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Solatube® Daylighting Systems – unrivalled performance

How much light will Solatube® Daylighting Systems provide?

A SolatubeDaylighting System – indeed any tubular daylighting device – works in a similar manner to a window; the brighter the day outside, the more light you receive inside. Solatube Highest Performance GuaranteeThe key when selecting a tubular daylighting device is to make sure you choose the system that takes best advantage of the available light levels at all times of the day and year, and actively helps to control the light levels in your room. This is where Solatube® Daylighting Systems are light years ahead of any other tubular daylighting device and why the Brighten Up® Series Solatube® Daylighting Systems come with a Highest Performance Guarantee.

Solatube Daylighting Systems hold a BBA Certificate to confirm their fitness-for-purpose and also, very importantly, compliance to the appropriate UK building regulations. Agrément Certificates are recognised by building control, government departments, architects, local authorities, specifiers and industry insurers such as the NHBC.

Spectralight Infinity is the unique tube material used exclusively by Solatube Daylighting Systems. At 99.7% reflective, it ensures the most light possible is transferred to the room below. As you can see in the chart below, a small difference in reflectivity value can make a substantial difference to the overall light delivery of a tubular daylighting device.

 

The Solatube 99.7% reflective tube material delivers almost one third more light than a 98% reflective material

Tube reflectivity comparison chart uses a simple mathematical calculation to determine how much light is finally delivered

Of course, the more light you can get into the tube in the first place, the better. And the steeper this light enters the tube, the fewer bounces it will take down the tube and that means less light is absorbed en route. The technologies in the Solatube® roof dome actively work towards getting more light into the tube at the steepest possible angle and can more than double the amount of light entering the tube over a system without them.

The combined technologies of the LightTracker™ reflector and Raybender® 3000 technology can more than double the amount of light entering the tubeIn the Solatube® roof dome, the LightTracker™ reflector and the Raybender® 3000 Technology actively harvest daylight and direct it down the tube at the steepest possible angle for minimum light loss.


The LightTracker™ reflector is particularly effective during the winter months, early morning and evening when the sun is low in the sky, as it is ideally positioned to reflect and redirect the low angled light into the tube – light that would otherwise have passed straight through the dome and been lost.

 

The Raybender® 3000 technology ensures light enters the dome at the steepest possible angle to minimize the number of bounces the light will take down the tube. This steeper 'angle of incidence' ensures less light is lost on its path to the room below.

 

 

 

Independent comparative tests

Comparative tests were carried out between the Solatube® 290 DS Daylighting System and the two widely-available 350mm diameter flexible systems. The tests were were carried out by the UK's Building Research Establishment (an independent testing facility set-up by the government to evaluate building products) who concluded that the Solatube® Daylighting System outperformed the flexible tube systems by at least 10 times, and in some applications up to as much as 28 times. Read the full report.

 

Lumen/lux output of Solatube® Daylighting Systems

The lumen and lux figures in the chart below show the light output you can expect to receive from a Solatube® Daylighting System that has been installed into the largest recommended room size, with a tube length of 1.8 metres. If you install your Solatube® Daylighting System into a smaller room and have a shorter length tube, the light delivered can be significantly higher. Please see our case study of a bathroom installation where light readings were taken before and after the Solatube® Daylighting System was installed.

 

Lumen/lux output of Solatube Daylighting Systems

Lumen output of electric lamps

To give you an idea of the level of light that lumens can bring, the chart below shows how they compare to the light output of various typical household lamps.

Lumen output of electric lampsSource: www.energyguide.com

 

  • The combined technologies incorporated in the Solatube® roof dome can more than double the amount of light entering the tube
  • Even low level winter light is captured by the Solatube® dome technologies
  • It is the tube material that determines how much of the light entering via the dome is then transferred to the room below – so always check the reflective value of the tube material; the higher, the better!
  • At 99.7% reflective, the tube material used in Solatube® Daylighting Systems is the most reflective material available in any tubular daylighting device
  • As you can probably appreciate, flexible tube by its very nature is not a reliable means of transferring light; light entering a flexible tube will not necessarily continue to bounce on a downward path, but will scatter randomly in all directions (including upwards) as it bounces off the concertinaed surface of the tube
  • A rigid tube will allow light to continue on its path with each bounce – rather like a mirror. A flexible, concertinaed tube has an inner surface rather like a piece of crumpled foil and will therefore scatter light randomly in all directions, some of it back up out of the tube, which will significantly reduce the amount of light delivered
  • Independent tests have been carried out between Solatube® Daylighting Systems, which use only rigid tube material, and two widely-available flexible tube systems and the results show a dramatic difference in the amount of light delivered
  • Solatube® Daylighting Systems do not use flexible ducting as a tube material for very good reason – see our case study!
  • A Solatube® Daylighting System – indeed any tubular daylighting device – works in a similar manner to a window; the brighter the day outside, the more light you receive inside, the key is to choose the system that makes the most of the available daylight
  • Lumen - a unit of measurement of the amount of brightness that comes from a light source. For example, a wax candle generates 13 lumens; a 100 watt bulb generates 1,200 lumens
  • Lux - a unit of measurement of the intensity of light, it is equal to the illumination of a surface one meter away from a single candle

To give you an idea of light output from a Solatube® Daylighting System as compared to an electric light bulb:

 

  • A Solatube® 160 DS will provide an average equivalent light as follows:
    Spring - 75 Watt
    Summer - 150 Watt
    Autumn - 75 Watt
    Winter - 60 Watt
  • A Solatube® 290 DS will provide an average equivalent light as follows:
    Spring - 100 Watt
    Summer - 200 Watt
    Autumn - 100 Watt
    Winter - 75 Watt