It’s true that skylights make a space more inviting, but what if we told you the right system can deliver even more benefits? Benefits that include directing light where you need it most, eliminating harmful UV rays, and improving your home’s energy efficiency? We’re talking about the original light catcher, a trailblazing system that not only delivers light to your space but does so in the healthiest and most functional way possible.

Celebrating 3 Decades of Solatube: The First Light Catcher

When you think of a light catcher, you probably envision a colorful ornament hung in a window to reflect the sun’s rays. But for us, this phrase means something slightly different – a revolutionary alternative to traditional skylights. You still get the beauty of natural light, but with our innovative “light-catching” design, you don’t get any of the hassles.

What do we mean? Skylights have gained notoriety for leaking, reducing a home’s energy efficiency, and overheating. They let cold air in during winter months and hot air in during summer months, meaning your HVAC system must work harder to maintain comfortable temperatures. They’re also susceptible to cracks and breaks that require professional (and costly) repairs and replacements.

Seeking an Alternative

If that were the end of the story, skylights would never have evolved into their full potential. Thankfully, the Solatube story took over where traditional skylights fell short. In the 1980s, an independent Australian inventor conceived of a product that efficiently directed daylight into rooms. His product, known widely as tubular daylighting devices (TDDs), hit three high points:

  • Affordability
  • Compact size
  • Leak-proof

This inventor sought a patent for his design in 1986 and, four years later, the first-ever Solatube product sold. To say it transformed the daylighting industry is an understatement; it allowed sunlight into rooms and spaces that were previously confined to the dark. It similarly changed the way people think about skylights, evolving from square or rectangular roof windows into a flexible, versatile system that delivers the purest light possible.

The Early Design

The original TDD design featured a rooftop dome that captured and redirected daylight through a sophisticated reflective cylinder. The light was then diffused at the ceiling level into a room of your choosing. This system quickly became the best-selling skylight in Australia.

In 1992, the TDD system made its way to the United States. Demand spread across the globe, and the company’s technology similarly evolved. For instance, TDDs of different sizes were introduced alongside accessories like ventilation kits and the integrated electric light to further increase functionality.

Continued Improvements

The Brighten Up Series improved upon the earliest product with a patented Light Intercepting Transfer Device (LITD) and Raybender Technology. This technology delivers maximum output from low-angle light and is designed to deliver light to the smallest of spaces, including closets, hallways, and bathrooms. And with factory pre-assembled parts, installation can be reduced by up to 50%.

In 2000, the company released a line of TDDs specifically designed for commercial buildings. These feature larger openings to capture more daylight, can accommodate a variety of ceiling configurations, and are suitable for such commercial applications as retail locations, offices, and healthcare facilities. Additional improvements over the years include:

  • The introduction of a solar-powered attic ventilation fan
  • Enhanced reflectivity
  • Dimming capabilities
  • Extension Tube Adaptors for improved reach


The Growing Need for Energy Efficient Lighting

Sustainable living is more than a trend; it’s a necessity for a healthy planet, especially in the face of climate change. Homeowners who want to reduce their carbon footprint can do so with TDDs, designed to lower utility bills and contribute to stable interior temperatures.

When your home has sufficient quantities of natural light, you immediately decrease your dependency on electric lighting and likewise reduce emissions. All forms of electricity generation impact our land, water, and air. In the United States, therefore, electricity use accounts for a significant portion of each person’s environmental footprint.

The Price of Electricity

Reducing your home’s electrical use is a key step to greener living. It cuts back on greenhouse gases and other air pollutants while making your home more self-sufficient. But this doesn’t mean you must live in the dark. Solar power can meet and/or supplement your lighting needs, reduce your contribution to climate change, and fill your home with the healthiest light possible.

Defining Healthy Light

One aspect of TDDs we haven’t yet discussed is their ability to filter out harmful UV rays and infrared wavelengths. All that’s left then is pure, desirable light delivered in a consistent color, regardless of the season or time of day. This means less strain on your eyes and a more aesthetically pleasing space; for commercial applications, the delivery of consistent natural light can improve productivity and provide a more comfortable work environment.

But healthy light is more than a theory; sunlight is one of the key ways our bodies produce vitamin D. This nutrient helps regulate energy levels and mood, and when we lack sufficient levels, we can become lethargic and/or depressed. Natural lighting can also reduce headaches, eye fatigue, and positively influence the immune system. Last but not least, natural light is associated with lower blood pressure and reduced stress levels.

Contributions to Privacy

Homes continue to be built closer to each other, making privacy a prized commodity. TDDs provide natural light without further sacrificing solitude, especially in bedrooms and bathrooms where we need privacy and light in equal measures.

Thirty Years of Wonder

Innovation, thought leadership, and cutting-edge technology have enabled us to transform spaces in all corners of the world. Natural light allows people to clearly see their environment, from the unique colors and shapes to the textures and patterns that surround us every day. These are the traits we have brought to life for the last 30 years, using a range of commercial, residential, and industrial products to harness our most precious resource: sunlight.

Natural light is more than a commodity; it’s essential to well-being. By letting it into our personal and professional spaces, we promote a healthier planet and healthier people. Learn how the original light catcher can be used to improve your home or office by¬†contacting Solatube today.