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A Guide to Sun Tunnels

A Guide to Sun Tunnels

A guide to Sun Tunnels

There is not much science behind the design of a Sun Tunnel Rooflight. Glazing installed in to the roof area, with a highly reflective tube or tunnel that sends sunlight through to the room below - simple! But there are a few options available on the market and choosing the right product for you will make all the difference to achieving your final goal.

Sun Tunnels are also referred to as Sun Tubes, Solar Tubes, Light Tunnels, Solar Pipes and Tubular Skylights.

Sun Tunnels are a perfect option for providing natural light into corridors, stairwells, bathrooms, small rooms and cupboards, under pitched or flat roofs, where installation of a roof window or flat roof rooflight is not possible.

Sun Tunnels are also a cheaper alternative to Roof Windows or Flat Roof Skylights which is why they are becoming a more and more popular choice of Skylight to install.

So there a few options available but nothing majorly different between manufacturers, so you shouldnt get a headache when choosing the right Sun Tunnel for you. Lets run over the options.

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Rigid or Flexible Sun Tunnel

Rigid or Flexible Sun Tunnel?

Probably the most common question asked. Should I get a Flexible Tube or Rigid Tube Sun Tunnel? Now typically a Rigid Tube does give better light transmittance, but this doesnt mean you should write-off a Flexi Tube just yet.

Rigid Sun Tubes
The more expensive option of the two tubes but they do offer a direct path to the room below and usually give off more light compared to a flexi tube.

What distance does your Tube need to travel? If you have a long distance to travel from the Glazing to the Room (Over 2 meters) I would suggest a rigid tube to get the maximum daylight. But note that most Flexi Tube Kits come with a 2 - 3 Meter Tube so this is still an option. If you have a lot of bends in the tube then a Flexi Tube will be easier when it comes to installation; and cheaper!

Rigid Tubes can be purchased with additional Elbows and Straight Pipe sections if needed.

Flexi Tube
Perfect for shorter distances, especially on Flat Roofs where you may not need any more than a meter of tube! In this sort of scenario you wouldnt see a huge difference between the two tubes so a Flexi Tube is the obvious choice, being the cheaper of the two.

Sun Tunnel Accessories
What size do I need for my room?

What size Sun Tunnel do I need for my room?

Most Sun Tube Kits are available in sizes from 250mm Diameter to 550mm Diameter. This gives you a good range to choose from depending on the size of the room you are trying to brighten.

250mm Sun Tube - Perfect for room sizes up to 10m2. (Hallways, Small Bathrooms)

350 - 450mm Sun Tubes - Perfect for rooms 10 to 15m2. Larger Hallways, Stairwells and Bathrooms.

550mm Sun Tube - Ideal for rooms 15 - 22m2. Kitchens, Bedrooms, Living Rooms.

We always reccomend installing the largest size you can in to any room, it may mean that if you have a very large room you will need multiple Tunnels to get the best result.

Can Sun Tubes work on my roof?

Can a Sun Tunnel work on my roof?

Yes! Is the answer in short. Sun Tunnels have been designed to work on Flat Roofs as well as Pitched Roofs. We have put these in to two categories on our website.

Flat Roof Kits usually consist of a Dome Glazing and don't usually require a flashing kit. They would require the flashing of the waterproofing you are using on the flat roof, to be lapped up the timber upstand (Or PVC Upstand if the kit offers this) Flat Roof kits will work with EPDM, Felt, GRP and all Single Ply Membranes on the market.

Pitched Roof Kits usually come with a choice of flashing kits to suit the Tile or Slate you are using. This includes Plain Tiles, Plain Slates, High Profile Tiles and even Corrugated Roofs.

Both kits usually come in the same range of sizes and both options will offer the Flexible or Rigid Tube system.

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Glazing options

Glazing options

Typically you will find that Flat Roof Kits come with a Domed Polycarbonate Glazing, to ensure rainwater runs off the Glazing.

Pitched Roof Kits do also offer this type of glazing, but at The Skylight Company we have chosen a range of contemporary and minimal glazing options.

Our kits for Pitched Roofs will offer a flush, flat glass glazing. As this options is a lot less visible, we feel this gives the best aesthetical finish. This also allows you to blend the glazing in with existing windows and blend in with your roof material.

Our Flat Roof Kits come with a clear polycarbonate glazing, which gives maximum daylight entry.

Currently we offer kits from FAKRO, VELUX and our own Sun Tunnels. All of which are usually availble in a matter of days. Each kit has slightly different visuals but the principle of each kit is the same.

If you are still unsure of anything then do not hesitate to call our team today.


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