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 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.
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 is non-residential buildings, the company launches a separate
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.
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
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
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
Raybender 3000 Technology introduced
Patented daylight-capturing dome lens maximizes light capture while rejecting overpowering
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.
Solatube Decorative Fixtures unveiled
Solatube International is the first to introduce a line of stylish glass fixtures for TDDs.
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%.
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.
Raybender HD Technology introduced
Patented and powerful vertical daylight-capturing lens boosts light output by catching more
SkyVault® Collector launched
Oversized collector features Raybender HD and LightTracker Technologies that increase
low-angle light capture for greater output.
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.
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.
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.
Garage Fan launched
Powered and solar ventilation solutions remove heat and fumes from any garage and bring in cool, outside air.
New Low Profile Dome for 290 DS
Solatube introduces a flat dome for a sleek, unobtrusive look on the roof.
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.