Tubular daylighting device

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Solatube Daylighting Systems harvest sunlight at the roof level and transmit it through a highly reflective tube into interior spaces at the ceiling level.

A tubular daylighting device (TDD), also known as a light tube, is installed at the roof level and transmits light to a focused area of the interior. These somewhat resemble recessed ceiling light fixtures when viewed from inside the interior. They allow minimal heat transfer, as opposed to traditional skylights, because they have less surface area. TDDs harvest daylight through a roof-mounted dome with diameters ranging from about 10 inches for residential applications to 29 inches for commercial buildings. Made from acrylic or polycarbonate formulated to block ultraviolet rays, the dome captures and redirects light rays into an aluminum tubing system that resembles ductwork.[1]

Tubular daylighting devices use modern technology to transmit visible light through opaque walls and roofs. The tube itself is a passive component consisting of either a simple reflective interior coating or a light conducting fiber optic bundle. It is frequently capped with a transparent, roof-mounted dome 'light collector' and terminated with a diffuser assembly that admits the daylight into interior spaces and distributes the available light energy evenly (or else efficiently if the use of the lit space is reasonably fixed, and the user desired one or more 'bright-spots').

Tubular daylighting devices are often used in residential settings to add natural light.[2]

The use of tubular daylighting devices in commercial applications is known as daylighting. Daylighting falls under the larger umbrella of sustainable or green building.

The tubular daylighting device was invented by Solatube International in 1993 and is used to provide daylighting to residential and commercial buildings, contributing to sustainability from a lighting standpoint and reducing the carbon footprint. Other manufacturers of TDDs include Velux/Sun Tunnel, SunScope, ODL, Natural Light and US Sunlight.


  1. ^ Lau, Wanda (Feb 6, 2012). "Lighten Up Tubular daylighting devices turn natural light into a deployable technology.". EcoBuilding Pulse. Retrieved April 3, 2014. 
  2. ^ Stone, Tracey. "101 tubular daylighting device Home Design Photos". Houzz. Retrieved April 3, 2014.