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Most of us enjoy the sun. We like the warmth and the brightness and vibrancy of the light the sun produces makes everyone feel good. Happier, more optimistic and energized. So, it is only natural that we want to let the sunlight into our homes to brighten it up and make it feel more welcoming.

Studies show that the more natural light you let into your home, the better you feel. It can also play a role in reducing your energy bills because your home is warmer, and you do not need the lights on as much.

There are two main ways to get more sunlight into your home, you can:

In this article, we take a look at both options. We discuss the differences between the two as a way of helping you to decide which is right for you.

Basics of Skylights

Let’s start with skylights, which are effectively windows that are designed to be installed in the roof instead of a wall. It lets sunlight and light in when closed and air as well when it is opened. Skylights work well for most homes. If you would like to do so you can read our in-depth skylights guide. Or, if you prefer just read on to get an overview understanding of the subject.

Types of Skylights

These are the main types of skylights that are available:

  • Flat glass – made using the same materials and techniques as ordinary windows
  • Domed skylights – these are typically made using Plexiglass or a similar material
  • Double-glazed units  –  the roof is exposed to the elements, so understandably a lot of homeowners prefer to have a double-glazed skylight installed
  • Tinted skylights – during the warmer months, the sun can be strong, tinted glass allows you to continue enjoying the view for longer rather than having to pull the blind
  • Pyramid skylights – these very unusual, specialized skylights are becoming more popular because they look good and capture a lot of light
  • Vaulted skylights – these curved skylights look stunning and again pull in a lot of light
  • Customized skylights – we work with experienced glaziers who can create a custom-sized skylight or make one in a special shape
  • We can source all of these and fit them. As well as advise you about which ones are likely to work best for your home, office, or commercial premises.


The Basics of Sun Tunnels

The Basics of Sun Tunnels

Now, let’s take a look at sun tunnels. The inside of the “tunnel”, which is a wide tube, has an interior surface that is made of polished sheet metal. This polished surface is reflective.

The top of the tube is left open, but it is covered with glass to keep the elements out. This enables sunlight to enter the reflective tube. None of the strength of the sunlight is lost, so it can enter and brighten any space. Sun tunnels work particularly well in areas where it is not possible to have windows. But they can potentially be used in most areas.


Ideal Places for Sun Tunnels

Here are a few of the places we have successfully installed them:

  • Hallways
  • Bathrooms
  • Closets

Differences Between Skylights and Sun Tunnels

Both sun tunnels and skylights let sunlight into your home. But you usually cannot open a sun tunnel to let more air in.

Skylights are usually the best answer for bedrooms and living rooms and kitchens that have been built in the roof space. If you have a room or area of your home that does not have a window, they are a great option.

Sun tunnels are good for hallways, bathrooms, and closets or other spaces where it is not possible to use a window to let in light. You may also want to brick up a window and install a sun tunnel in a small room. However, you need to think carefully before doing that. There will be no window to open when you want to air the room. Plus, you may no longer be able to use the room for certain functions because of building code restrictions.

Both skylights and sun tunnels bring natural light into homes but may differ in terms of design and installation. To determine which one works for you, consult with Dominion Roofing today.

Call Dominion Roofing to Know More About Skylights and Sun Tunnels

We have extensive experience in dealing with all kinds of roofing problems and can tackle any roof-related maintenance jobs. You can find out more about us and what we do here. To ask questions or hire us, you can:

Call 416-789-0601 now

Email or fax us

Use our simple to use online contact form

Visit our Toronto office 


“Sun tunnels are generally considered less pricey compared to skylights, but skylights can offer better flexibility and more varied designs.”

FAQs on What is the Difference Between a Skylight and a Sun Tunnel?

Can skylights withstand hurricane winds?

Skylights can potentially withstand hurricane winds. The right type needs to be chosen and installed correctly to improve the chances of this being the case. Maintaining it properly helps too. However, no structure is entirely hurricane proof.

Can skylights and sun tunnels let in insects?

If they are not properly sealed when they are installed, sun tunnels and skylights can let insects in. It is easy for them to burrow or get in through the gaps. This can also happen with poorly fitted windows.

Are skylights and sun tunnels safe from burglars?

Provided you buy good quality skylights and sun tunnels and have them fitted properly, they are no easier for a burglar to get into than a window is. As an extra precaution, you could have higher quality locks fitted. It may also be possible to have them wired into your alarm system so that you are warned if someone tries to break in through them.

Can skylights be shaded?

Yes, they can. Since too much direct sunlight can cause bleaching on wooden cabinets and vanities, you can try to use gray- or bronze-tinted glass for your skylight to create the effect of a shade. These two colors can block the sun’s rays, thus, protecting your wooden cabinets and vanities from getting damaged.

What are the signs that my skylights need to be replaced?

The first thing you should consider is the condition of the skylight. You must check whether there are cracks or damages to the skylight. If so, you should immediately replace them with new ones. If no damage is found, here are some other things to look out for: yellow and discolored skylights, leaks, and condensation.

Can skylights be installed anywhere in the house?

Yes, skylights can be installed anywhere in the house, given that all requirements by the contractor are met. Some of the common requirements that your house should meet are the slope and type of the roof. Before installation, contractors will go to your home and check if installing a skylight in your chosen location is feasible.

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