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Skylights vs Sun Tunnels: The Best Choice For You

Updated: Mar 14, 2023

Natural daylight is a long sought-after feature in residential homes, creating warm, vibrant, and mood-boosting living spaces. If you're considering adding more daylight to your interior rooms, you've probably thought about Skylights or Sun Tunnels.

But which is the best choice for your home, Skylights or Sun Tunnels? While both provide an incredible, long lasting daylighting solution, there are differences to consider when deciding which would be best for your home.

Skylights vs Sun Tunnels: Know the Difference

Skylights and Sun Tunnels are designed to connect the interior of your home to the great outdoors via an opening in your roof, delivering a healthy amount of daylight into your living spaces below, but that's where the similarities end.

Skylights are usually much larger in size, and require a much more complex installation. Skylight technology has come a long way since those old, damage-prone plastic dome skylights of the past, now available with high performance glass, and venting and fixed options, too.

Curb-mounted, fixed Skylights are the most cost-effective Skylight solution, creating a tight seal around the opening on your roof and protecting your interior from the elements year round. Venting Skylights like the VELUX "Fresh Air" Skylights offer the added benefit of ventilation, allowing fresh air to enter your home to improve indoor air quality. VELUX's "Fresh Air" Skylights are also available with a solar-powered controller and rain sensor, automatically closing your Skylights at the first sign of inclement weather.

Installing traditional Skylights often requires multiple contractors as extensive work needs to be done on both the interior and exterior of the home, including roof and drywall alterations, and interior paint touch ups. Depending on the contractor you choose, a Skylight installation can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks before completed.

Sun Tunnels, on the other hand, are much easier and cheaper to install. Though smaller than traditional skylights, Sun Tunnels deliver a healthy dose of daylight in as little as a couple of hours, with minimal interior and exterior alterations. Sunlight is collected via a weather-resistant cover installed on the roof, traveling down through the highly-reflective tunnel and into your living spaces below through a stylish diffuser installed in the ceiling.

With flexible and rigid Sun Tunnels available, just about any room inside your home can be connected to the great outdoors — even those centrally located in the home! Sun Tunnels are designed to fit any roof pitch, and adjustable to capture as much sunlight as possible throughout the day.

Skylights vs Sun Tunnels: Making the Right Choice

When choosing between Skylights and Sun Tunnels for your home, consider the differences in cost, installation time, and the amount of daylight you need.

New Skylight installations will always cost much more than a Sun Tunnel installation because of the higher amount of labor required. Cost of materials is also a factor in the price difference between Skylights and Sun Tunnels. More complex installations also means you'll need to wait a while longer to enjoy your Skylight installation than you would a Sun Tunnel, though it could be totally worth it!

With the cost and timelines accounted for, take a little more time to consider the amount of daylight you need. Much like windows, Skylights create a direct opening to the outdoors, capturing a tremendous amount of light. Though not a direct opening to your roof, Sun Tunnels still deliver a transformative amount of light to your living spaces. Light delivered by Sun Tunnels is often more directed, perfect for lighting smaller and more constrained areas of your home, as well as those otherwise unable to host a Skylight.

No matter what you choose, Skylights and Sun Tunnels are the perfect solutions to bring more natural light into your home. Both Skylights and Sun Tunnels come with solar options that earn you a 26% federal solar tax credit (when purchased and installed before December 31, 2022). You'll be amazed at the savings as much as you will the difference in your home when you literally see it in a new light!

Need to add a dose of daylight to your home? Replace your old, damaged Skylights, or join the Sun Tunnel revolution with Contact Colorado Home Cooling & Daylighting! CHCD is Colorado's first-choice for VELUX Sun Tunnel installations and Skylight replacements, earning 5-Star designation for our un-matched customer service and expertise. Start your free quote today!

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