Sun Tunnel vs Skylights: Choosing the Right Option for Your Home

Natural light plays a pivotal role in creating a warm and inviting atmosphere within our homes. It not only brightens up our living spaces but also enhances our overall well-being. When it comes to introducing more daylight into your home, two popular options often come to mind: Sun Tunnels and Skylights. These innovative solutions are designed to harness the power of the sun, but they differ in their mechanisms and the impact they have on your living space. 

Understand the difference between a sun tunnel vs skylights

At Artisan Quality Roofing, our Raleigh area Sun Tunnel and skylight experts are exploring the world of Sun Tunnels and Skylights, exploring their advantages, limitations, and the key factors you should consider when choosing between them. 

What are Sun Tunnels?

Sun Tunnels, also known as solar tubes or tubular skylights, are innovative devices that capture sunlight from the roof and funnel it into your home. They consist of three main components: a rooftop dome, a reflective tube, and a diffuser installed on the interior ceiling. The rooftop dome collects sunlight and directs it down the reflective tube, which then distributes the natural light into your room through the diffuser.

raleigh sun tunnels on a roof

What Are the Advantages of Sun Tunnels? 

When it comes to brightening up our living spaces with natural light, Sun Tunnels stands as a remarkable innovation. These ingenious devices have been gaining popularity for their ability to harness the sun’s radiant energy and deliver more light into our homes. If you’re curious about the advantages of a solar tube and how a Sun Tunnel can transform your living environment, you’ve come to the right place. 

Energy Efficiency

One of the primary advantages of Sun Tunnels is their energy efficiency. They allow you to harness natural light during the day, reducing your reliance on artificial lighting and, consequently, lowering your energy bills. With Sun Tunnels, you can enjoy a well-lit space without worrying about increased energy consumption.


Sun Tunnels are generally more affordable than traditional skylights. Their installation costs are lower, and they require less structural modification to your home. This makes them an attractive option for budget-conscious homeowners looking to brighten up their living spaces.

Installation Process

The installation of Sun Tunnels is relatively straightforward compared to skylights. It involves minimal disruption to your home, as it doesn’t require major structural changes or alterations to your roof. In many cases, a professional roofing contractor can complete the installation in just a few hours.

What Are the Drawbacks of Sun Tunnels?

While Sun Tunnels are praised for their ability to bring natural light into our homes, like any technology, they come with their own set of drawbacks and limitations. It’s essential to have a comprehensive understanding of these drawbacks before deciding whether Sun Tunnels is the right choice for your home.

Limited Aesthetic Options

Sun Tunnels are practical and efficient, but they may lack the aesthetic appeal of skylights. The diffuser on your ceiling is typically a simple, round, or square design, which may not suit every interior style. Skylights offer more customization options in terms of shape and size.

Limited Natural Light Distribution

While Sun Tunnels provide ample light for smaller rooms or areas, they may struggle to illuminate larger spaces effectively. The light they provide can be somewhat directional, which may result in uneven lighting in larger rooms or open floor plans.

Open skylight in a Raleigh, NC home

What are Skylights?

Skylights are windows installed directly into your roof, allowing abundant, direct sunlight to flood into your living spaces from above. This light fixture comes in various shapes and sizes, including fixed, vented, and even electrically operated skylights for added functionality and ventilation.

What Are the Advantages of Skylights?

From abundant natural light to enhanced aesthetics and ventilation options, skylights offer a host of benefits that can transform your living environment and elevate your overall quality of life. Join us on this journey as we uncover the many reasons why skylights continue to be a beloved feature in modern homes.

Abundant Natural Light

Skylights offer an abundance of natural light, making them an ideal choice for larger rooms and living areas. They can transform dark spaces into well-lit, airy environments, creating a sense of spaciousness and connection with the outdoors.

Aesthetic Appeal

Skylights are renowned for their aesthetic appeal. They become a design element in your home, providing a stunning view of the sky during the day and starry nights when the sun goes down. Their versatility in design and customization options allows you to choose a skylight that complements your interior style.

Ventilation Options

Many skylights come with ventilation options, allowing you to introduce fresh air into your home. This added functionality is especially valuable in kitchens and bathrooms, where proper ventilation is essential.

Limitations of skylights vs velux sun tunnels

What Are the Limitations of Skylights?

Skylights have a remarkable ability to introduce natural light and a sense of open space into our homes. They’ve earned their place as a coveted architectural feature that enhances both aesthetics and functionality. However, like any design element, skylights come with their own set of limitations and considerations that homeowners should be aware of.

Cost and Installation Complexity

Compared to Sun Tunnels, skylights can be more expensive to purchase and install. Their installation involves cutting a hole in your roof, which can be a complex and labor-intensive process. Additionally, you may need to invest in blinds or shades for light control.

Energy Efficiency Challenges

Skylights can pose energy efficiency challenges, as they can contribute to heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter if not properly insulated and shaded. This can affect your home’s heating and cooling costs.

Considerations when Choosing Sun Tunnels vs Skylights

Choosing between a skylight or a Sun Tunnel is a significant decision for homeowners seeking to introduce more natural light into their living spaces. Both options offer unique benefits and have their own set of considerations that can greatly impact the ambiance and functionality of your home. Whether you’re looking to brighten a small, dimly lit room or transform a spacious living area with abundant natural light, understanding these key factors is essential. 

Roof Type Compatibility

Before opting for Sun Tunnels, it’s crucial to assess your roof’s compatibility. Certain roofing materials and configurations may not be suitable for Sun Tunnel installations. Consulting with a professional roof repair company can help you determine if your roof can accommodate this solution. Similar to Sun Tunnels, you must ensure that your roof is compatible with skylights. The type of roofing material and its pitch can impact the feasibility of skylight installation.

Location and Room Suitability

Consider the specific areas in your home that would benefit from more natural light. Sun Tunnels are excellent for bathrooms, hallways, closets, and smaller rooms. Evaluate the suitability of Sun Tunnels for the intended spaces based on their size and layout.

Additionally, consider the function and size of the room where you plan to install skylights. They are best suited for larger areas where the additional natural light will have a more significant impact. Bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens are popular choices for skylight installations.

Budget Considerations

Determine your budget for the project, including installation costs. Sun Tunnels are generally more budget-friendly, but skylights can provide additional value in terms of aesthetics and functionality.

Aesthetic Preferences

Consider your interior design preferences and how the chosen option will fit into your home’s overall look and feel. Sun Tunnels are more discreet, while skylights become a focal point in your living space.

Energy Efficiency Goals

Evaluate your energy efficiency goals. If reducing energy consumption is a priority, Sun Tunnels may be the better choice. However, with proper insulation and shading, skylights can also be energy-efficient.

Room-Specific Needs

Assess the specific needs of the room where you plan to install the daylighting solution. Sun Tunnels are suitable for smaller spaces, while skylights excel in larger areas.

Climate Considerations

Consider your climate and local weather conditions. Skylights may provide better insulation in cold climates, while Sun Tunnels can minimize heat gain in hot regions.

Contact Our Sun Tunnel and Skylight Installation Experts in Raleigh Today 

Ready to transform your home with the beauty of Sun Tunnels and tubular skylights? Contact our team of expert installers in Raleigh today, and let us bring the radiance of natural light into your living spaces. Whether you’re looking to brighten a cozy corner or illuminate your entire home, our experienced roofing professionals from Artisan Quality Roofing are here to guide you through the process, from consultation to installation.

Don’t miss the opportunity to enhance your home’s aesthetics, energy efficiency, and overall ambiance. Reach out to us now to schedule a consultation and discover how Sun Tunnels and skylights can elevate your living environment. 

Get started today by calling us at 919-906-3791 or filling out the contact form below.

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