Solatube History

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 America 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 is 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, overnighting 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 SmartLED 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 AuroraGlow 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.

2015

Thermal Insulation Panel introduced

Dual glazing restricts both conductive and convective heat transfer, delivering U-factors that
surpass current codes.

Launched the SkyVault® Daylight Dimmer

Launched the 0-10V dimmer that controls daylight in auditoriums, sports arenas, and
large volume spaces.

2016

Solatube International celebrates 25 years
Introduced Square fixtures for Residential

New square decorative fixtures bring in daylight with an edgy, contemporary style.

Launched Solatube ISn Solar Integrated NightLight

The Solatube ISn System with Solar Integrated NightLight brings you sunlight by day and
soft lighting by night. The entire system and installation qualify for a 30% federal tax credit.

2017

Launched SolaMaster® 300 DS with SoftLight Technology

A hybrid between the 290 DS and 330 DS, the new SolaMaster 300 DS fits into compact plenum spaces. Spectralight® Infinity’s new SoftLight Technology softens the daylight and increases visual comfort.

Whole House Fan launched

Solatube Whole House Fans remove hot, stale indoor air and pathogens from living spaces through the attic and out the vents.

2018

Garage Fan launched

Powered and solar ventilation solutions remove heat and fumes from any garage and bring in cool, outside air.

2019

New Low Profile Dome for 290 DS

Solatube introduces a flat dome for a sleek, unobtrusive look on the roof.

2020

New Solar-Powered Daylight Dimmer For Brighten Up®

The new Solar-Powered Daylight Dimmer includes a remote-controlled, solar-powered baffle that opens and closes at the touch of a button.

Launched LED Light Kit

Integration of electrical LED light for nighttime illumination and a cleaner ceiling appearance from a single fixture.

PPE Face Shields

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Solatube shifts gears to help local hospitals and clinics by donating face shields and sneeze guards.

2021

Solatube International celebrates 30 Years of Wonder