sun Tunnel. That price includes the first six feet through the attic. Each two-foot extension adds $90. Most of our installs need one or two extensions but we can traverse up to twenty feet through an attic without affecting the amount of light delivered below. The 10″ units are $100 less.
Q. What about at night?
A. As you might expect the Sun Tunnels really don’t bring in much light at night, but the light that comes in is blue. However, a light kit is available to make your Sun Tunnel the ceiling fixture when there is no daylight.
This internal kit hangs inside the rigid tubing and is suspended on stiff wires. A LED of almost any size can be used to light the room or hallway at night.
We recommend using a 60 watt or 75 watts equivalent warm white (2700 Kelvin). VELUX offers a solar-powered night light that will illuminate the area beneath the Sun Tunnel with about 4 watts of light.
But the real advantage; the solar night light makes the cost of the entire Sun Tunnel, including installation, eligible for a 30% Federal Tax Credit.
Call for current pricing that takes advantage of the tax credit. It may save you $100's of dollars.
Q. What goes on the roof?
A. VELUX offers four flashing options. The TMR is the standard dome used on sloped roofs. The low-profile TGR is used primarily on South-facing roofs. The glass lens TLR was developed for HOA or townhomes where rules prevent domed units. The TCR is for use on flat roofs where a curb is required.
TMR TGR TLR TCR
Q. How long will a Sun Tunnel last?
A. VELUX warrants the acrylic domes for ten years and the solid reflective tubing for 20 years. The rigid tubing in the attic should last a lifetime. As with all products we install.
Houseworks provides a ten-year comprehensive installation warranty. All warranties are transferrable if the building on which our products are installed is sold.
Q. Can I put a Sun Tunnel anywhere on my home?
A. Houseworks always verifies the location before cutting holes. Sometimes we find hidden conduit or heating/cooling ducts in the attic that interfere with a location.
Just because a location seems good inside doesn’t mean it won’t conflict with a valley or ridge on the roof. By allowing our installer to evaluate the location we head off lots of problems.
And no, we have never had much luck trying to extend a Sun Tunnel through the second floor down to the first floor or basement.
Q. How many Sun Tunnels can I have on my roof?
A. Aesthetically we don’t like to put more than two or three domes on any one face of a roof. If multiple Sun Tunnels are needed we often recommend the TLR glass lens units which are not as obvious on the roof.