From the dawn of time man has wondered if there was a way to capture sunlight to bring it indoors, where it was needed. All kinds of technologies were tried over the centuries but none of them were successful. The only way to light interior spaces without access to direct sunlight was with fire, candles, and lanterns and later by electricity. Architects continually tried to find ways to use windows and skylights to maximize the amount of natural light that could enter a structure, but design, function and location constraints limited how effective these efforts were. The breakthrough came about 30 years ago when the tubular daylighting device (TTD) was invented.
It was in the 1980s that an Australian inventor created a system to bring sunlight into a building by taking it through walls and floors with the use of pipes that had their interiors coated with high reflective materials. This, coupled with highly efficient daylight collection devices and indoor diffusers to spread the light took daylighting out of the realm of theory and made it a practical and viable way to light the interiors of buildings without using electricity.
- 1986 – The first patent on the TTD is applied for
- 1987 – The first prototype is installed.
- 1991 – The first sales take place in Australia.
- 1992 – Solatube enters the North American market
- 1995 – New material and technology increases the amount of light that can be delivered indoors.
- 2000 – A new division of Solatube is created to cater for the increasing demand for daylighting in non-residential buildings. New products with improved features and new technologies that allowed for improved transmission of light are launched. The Solar Star Attic Fan is launched.
- 2002 – The 90 degree extension tube that takes light to places where it could not go before it is launched. New industry leading reflective materials are developed and unveiled.
- 2003 – An industry first dimmer system to control the amount of daylight is launched.
Daylighting systems are the way of the future because they offer natural, environmentally friendly light while also helping to reduce your utility bills. There are several manufacturers of these systems but going with the originator of the technology is the best option, especially if it is the industry leader in terms of features, customer service, options and market share. Today over 2 million people are enjoying the benefits of the Solatube daylighting system in their homes. Millions more are unknowingly enjoying daylighting in department stores, schools, hospitals, offices and other public and private spaces across the world. Major Corporates are using TTDs to reduce their energy costs. If you have not considered daylighting systems for your home, now is the time to do so.