The Solatube story began in the 1980s when a lone Australian inventor created a product that revolutionized the way daylight was brought into a building. Known as a tubular daylighting device (TDD), this product was a compact and leakproof alternative to traditional skylights. After being patented, this device became the first Solatube product ever sold and the catalyst that transformed the daylighting industry.
Since that time, Solatube International has continued to innovate with new and updated models; advanced optical technologies; daylight dimming, lighting and ventilation devices; and modular, performance-enhancing components. And there’s more to come.
Browse the timeline below to see where we’ve been and where we’re heading next.
Applied for first patent
The first tubular daylighting device (TDD) is invented. It is simple to install without structural changes and delivers abundant natural light to interiors.
First prototype installed
The original design features a rooftop light capturing system that redirects daylight through a highly reflective cylinder to a diffuser at the ceiling level.
First Solatube product sold
Sales that first year make the "light catcher" the best-selling skylight in Australia.
Solatube entered North American market
A North American office is established in Southern California.
The first residential TDD in North America, the Miracle Skylight sells with accessories like integrated lighting and ventilation kits that further enhance its functionality.
Spectralight® 2000 Tubing released
New tubing material offers highest reflectivity at the time for improved light transmission.
Solatube expanded into commercial market
Realizing the potential for TDDs in non-residential buildings, the company launches a separate commercial division.
Brighten Up® Series and SolaMaster® Series launched
The company engineers its first line of TDDs specifically for commercial buildings.
Patented Raybender™ Technology introduced
Company invents advanced optical technology that uses Fresnel lenses to increase light capture.
Light Intercepting Transfer Device (LITD) unveiled
New transmission device is designed to redirect the sun’s rays into the tubing for greater output.
Company expands product lineup with new offering that provides homeowners with affordable, energy efficient way to solve heating / cooling challenges in the home.
0-90 Degree Extension Tube rolled out
The only one of its kind in the lighting industry, this unique extension tubing is designed to maneuver around obstacles for unprecedented installation versatility—without compromised lighting performance.
Highly reflective tubing material sets new industry standards by providing unprecedented reflectivity. It allows for optimal lighting performance for low-angle light conditions and long tube runs.
Daylight Dimmer launched
Patented Daylight Dimmer is the first in the industry to provide controlled, adjustable daylighting at the press of a button.
OptiView® Diffuser introduced
Unique optical material gives designers an option for showcasing the sky in a dazzling way.
Cool Tube Technology put into production
Company upgrades tubing with patented technology that prevents heat-carrying infrared rays from entering the system. The result is maximum light with minimal heat gain.
LightTracker™ Reflector released
An improvement on the LITD, this innovative in-dome reflector increases light input for greater output.
Patented daylight-capturing dome lens maximizes light capture while rejecting overpowering midday sunlight.
SolaMaster® Series extended with Solatube 750 DS model
Line extension features Raybender 3000 and LightTracker Technologies for consistent light output without glare, overlighting or overheating.
Solatube Decorative Fixtures unveiled
Solatube International is the first to introduce a line of stylish glass fixtures for TDDs.
Smart LED™ System launched
The Smart LED System hits the market as the first hybrid TDD to combine daylighting with LEDs. As a result, it cuts lighting energy use by 94%.
SkyVault® Series debuted
The SkyVault Series becomes the first high output system for large commercial spaces with high ceilings in the U.S. market.
The company modifies its AuroraGlo Decorative Fixture with a lower profile bowl and trim rings in white and bronze.
Breakthrough device creates focused light for illuminating occupied spaces below.
Raybender HD Technology introduced
Patented and powerful vertical daylight-capturing lens boosts light output by catching more low-angle light.
Oversized collector features Raybender HD and LightTracker Technologies that increase low-angle light capture for greater output.