Solatube in the Spotlight
Daylight Savings Time Change Offers a Time to "Reflect" on the Many Benefits of Daylight
Solatube Smart LED Offers 94 Percent Lighting Energy Savings at Home
Daylight Savings Time Change Offers a Time to Reflect on the Many Benefits of Daylight;
Solatube SmartLED Offers 94 Percent Lighting Energy Savings at Home.
Extra Hour of Daylight Good for Your Health and Saving Money at Home.
Everyone loves daylight, but have you ever asked yourself why? With the Daylight Savings Time change
happening on March 10, it's a great time to consider why we crave that extra hour of daylight.
Solatube Daylighting systems are the best solution for your indoor daylighting needs. Even though we have that extra
hour of light, don't forget about the night. The New Solatube Smart LED system delivers beautiful daylight
during the day that seamlessly transitions to energy efficient LED lighting at night.
Here are 10 facts about daylighting that can help everyone appreciate an extra hour of daylight:
- Daylighting provides energy usage reduction during the most important time of day, peak hours, when
energy rates are the highest and daylight availability is the greatest.
- Integrating Solatube Daylighting Systems into home designs can slash interior lighting costs by up to 80%.
By replacing existing lights with a Solatube Smart LED, you can expect to save up to 94% on your lighting
energy costs, day and night.
- Solatube Tubular Daylighting Devices can bring daylight into dark spaces into homes and businesses, and
can be easily installed in about two hours without the hassle and expense of reframing.
- A 2003 study of office worker productivity found that exposure to daylight was consistently linked with
higher levels of concentration and improved short-term memory.
- According to the Wisconsin-based Daylighting Collaborative, about 86% of electricity in traditional
buildings is used for light, fans and cooling. Adding Solatube daylighting systems can cut these costs by more
than 50% by reducing electric lighting, because daylight produces less heat per unit of illumination than most
- Daylight provides the truest and most vivid color rendition of all available light sources. At night, the LED
lights in the Solatube Smart LED, offer the more beautiful color and are more efficient than compact
fluorescent and incandescent bulbs.
- The Solatube Smart LED, a fusion of daylighting and LED lighting, can deliver up to 94 percent in energy
lighting savings " for details on the new Solatube Smart LED System, visit solatube.com.
- Studies in Canada and Sweden noted improved student behavior and health, including fewer days of
absences per year, in daylit classrooms.
- The new NAHB Green Home Building guidelines specifically recommend that Tubular Daylighting
Devices be installed in rooms without windows.
- Skylights are cited as the number one option in "dream bathroom" designs. Instead of making drastic
structural changes that will cost you a fortune, a Solatube Daylighting System can provide you the daylight
you need at a fraction of the cost with no structural changes or painting.
Daylighting systems (i.e. windows, skylights, Tubular Daylight Devices, etc.) are not only eco-friendly, but
they provide exceptional lighting and have even been proven to boost morale and productivity (among many
other benefits). By using a renewable resource, daylighting systems are able to harness the sun's rays and help
build a sustainable future.
About Solatube International
Solatube International Inc., based in Vista, Calif. (northern San Diego County), is the worldwide leading
manufacturer and marketer of Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDDs) and celebrated its 20th Anniversary in
2011. The company's flagship product, the Solatube (R) Daylighting System, provides a revolutionary natural
lighting solution for all types of residential and commercial applications and is the only spec-grade TDD
currently available on the market. The maxim "Innovation in DaylightingTM" reflects the company's
commitment to the development of breakthrough daylighting technologies, which has resulted in numerous
patents dating back to the mid-1980s. Widely recognized as the industry innovator, Solatube International has
earned acclaim around the globe for its unrivaled ability to transform interior spaces with the power of
daylight. The company is currently launching its Smart LED System, a fusion of daylighting and LED
lighting for energy lighting savings of up to 94 percent.
NEW Solatube Glass Distractions
Ask This Old House installs a Solar Star attic fan
VIDEO: Solatube Brings You Natural Sunlight
Flip That House episode where Solatube Daylighting Systems are installed
Living with Ed episode where Solatube Daylighting Systems are installed in the Begley home
Solatube Installation Video
Solatube International Helps 2008 Olympic Games Go Green
As China set out to create the first-ever “Green Olympics,” designers turned to Solatube International Inc., the worldwide leading manufacturer and marketer of Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDDs) to provide natural lighting solutions for a new Olympic event-designated gymnasium at the Beijing Science & Technology University. The company announced today that the installation of 148 Solatube 750 DS Daylighting Systems (approximately each 21 in/530 mm in diameter) is now complete.
Solatube International LogoThe gymnasium will host the judo and taekwondo Olympic competitions, as well as the Paralympics wheelchair rugby and wheelchair basketball events. The Solatube Daylighting Systems illuminate the facility’s main gymnasium, which includes a 2,400-square-meter competition arena that seats over 8,000 spectators.
This is the first public installation of the new Solatube 750 DS, which is the latest product innovation from Solatube International. The Solatube 750 DS collects light through a technologically advanced, transparent dome, transports it down a highly reflective tube and distributes it through a diffuser to provide superior lighting and extend the hours of daylight available within an interior space.
“We are honored to play a role in the greening of the Olympics this year and to help create such a beautiful and energy-efficient facility,” said David Rillie, CEO of Solatube International. “We are particularly proud to officially unveil our latest technological innovations on such a massive worldwide stage.”
The architects designing the facility sought a way to add natural light to the building that would satisfy the needs of athletes and spectators, while reducing the need for artificial lighting. However, with a steel-frame roof, numerous obstructions and a diffusion plane over 55.8 feet (17 meters) high, the building provided many design challenges. Skylights were not an option due to the building’s obstructions, for they would negatively impact light transmission and delivery.
The solution was the Solatube 750 DS Daylighting System. The design challenges were overcome largely due to the high light transmission properties of the Spectralight® Infinity Tubing, which allowed the daylight to be successfully transmitted over 26.1 feet (eight meters) and was angled around construction obstructions. Additionally, the building’s Solatube Daylighting Systems were equipped with OptiView® Diffusers to evenly disperse the daylight throughout the interior space and Daylight DimmersTM, so that the daylight could be adjusted anywhere from 100 percent to two percent for optimum energy efficiency, occupant comfort and changing space requirements.
“Compared with traditional lighting systems, Solatube Daylighting Systems have a unique advantage with a better progressed view and a wide application field,” said Weimin Shuang, architect and dean of the Architecture Design Institute of Qinghua University. “It reduces power usage and exceeds our environmental design goals.”
Coupled with an insulating inner dome, the Solatube 750 DS delivers consistent illumination, visual comfort and thermal performance. Of great importance to all participants within the facility, the product ensures a bright, consistent and comfortable level of daylighting by tempering glints and mixing light in its shaft.
Designers of the project also chose Solatube Daylighting Systems because in the intense Beijing sun of August, it eliminates powerful glare and hot spots, as well as stops UV rays and heat from entering the building. All year long, the product‘s proprietary Raybender 3000® Technology also lengthens the day by gathering early morning and late afternoon sunlight and bringing it into the building.
Lighting, both daylighting and artificial lighting, can often generate heat into interior spaces. However, the Solatube Daylighting System uses Raybender 3000 Technology to reduce the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, which significantly improves energy efficiency because it does not strain the HVAC system during the peak hours of the day. Thus, by installing Solatube 750 DS Daylighting Systems, the Beijing Science & Technology University Gymnasium is able to obtain the highest solar heat gain to visual transmission ratio currently available from any daylighting product (including every window and skylight on the market worldwide).
The Solatube 750 DS is now ready for specification and will be available for purchase and shipment in late summer 2008. All major building code compliances, as well as the coveted ENERGY STAR® rating, are currently pending.
Solatube International Inc., based in Vista, Calif. (northern San Diego County), is the worldwide leading manufacturer and marketer of Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDDs). The company’s flagship product, the Solatube Daylighting System, provides a revolutionary natural lighting solution for all types of residential and commercial applications and is the only spec-grade TDD currently available on the market. The maxim “Innovation in DaylightingTM” reflects the company’s commitment to the development of breakthrough daylighting technologies, which has resulted in numerous patents dating back to the mid-1980s. Widely recognized as the industry innovator, Solatube International has earned acclaim around the globe for its unrivaled ability to transform interior spaces with the power of daylight. For more information on the Solatube Daylighting System or other products manufactured and marketed by Solatube International, including solar-powered attic ventilation fans, please visit the Solatube website at www.solatube.com or call 888-SOLATUBE (888-765-2882).
Solatube Introduces First Tax Credit-Eligible Tubular Daylighting Device
By: Lauren Hunter
Solatube International announced last week that it has become the first company to introduce a tubular daylighting device (TDD) that is eligible for energy-efficiency tax credits. As outlined in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), skylights -- TDDs included -- must meet the same criteria as windows and doors to be eligible for a tax credit. Units that have a 0.30 U-factor and a 0.30 solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) are eligible for a tax credit of 30% of the cost of the materials, up to $1,500 (labor is not included). Few skylights on the market meet these criteria.
Solatube is offering two models with its new energy-efficient eChoice label. Part of the Brighten Up Daylighting System, the models are the 10-inch 160 DSe and 14-inch 290DSe. A range of diffusers and trim options are available for each model. The smaller unit can accommodate a tubing run up to 20 feet. The larger TDD can run a tube as long as 30 feet. Flashing is available for nearly all roof types.
The new eChoice products offer a 0.28 U-factor and 0.2 SHGC. The manufacturer says that the units feature adapted designs to meet the strict energy-efficiency criteria.
Anticipating the Market
“Traditional skylights and TDDs are really two different animals,” Solatube president Robert Westfall told REMODELING in an e-mail. “I can’t comment on challenges traditional skylights have in meeting the tax credit requirement. As far as TDDs, we really did have a head start.”
Westfall says that Solatube has stayed close to leaders and associations in the energy code arena, so the company was not surprised to see interest in improving the energy efficiency of fenestration products.
With the company’s research and development teams looking at energy efficiency, Westfall says that Solatube has “generally focused on maximizing the transmission of light. But we are keenly aware of the issues related to increasing solar heat gain coefficient when doing this. I believe that typically when SHGC is improved, there is a sacrifice of visible light transmission.”
Westfall says designers combated this loss of light transmission with Solatube Raybender Technology and another proprietary technology that create a high ratio of visible light transmission to SHGC.
“When the (legislation) passed, we were already very close to meeting the requirements for the tax credit,” Westfall says. “We just needed a simple modification. Making this modification became our top priority because we realized that having qualified products would be very important to consumers and building product dealers.”
As it stands, any Solatube eChoice product installed between June 15, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2010 will qualify for the 30% tax credit. These dates differ from those stated in the legislation due to the products’ date of introduction.
Solatube also offers its Solar Star attic fan as a tax credit-eligible product. Because it is solar powered, the fan is eligible for a full 30% tax credit and is not subject to the $1,500 cap. “We are starting to see an increate in interest in the Solar Star line as a result of the tax credit,” Westfall says, anticipating the same for the eChoice TDD products.
Few Skylights Eligible for Tax Credits
As it stands, the fenestration industry saw hefty losses in 2008, but has experienced a recent boost in sales thanks in part to the new tax credits. That boost, however, has not extended to skylights, which account for approximately 2% of the industry.
The ARRA language "deviated from an Energy Star-rated product to a simpler, single-number qualification, and skylights cannot meet those numbers," Velux president Roger LeBrun said in an article for REPLACEMENT CONTRACTOR, a sister publication to REMODELING.
According to the article, most skylights on the market today have U-factors from 0.55 to 0.5, and an SHGC of 0.3 to "any," depending on the climate zone. Most manufacturers believe it is unlikely that more energy-efficient skylights meeting the necessary requirements will come on the market in time for homeowners to take advantage of the tax credits.
Click here to read more about window and door products that qualify for tax credits. --Lauren Hunter, associate editor, REMODELING.