Natural light is a refreshing feature, but it can be challenging to determine how best to illuminate a space. There are ample options for skylights, but sometimes the ideal solution is to install solar tunnels.

“It’s a cost-friendly lighting alternative for interior environments that conforms to a different fit and function than your traditional skylight. Tight-to-reach areas, or structural barriers, may prevent a skylight installation but may warrant fitment for a solar tunnel. Areas such as stairwells, bathrooms, garages, and closets, all the way to a more industrial setting such as warehouse areas, office space, and meeting rooms,” says Marco Ferrazzo, Process Manager with Artistic Skylights.

For the uninitiated, solar tunnels are tubular lighting systems designed to transport sunlight from a roof into an interior environment (e.g., home, office, commercial facility). It does so by capturing natural light via a dome assembly at the roof level, which then travels through a reflective tubular casing until being directed into the room of choice.

“One advantage of solar tunnels is that they are amazingly versatile,” adds Ferrazzo. “Many of our residential and commercial clients rely on them to turn a wide variety of spaces into bright and vibrant environments.”

It also helps that modern solar tunnels are designed to handle themselves under pressure. Attributes such as Artistic Skylights’ own Prime-Silver Performance Technology reflects up to 98 per cent of sunlight captured, and the high-grade impact modified exterior dome is hurricane rated. Utilizing stainless-steel construction also lends to the product’s high durability, anti-corrosiveness and overall aesthetics.

Illuminating ideas

Solar tunnels have no shortage of residential or commercial applications. Step one, however, is determining where they’ll make the biggest impact and the right model for the job.

To that end, solar tunnels can be constructed to bring light to tight home spaces or spacious commercial facilities. Artistic Skylights’ commercial and residential solar tunnels, for example, come in sizes ranging from 10” in diameter to 32” inches, the latter of which will naturally increase the amount of lumens produced and the square footage it covers.

Aside from size, other solar tunnel considerations include:

  • Location: Solar tunnels may need to be installed around plumbing or electrical features. Having a sense of your space will help when it comes to planning your budget and installation requirements. Try to take the straightest line possible from your roof deck to the interior space to reduce the amount of material/components needed.
  • Installation skills: Solar tunnels can be straightforward to install for those who are familiar with roofing applications, or renovation. Installation does entail some minor shingle work and waterproofing on your roof, so relying on professionals is a guaranteed way to ensure optimal results.
  • Budget: Some key factors to keeping your budget down include model size chosen, the total length of the tubular system, and ease of installation (taking the straightest path). These aspects will all factor into the total cost of a Solar Tunnel installation. Here again, it pays to consult an experienced Solar Tunnel provider to understand your options.

Taking the heat

One of the big myths about Solar Tunnels is that they can produce amplified heat in certain situations, acting as a magnifying glass in the hot sun. And while Solar Tunnels use light-capturing equipment and reflective surfaces to convey natural light, that does not mean they will overheat an area on a particularly sunny day.

As Ferrazzo explains, “If you look online, specifically social media, it’s quite interesting to see how many people speculate that a solar tunnel will actually amplify heat such as the classic magnifying glass under the mid-day summer sun burning leaves. It’s simply not true. Solar tunnels, industry-wide, are excellent at reflecting almost all of the visible daylight that enters the tubular system. Even though some heat gain may take place, it is not enough to make a noticeable difference.”

All told, there are more than a few reasons to consider solar tunnels within any space. Learn more about the options and all advantages at Artistic Skylights or by calling 1-866-878-3663.

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