What Is a Velux Sun Tunnel and What Does it Do?

What Is a Velux Sun Tunnel and What Does it Do?

A Velux Sun Tunnel is a lighting system that can help you achieve maximum light output using natural light. It is a creative solution if you have darker areas of your home.

By channelling the sun, it spreads light across specific rooms of the house. It captures and diffuses the sunlight before spreading it across the house or roof space.

You may not know much about Velux Sun Tunnels because they are still a relatively new solution. Therefore, read our guide for more details, including the sun tunnel’s benefits, installation methods and more.

How Do Velux Sun Tunnels Work?

The first thing that a Velux Sun Tunnel does is capture sunlight. You install a collector in the roof cavity, which intercepts nearby sunlight.

Once it captures sunlight, it directs it through a highly reflective rigid sun tunnel (or a flexible tunnel). The tunnel's purpose is to minimise the amount of light lost before you can use it.

The difference between rigid sun tunnels and flexible sun tunnels is simple. Rigid sun tunnels have a straight design, which makes them more efficient for light transmission. Conversely, a flexible shaft Velux Sun tunnel has bends so that you can install it around roof corners. However, they lose more natural light than rigid options.

Once light passes through the glass exterior, it enters the interior space through a diffuser, which spreads the light evenly and mimics sunlight.

What Are the Benefits of a Velux Sun Tunnel?

Now you understand how sun tunnels work, we can explain how you can benefit from them.

Here are three excellent reasons for having a Velux sun tunnel.

It Enhances Light Levels Naturally

Sun tunnels aren’t smoke and mirrors; they actually work.

If you have a rigid model, you can efficiently light your home with natural sunlight. If you have areas with no windows, rigid or flexible tunnels are perfect for illuminating them. Additionally, the system focuses on balance so that every room will have even light distribution.

Finally, using natural light has a positive impact on mood and productivity. In a National Library of Medicine study, employees who work in windowless areas stated that they have poorer sleep quality and well-being. Therefore, having a sun tunnel can help by providing natural sunlight across the house.

It Makes Your Home More Energy-Efficient

By relying on natural lighting, you no longer need to use artificial sources, which is significant because you can save energy.

Using less energy means you have a positive environmental impact by reducing carbon emissions.

It Can Help Save Money

Along with helping the environment, using natural sunlight also means saving on energy bills; sun tunnels will help you save significantly over time.

Additionally, sun tunnels require minimal maintenance, so you can save on hiring roofing specialists.

How Do You Install a Velux Sun Tunnel?

If you don’t install a Velux Sun Tunnel properly, the highly reflective shaft won’t be able to capture and spread light efficiently.

Here is the best way to install sun tunnels:

  • Assess your roof to determine the best place to install the tunnel. You should find the point of your roof with the most sun exposure.
  • Cut an opening in your roof so you can install the collector. You must also do the same on the ceiling so the diffuser spreads light efficiently.
  • Install all the components in the gaps you created. You must connect the tunnel to the collector and the diffuser at each end.
  • Apply sealant around the diffuser and collector so the system can efficiently capture and distribute sunlight. You should also fully insulate the tunnel to prevent moisture buildup.

You also need to make several considerations before you install the tunnel. 

For example, consider the roof angle because it will affect the tunnel’s efficiency.

You should also ensure there are minimal obstructions around the tunnel’s path. Examples of these include joists and rafters.

Finally, consider your own experience and expertise. If you lack the confidence, knowledge and equipment to install the tunnel, you should hire a roofing specialist with experience with sun tunnels.

What Are the Applications for Velux Sun Tunnels?

Despite our primary focus being on Velux Sun Tunnels for residential homes, that isn’t their only application. Here is where you can use sun tunnels.

How Do You Use Sun Tunnels in Residential Buildings?

When using sun tunnels to light your home, focus on the darkest areas—specifically, windowless rooms with minimal artificial lighting. The attic space is a brilliant example of a room that can benefit from sun tunnels.

You should also focus on the house's main rooms so you can create an inviting atmosphere; this includes the living room, kitchen and dining room.

Additionally, homeowners benefit from sun tunnels by saving on energy bills and reducing carbon emissions.

What Are the Uses of Sun Tunnels in Commercial Buildings?

Sun tunnels can be excellent for large commercial spaces requiring a wide variety of lighting; office spaces are a fantastic example.

They are also essential for retail spaces, as these often have little or no access to natural sunlight.

Other public buildings that need sun tunnels include hospitals, schools, restaurants and more.

How Do You Maintain Velux Sun Tunnels?

Even if you seal and insulate sun tunnels properly, they are still susceptible to damage, so you must maintain them.

We recommend inspecting your sun tunnels often to find potential damage or blockage. Additionally, you should clean areas around the collector so leaves and branches cannot obstruct it.

For cleaning sun tunnels, we recommend using cleaning solutions on the collector; don’t use harsh solvents and chemicals because they can deteriorate the reflective surface. You must also remove dust from the diffuser to prevent blockages.

You should also arrange inspections by roofing specialists once or twice a year; these are thorough, and if they spot any damage, they can repair it quickly.

How Do Velux Sun Tunnels Compare with Other Lighting Solutions?

Skylights are a popular lighting solution for commercial settings because they can illuminate large spaces. However, you can use sun tunnels as an alternative for several reasons, including:

  • They are much easier to install than skylights; this is especially critical in areas with limited ceiling space.
  • You can install sun tunnels in confined areas too small for skylights.
  • Sun tunnels distribute light more evenly than skylights because of the diffuser.

For residential homes, there are multiple artificial lighting options, but sky tunnels have several advantages over these, including:

  • They can distribute light more efficiently than artificial options.
  • They save on energy and electricity, which saves you money and benefits the environment because of your lowered carbon footprint.

Final Thoughts on Why A Velux Sun Tunnel is Important

In summary, sun tunnels are an excellent option if you want to use natural sunlight at home instead of relying on the electricity grid because they can distribute the light evenly across the house.

Additionally, because sun tunnels don’t rely on artificial power, you can save over time on energy bills and lower your carbon footprint.

We recommend hiring a roofing specialist to install sun tunnels unless you have experience and the right equipment.

Did our guide to sun tunnels help you decide on a lighting solution for your home? If so, we have many more guides on critical roofing parts and materials on our blog on Roofstuff.

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