Few studies have formally examined the relationship between meteorological factors and the incidence of child pneumonia in the tropics, despite the fact that most child pneumonia deaths occur there. We examined the association between four meteorological exposures (rainy days, sunshine, relative humidity, temperature) and the incidence of clinical pneumonia in young children in the Philippines using three time-series methods: correlation of seasonal patterns, distributed lag regression, and case-crossover. Lack of sunshine was most strongly associated with pneumonia in both lagged regression [overall relative risk over the following 60 days for a 1-h increase in sunshine per day was 0·67 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0·51–0·87)] and case-crossover analysis [odds ratio for a 1-h increase in mean daily sunshine 8–14 days earlier was 0·95 (95% CI 0·91–1·00)]. This association is well known in temperate settings but has not been noted previously in the tropics. Further research to assess causality is needed.