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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.

1986

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.

1987

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.

1991

First Solatube product sold
Sales that first year make the "light catcher" the best-selling skylight in Australia.

1992

Solatube entered North American market
A North American office is established in Southern California.

The Miracle Skylight® introduced
The first residential TDD in North America, the Miracle Skylight sells with accessories like integrated lighting and ventilation kits that further enhance its functionality.

 

1995

Spectralight® 2000 Tubing released
New tubing material offers highest reflectivity at the time for improved light transmission.

2000

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.

Solar Star® Attic Fans debuted
Company expands product lineup with new offering that provides homeowners with affordable, energy efficient way to solve heating / cooling challenges in the home.

2002

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.

Spectralight Infinity Tubing unveiled
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.

2003

Daylight Dimmer launched
Patented Daylight Dimmer is the first in the industry to provide controlled, adjustable daylighting at the press of a button.

2004

OptiView® Diffuser introduced
Unique optical material gives designers an option for showcasing the sky in a dazzling way.

2006

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.

2007

LightTracker™ Reflector released
An improvement on the LITD, this innovative in-dome reflector increases light input for greater output.

Raybender 3000 Technology introduced
Patented daylight-capturing dome lens maximizes light capture while rejecting overpowering midday sunlight. 

2009

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.

2011

Solatube Decorative Fixtures unveiled
Solatube International is the first to introduce a line of stylish glass fixtures for TDDs.

2012

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%.

2013

SkyVault® Series debuted
The SkyVault Series becomes the first high output system for large commercial spaces with high ceilings in the U.S. market.

AuroraGlo Decorative Fixture updated
The company modifies its AuroraGlo Decorative Fixture with a lower profile bowl and trim rings in white and bronze.
SkyVault Amplifier rolled out
Breakthrough device creates focused light for illuminating occupied spaces below.

2014

Raybender HD Technology introduced
Patented and powerful vertical daylight-capturing lens boosts light output by catching more low-angle light.

SkyVault Collector launched
Oversized collector features Raybender HD and LightTracker Technologies that increase low-angle light capture for greater output.