Frequently Asked Questions Tubular Daylighting Systems

1. I saw one of those things on a neighbours roof, what are they?

Sun Pipe with FlashingSolatube Daylighting Systems are often referred to as a Sun Pipe, or Solar Pipe, in fact, there are many different names that are used, including; Solar Tunnels, Light Pipes, Light Tubes, Light Tunnels, Daylight Pipes, Daylight Tubes, Sun Tubes, Sun Tunnels, Sky Lights, Sky Tunnels, Sunlight Tubes and Tubular Skylights.

Some of these terms are trademarked by other manufacturers. Lots of names but all describing the same type of tubular daylighting system to pipe sun and natural daylight into your home.

2. Do they all look the same?

Not exactly, the best results can be achieved by systems using roof domes. Other manufacturers use flat roof windows, but due to this they limit the amount of light coming into the room.

The dome type is by far the best as it enables the sun tube to capture as much light as possible, even in winter when the sun is lowest in the sky.

3. So how does a Solatube Daylighting System actually work?

How sun tunnel actually works

The dome of the sun pipe, or sun tunnel, takes in light in what we call the capture zone.

The inside of the tunnel is highly reflective and bounces the light throughout the transfer zone. This stage is incredibly efficient with minimal loss of light through the sun pipe.

The light then appears at the delivery zone which uses a diffuser at the end of the sun pipe to maximise the effect of the light with dramatic results.

4. Can I see an example of the difference?

There are various images on our website, including on our home page, the  installation page and on the see the results page – but, what about this for a dramatic example :-

Sun Tunnel Kitchen Installation

Honestly, there is no camera trickery involved, that is the dramatic effect of natural daylight pouring in through the light tunnels and illuminating the kitchen. Impressive eh!

5. Will I need planning permission?

Solatube Sun Tunnel on Pitched Roof

In the majority of cases no, you will not need planning permission for a daylighting system to pipe sun into your home.

Should your property be in a conservation area, a listed building or under restricted planning then consult your local authority. In some cases installing on the rear roof of your property may not need an application.

We work with local authority planning departments and can quickly determine whether you would need to seek such permissions.

Listed buildings would require consultation with local planners, but again, we can help and advise on what needs to be done.

6. How does the diffuser work to illuminate the room?

Once the light is captured within the dome of the pipe it is transferred by the use of a highly reflective tube down to the ceiling diffuser.

There are different diffusers dependent on your requirements and the application. Here is an example of how effective sun pipes can be in an office or commercial environment. Often resulting in illumination by daylight only and not requiring electric lights. This is good for both the working environment and the health of its employees and also saves electricity.

Light Tube Diffuser Examples Office Environment

Highly reflective inner tube sun pipe light tunnel7. What is the tube made of?

The tube of the daylighting system is usually a reflective foil on an aluminium sheet. It is highly reflective and therefore incredibly efficient at bouncing the rays of light down the tube and then through the diffuser into the room.

8. What would it all cost?

Light Tunnel Illuminating BathroomIt all depends on the size of the room, the suggested system and the amount of tube length required.

We carry out a free no obligation survey to give you an accurate estimate.

We can also use this opportunity to look at your specific requirements and make recommendations to achieve your desired results.

9. Will it be an investment?

In terms of actually saving money, then yes over time it will save you money during daylight hours.

You have seen the remarkable results that you can get with our daylighting systems negating the need to switch the light on in that previously dark and dingy room. The cost of brightening up your life cannot be calculated though.

10. What’s involved with the installation?

Solatube Daylighting System with Dome, Tunnel and DiffuserInstallation, in most cases, is completed in just one day. We first position everything up, cut a hole in the ceiling, do the necessary work on the roof and connect everything up.

You can see an example of a Solatube Daylighting System installation.

More information on installation here.

10. What next?

Contact Daylight Systems for a free no obligation survey on 0345 548 0844, call Deane directly on 07747 333380 or use our contact form.

We’ll then come out and visit you and assess your requirements for our daylighting systems. We can also demonstrate our products and give you competitive a quotation. From there we can then arrange an installation date for your daylighting system.


Daylight Systems Authorised Representative and Installer

Solatube Authorised Installer and BBA Approved Sun Pipe Installation Engineeers
Velux Roof Window 5 Star Installer and BBA Approved Installation Engineeers

Velux Roof Window and Solatube Tubular Daylighting System, Installation and Maintenance in the following areas:

Worthing, Ferring, Goring, Clapham, Durrington, Patching, Salvington, West Tarring, Coomes, North Lancing, Somptin, South Lancing, Kingston, Shoreham, Southwick, Angmering, Steyning, Rustington, Littlehampton, Arundel, Storrington, Horsham, Crawley, Bognor and all other towns in West Sussex.

Brighton, Hove, Seaford, Rottingdean, Burgess Hill, Lewes, Ringmer, Newhaven, Peacehaven, Eastbourne, Bexhill, Hastings, Uckfield, Newick, Maresfield, Heathfield and all other towns in East Sussex.

We can also install roof windows and daylight systems in Kent, Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.

Confused by the terminology?
We are a South Coast Premier Dealer for Solatube. These Tubular Daylighting Systems have various names dependent on the manufacturer and supplier. Solatube are the world-leaders, but you will also hear tubular daylighting products referred to as Sun Pipes, Solar Pipes, Solar Tunnels, Light Pipes, Light Tubes, Light Tunnels, Daylight Pipes, Daylight Tubes, Sun Tubes, Sun Tunnels, Sky Lights, Skylights, Sky Tunnels, Sunlight Tubes and Tubular Skylights.