In house construction, a number of rooms have clear natural light and do not require artificial lighting during the day. However, there are other rooms that must be lit by artificial lighting even during the day as they are mostly dark. It is such rooms as bathrooms, hallways and stores that can be lit naturally by the use of sun tunnels.
Artificial lighting of these rooms during the day consumes energy that could be saved for another day. Since we all want to spend the least on energy, it becomes very cost effective to fix a sun tunnel that allows in natural light and eliminate the need to artificially light these rooms during the day.
A sun tunnel is created between the roof and the ceiling with the roof featuring a frame with a clear and strong glass pane that allows in very clear natural light and the ceiling holding a diffuser unit with an acrylic pane that spreads the natural light from the framed glass above and which passes through the sun tunnel across a darkened room. The resultant diffused light from the diffuser creates a soft and calming lighting atmosphere within a darkened room. The diffuser unit is discreetly fixed into the ceiling and acts as a nice ceiling decoration as well.
The sun tunnel is constructed using highly reflective materials that direct all the natural light it receives from above into a room. A sun tunnel created between the roof and the ceiling is round and in most cases of 35 cm in diameter, taking up very little space of the loft that is usually left idle. Sun tunnels can be created on any type of roof and is just like fixing a roof window.
There are several types of sun tunnels, all suitable for different roof construction styles. A rigid sun tunnel features a highly reflective inner surface that reflects all the light that it obtains into a room. The light it reflects into a room is very bright; no wonder it is a very popular solar tube preferred by most home owners. A flexible sun tunnel is perhaps the easiest to install and features a low profile pitched flashing of natural light into a room. It can be as long as two meters. The latest type of sun tunnels is the flat roof type that is very suitable for flat roof tops on which other types of tunnels or a roof window cannot be appropriately installed. This type of tunnel can be of small, medium or large size.
The use of tunnels to naturally light darkened rooms is not a new phenomenon. The ancient Egyptians are known to have installed them on their roof tops to obtain natural light into their hidden rooms. The use of a sun tunnel thereafter spread to other parts of the world. Commercial production of sun tunnels actually began in 1850 in England, where tunnel reflectors were manufactured.
Presently, sun tunnel manufacturers are spread across the world producing different makes of the same in various sizes, designs and colors to suit different needs and tastes. A tunnel goes by different names; some manufacturers refer to their sun tunnel skylight products as tubular day lighting devices, day light tubes, sunscope or simply as tubular skylight.
A sun tunnel is a very effective tool of lighting a room naturally, resulting in reduced electricity costs as such rooms would otherwise be lit during the day artificially and tunnel usage has grown in popularity worldwide. Building architects also design buildings taking into account the need to make provision for the fixing of a sun tunnel for a hidden room that may not have adequate natural light.