Sunpipe from Monodraught

Probably one of the best known brands, the Monodraught Sunpipe is the default system for architects and specifiers

confused builder lo res
The self-assembly system can be a real pain

Not necessarily because of its suitability to do the job but because for the majority of the ‘noughties’ Monodraught pumped millions of pounds into publicising it to the professional market. This only stopped when they were purchased in 2007 when they were bought out by Velux.

The Sunpipe is not so well known in the residential market because their tube sizes don’t really sit comfortably in the structure of a domestic situation. Their two small sizes, 230mm and 300mm aren’t really suitable for rooms larger than a few square meters, and the 450mm is just too big to sit in a regular house without looking ridiculous, in our opinion.

At the time of writing this, we have only recently removed a couple of 230mm Sunpipes from a customer (replacing them with Solarspot D-25s) as the customer had found that they were in his words, virtually useless. Incidentally, we’re often asked why can’t the tubes be smaller?  This is a case in point; once the tube diameter drops to more than 250mm in diameter, the performance falls off dramatically.

Sun pipe solartube systems with yellow polycarbonate domes
Polycarbonate domes go yellow with age; blocking out essential light to the tube.

The Sunpipe is an OK system but as an installer, the fact that it comes as a total self-assembly kit is a nightmare. I’m sure that’s how they keep the cost down but it does add an extra challenge to the process if you’re required to finish the manufacturing process for them.

The systems have a medium efficiency. The ‘Diamond Dome’ neither improves or deters the light and seems to me to be more of a marketing device. The tube material is the companies own ‘Super Silver’ but at only 98% efficient it starts to lose light quickly over longer lengths

If you are planning to use larger systems, 450mm or above then the units can be quite cost effective but the larger sizes aren’t in the same league as the Solatube or Solarspot big systems.

Solatube Solarspot rigid sun pipes for maximum daylight
Even the difference of a few percent of reflectivity can make a massive differnce to the amount of daylight delivered.

Monodraught Sun Pipe Pros

  • Mid-price for the large units if you can fit them in
  • Good range of accessories

Monodraught Sun Pipe Cons

  • Smaller units only really suitable for very small spaces
  • Self-assembly