If you crave more natural light in your home, skylights and sun tunnels will accomplish your goal.

But both will require modifications to your existing roof and ceiling. Here’s a look at the differences between a skylight and a sun tunnel.


Skylights are windows on the ceiling. They are installed by cutting a hole in the drywall of the ceiling and adding framing. Then, the roofing material above the skylight is removed. A window is then placed in the hole and fortified on the roof.

Installation of skylights takes longer than the installation of a sun tunnel. This increases labor costs. Installation may take a whole day or longer to finish the project. Skylights are excellent options for:

  • Large rooms
  • Rooms with high ceilings
  • Stick-framed roofs
  • Gable, hip, and shed roof shapes

Those considering skylights will need to carefully select the location for skylights and choose appropriate glazing to prevent glares. When installing new skylights into an existing roof, be sure to determine if the installation will void your roof warranty. Remember that the amount of light that skylights let into your home depends on the size and location of the skylight, and the weather. Skylights may last up to 20 years or longer.


Sun tunnels are also known as solar tube lighting, tubular skylights, and sun tube lights. They are less labor-intensive than skylights. Instead of placing a window in your ceiling, your roofer will create a hole that runs from your roof to your ceiling. A tube made of highly reflective aluminum then directs sunlight to your selected area. Inside the home, the sun tunnel looks like a small circular mounting on the ceiling.

The installation of a sun tunnel typically only takes a couple of hours. Because installing a sun tube light involves less labor, they are significantly less expensive than skylights. Solar tube lighting offers the following benefits:

  • Versatile and can be installed in most roof types
  • Perfect for lighting smaller areas such as hallways, dens, guest bedrooms, bathrooms
  • Energy efficient way to brighten your home
  • Affordable way to create more light in your home

A sun tunnel may last up to 10 years or longer before needing to be replaced. Before scheduling the installation of solar tube lighting, make sure you know how it might affect your roof warranty. The light emitted by a tubular skylight will vary with the weather. On cloudy or rainy days, the light a solar tube lighting provides will be noticeably dimmer than on sunny days.


OR Roof Guys is the top-rated roof replacement company in Lane County, OR. If you’re ready for a new roof and would like to add sun tunnels or skylights, we can help. For a custom quote on a premium quality asphalt shingle roof replacement contact us today. We proudly offer financing for your roof, with payments as low as $175/month.