At Trade Access Panels we are often asked questions regarding SUNPIPES. Please see our guide below where we have tried to answer the most frequently asked questions.

How do sun tunnels work

1. Does the SUNPIPE kit include everything that I will need?

Yes, the kit includes everything required including the diffuser

2. How do I fit the SUNPIPE?

Although the SUNPIPE system is extremely easy to fit, we would always recommend gaining the advice of an expert, especially when working at height. Please however see the link to the Installation Guide.

3. How much light output will I achieve from my new SUNPIPE?

The light output will vary according to the time of the year, the position of the SUNPIPE in your roof, the size of the SUNPIPE and the internal finishes of your room. We would always recommend getting the largest SUNPIPE possible for your room to ensure that efficiency as high as possible.

4. Will the SUNPIPE require any maintenance once fitted?

Due to the shape of the dome, the SUNPIPE is self-cleaning. The diffuser fits snugly into the base of the fitting ring to prevent dust and dirt from entering the system and as a result the interior mirror finish surface never requires any maintenance, if fitted correctly. If however, you are fitting a light kit, the bottom ceiling diffuser can be removed but care must be taken not to leave finger marks on the interior mirror finish of the SUNPIPE.

5. Can I fit a SUNPIPE within my bedroom?

You can install a SUNPIPE in any room however you must bear in mind that during the summer months, the room will always be flooded with light and unlike a window, you cannot close the curtains to make the room dark. For this reason, we suggest that motorised shut-off dampers be fitted if it is to be installed within a bedroom, especially if it is a bedroom for small children.

6. What size of the hole do I need to cut?

You will need to enlarge the hole to the sizes shown in the table below:

7. How long can the SUNPIPE be?

A SUNPIPE can be almost any length you require, however you need to be aware of the loss in efficiency for each additional pipe added. On average, loses of 6% of light for every metre of SUNPIPE. We always recommend using the largest SUNPIPE possible for your project, particularly in the UK where we can have any dreary days with little natural daylight. For a very long SUNPIPE, a larger diameter should be used. Please note that there is also a 12% light reduction for every 45° bend. On smaller sizes, the total effective maximum length is 8m and up to 20m on a larger size SUNPIPES.

8. Do I need Planning Permission to install a SUNPIPE at my property?

Broadly speaking, you do not normally require Planning Permission for the installation of a SUNPIPE. However, if your property is situated in Scotland or within a Conservation Area, then specific permission must be obtained from your Listed Building Officer. If in doubt, please contact your local Council for clarification.

9. What spacing would I need to use for my SUNPIPE?

Generally speaking, we recommend 230mm diameter SUNPIPES at 2m; 300mm diameter at 3m; 450mm diameter at 4m and 530mm diameter at 5m interval spacings.

10. Will the top outer cover of the SUNPIPE discolour over time?

The Monodraught SUNPIPE will not discolour because the domes are manufactured from acrylic, therefore there is no discolouration to their domes over the lifetime of the SUNPIPE system. This has been tested and verified by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and the full test is available upon request.

11. What Guarantee comes with the SUNPIPE?

10 year Guarantee is provided as standard.

12. Do sun tunnels and SUNPIPES work on a cloudy day?

Yes, if you imagine as sun tunnel or SUNPIPE as a window in a tube; you still get light through your windows even on the cloudiest of days, just like you will with a sun tunnel, just not as bright as a sunny day. There is a chart on the website which give the approximate performance on a cloudy and sunny day.

13. How much will it cost for me to get a SUNPIPE installed?

It should take a competent Roofer/Builder around ½ a day to one full day to fit a SUNPIPE, which can cost anything from £200-£400 on average.

14. What is a SUNPIPE/Sun Tunnel?

Basically, a SUNPIPE can be thought of as a window in a tube; it is a reflective tube that is used to duct sunlight into space where a window or conventional rooflight is not feasible. They are a highly effective way to adding natural daylight to an otherwise dark space in both domestic and commercial properties.

15. How does a SUNPIPE actually work?

The SUNPIPE system collects daylight using a patented high impact acrylic Diamond Dome, passing it through a SUPER- SILVER mirror finished aluminium tube which reflects and directs the Natural Daylight to the diffuser. The diffuser distributes the natural daylight evenly in the room.

16. What options are available for me to suit my roof?

We offer SUNPIPES for Flat and Pitched Roofs. We are also able to provide for either a Pitched roof with Plain Tiles, Slate Tiles or Bold Rolled Tiles. We do also supply Square SUNPIPES which can be fitted on Pitched roofs if you would prefer this option instead of the usual cylinder.

17. Will installing a SUNPIPE help me save money on my energy bills?

On average, your energy costs can be saved as the need for electric lighting can be reduced by as much as 75% depending on your circumstances. It is also sustainable energy in action, not only can SUNPIPE reduce energy it also leads to a considerable reduction in CO2 emissions.

18. Are there any other benefits of me installing a SUNPIPE?

Studies have shown that people work better in a naturally lit environment and it has been shown to alleviate some of the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Exposure to natural daylight is believed to have the following benefits by boosting the production of vitamins and hormones: maintains the Circadian Rhythm, reduces depression, alleviates pain and improves sleep pattern and mood.