For most homeowners, achieving a bright and inviting interior is a top priority, but for some properties, installing large glazing elements simply isn’t an option. So what can you do if your interior is dingy but you’re lacking the necessary roof or wall space to install traditional windows?
Well, this is where a sun tunnel can come into its own! Designed to channel sunlight from your roof, directly into awkward and out-of-the-way spaces, sun tunnels are perfect for rooms where it would be very difficult to install other types of glazing – making them ideal for humid bathrooms, dark stairwells and windowless hallways.
How do sun tunnels work?
Also known as tubular skylights, sun tunnels are surprisingly affordable and simple to install. Since they don’t open, they take up far less space than flat or pitched roof windows, meaning you can reduce the amount of space taken up on your roof, while maximising your interior light levels.
Thanks to their clever design, sun tunnels feature a panel that sits discretely on a rooftop or outside wall. A highly reflective, mirror-like tube encourages sunlight to travel down the duct and a diffuser disperses the light evenly at the other end.
Sun tunnels can also travel through the home and can turn up to 90°, meaning that you can install one far away from where the light actually needs to be directed. This enables homeowners to turn dark, out-of-the-way rooms into naturally lit spaces, all using a strategically placed sun tunnel!
There are two types to choose from, rigid and flexible. Rigid tubes tend to provide better results, as they force light to travel directly from outside into the required space, while flexible sun tunnels are more affordable and can move around obstacles. With flexible sun tunnels, light tends to have to travel greater distances, resulting in less light reaching the required destination.
How easy is it to install a sun tunnel?
All this might sound overly complicated and too difficult to consider, but installing a sun tunnel is actually surprisingly straight forward. In fact, many homeowners can take on the job themselves and manufacturers tend to suggest that, with the right tools, it can be done in less than four hours.
In order to fit one to a flat or pitched roof, you’ll need to remove some of the tiles from the area where the sun tunnel will sit. The tube will simply slot between the roof joists, so there’s no need for any structural work. However, if your sun tunnel needs to travel down through multiple floors to its intended location, then it’s advisable to hire an experienced contractor to tackle the job for you.
As well as allowing plenty of natural light to fill hard-to-reach rooms in your home, sun tunnels are also fantastically energy efficient. By installing a sun tunnel, you will instantly save yourself money on energy bills, by reducing the amount of artificial light needed to illuminate your interior. Sun tunnels also produce far less heat than artificial lighting, helping you to further minimise your carbon footprint.
Will I need planning permission?
For the most part, installing new glazing falls under the allowances of permitted development, however you will need to apply for planning permission if you live in a listed building, or in a conservation area where exterior alternations are prohibited. Since they tend to sit discreetly on rooftop spaces, sun tunnels are generally quickly approved by local authorities.
To find out more about sun tunnels, call us on 0207 3154282 or email us at email@example.com. With expert customer service, an up ten years’ manufacturer’s guarantee, and delivery across the UK in as little as just two working days, finding the perfect sun tunnel couldn’t be simpler.