Solatube review the past 30 years

So Solatube are celebrating 30 years since inventing the original sun tunnel idea; a tubular skylight that pipes bright daylight down a highly reflective tube to light up dark interiors – congratulations!  But what does it mean for the customer?

Ultimately, it means that you’re benefitting from 30 years of experience in delivering daylight in to dark interiors and lighting up people’s lives.   But it all depends on what you do during those 30 years.  As I’ve mentioned before, it was Solatube that came up with the original tubular skylight, or sun tunnel, idea and since their first system, Solatube seem to be unique in that they have continued to invest in the design, development and improvement of the system year on year, making Solatube the best sun pipe on the market.  I have personally witnessed numerous developments over the last 16 years and that means I am now confident that the combined quality and performance of the Solatube system is second to none. 

In my own experience it is apparent that all the other copycat sun tunnel systems out there have simply copied the original Solatube system and tried to make it cheaper.  After that they have then just sat on their hands and done nothing further to improve their offering.  And that’s why I keep coming back to Solatube sun pipes, because in my own opinion Solatube outperforms the others in terms of both performance AND quality of design and build, which means Solatube is the best sun tunnel installation.  All this comes as a result of over 30 years of knowledge and commitment to the concept.

Solatube quality stands out

Actually, it’s this quality of design and build that is vitally important.  You may find another system that can compete in terms of, say, light levels, but it won’t get close in terms of quality of build.  Just take a look at the quality of the materials used, typically plastics.  Solatube use robust and long lasting plastics, whereas other systems built with cheapness in mind use lower grade plastics that are more likely to break and fail.

This leads on to the system design and how it all fits together.  I have installed most other systems out there and only Solatube skylights seem to have been designed with installation in mind.  And a system that is simple to install is going to be one that is well installed, because any system can only be as good as the installation itself. 

Having battled with several other tubular skylight systems in the past it has left me wondering if the ‘designer’ ever had any concept whatsoever of how these need to be installed when working up on a roof ladder and squeezing in to often cramped roof spaces.  When you have to struggle to fit the sun tunnel kit together then the quality of the installation itself is far more likely to suffer.

Ongoing improvements make Solatube the best sun tunnel system

Over the last 30 years, Solatube has introduced at least 2 new dome designs that has helped ensure that Solatube sun pipes deliver the most daylight in to the room below.  They have also offered their domes in both polycarbonate (that complies with UK building regulations) AND in acrylic (because most other systems use cheaper acrylic).  However, no other manufacturer offers a choice of both.

New and improved roof flashings have been developed using the latest in materials technology that, once again ensure a better installation and one that is even more weather proof, resulting in Solatube sun pipes that don’t leak.

We’ve also seen numerous design improvements in diffusers, resulting in the largest choice of fixtures that allows you to choose a look that suits your own taste.  Various fixing and fittings have also been developed, tweaked and improved over the years resulting in an improved installation process for the Solatube system. All these improvements have resulted in the creation of what I believe to be the ultimate skylight sun tunnel.

I’ve just not seen any similar levels of development and improvement from any other manufacturer, resulting in systems that are harder to install and consequently less like to be installed well.  So when you review what tubular skylight or sun tunnel to use, make sure you include Solatube in your list as you won’t’ be disappointed.

Solatube achieves BBA accreditation

During these 30 years the investment that Solatube has made in the product has resulted in it being the only system to achieve BBA accreditation for their sun tunnel systems.  This is something that companies selling copy-cat systems are unable to achieve because they don’t deliver on quality.  And much of this is down to the ongoing product development that Solatube invests in, ensuring that not only the design is continually improved but that the high grade quality of materials used is maintained in order to deliver a top quality product all round.

BBA Certification confirms the safety, suitability and compliance of a product for use in our homes.  Without it, it is not possible to be certain that the product you are using will deliver on its claims and promises.  Companies that ignore or avoid this process usually do so for a reason – their products do not meet the British Standards for construction.  Consequently they tend to disparage the need for certification and imply that it is not relevant.

Solatubes help reduce energy consumption

From residential to commercial, each Solatube installation has helped to conserve resources and protect the environment for a better future.  And there are over 6 million Solatube installations worldwide.

By conservative estimates, enough Solatube tubular skylights have been sold to offset 137,180,000 pounds in carbon emissions annually. That equates to taking 11,430 cars off the road for a full year!  Imagine if everyone used daylighting to light their homes and offices!

So, whilst you may not give two hoots that Solatube is celebrating 30 years in business (why would you?!), it’s worth knowing that those 30 years have not been wasted, ensuring that the best alternative to a skylight or velux-style roof window is probably a Solatube sun pipe.

I hope all the above helps and If you are interested in bringing natural light into your home, why not contact us at info@solatubescotland.co.uk; 07778 283 427 to find out whether a Solatube sun pipe can help you. Typically, a fully installed system might cost anywhere between £900 – £1,200; that’s supplied, professionally installed and includes the VAT.


Back to blog listing