what is a tubular daylighting device?

Solatube Daylighting Systems are known as Tubular Daylighting Device (TDDs). They capture sunlight using a rooftop dome, then transfer it indoors through a reflective tube that runs from the roof to the ceiling. From there, the light is evenly dispersed into the interior space using a diffuser.

While tubular daylighting devices are sometimes referred to as “tubular skylights” “sun pipes” and “light tunnels”. Solatube Daylighting Systems are more advanced and complex than these names imply. They are the only high-performance daylighting device that use patented optical technologies to significantly improve the way daylight is harnessed and delivered to interiors. Unlike traditional skylights, they do not require reframing, dry walling, tunneling or repainting or days to install. Instead they can be installed in about two hours with little mess or disruption, and at a fraction of the cost.



The light output of a TDD is incredible, providing the same amount of light you would expect from a skylight may times its size.


Product and installation costs for a TDD are considerably less than other daylighting options, such as windows and skylights.


TDD’s require no structural reframing, tunneling, dry walling or painting. We can install the product in less than two hours.


The compact and flexible design of TDDs allow them to be installed in just about any interior, including small spaces or locations on lower floors where daylighting would usually not be an option.


TDDs allow you to switch off electric lights during the day, which reduces energy bills and environmental pollution.


It has been shown in several prominent studies that daily exposure to natural light can enhance mental and physical well-being, boost concentration and energy levels, and offer a variety of other unexpected perks. 

Daylighting is the Best Medicine

Daylighting the interior space of buildings is an important consideration for architectural design. Studies have shown that increased daylighting improves worker productivity, faster patient recovery, and improves students’ grades. Additional benefits of daylighting include keeping our biological clocks in order and relieving stress. These benefits have long been recognized in Europe, where minimal amounts of daylighting and an opportunity to enjoy an exterior view are regulated.

Blood pressure in nurses has reduced, moods have improved with access to daylight, resulting in improved patient care. For the health and happiness of nurses – and for the best care of hospital patients – new Cornell research suggests exposure to natural lighting may be the best medicine for recovery. In a forthcoming Cornell study published in the journal Health Environments Research and Design, Rana Zadeh, assistant professor of design and environmental analysis, discovered that nurses who has access to natural light enjoyed significantly lower blood pressure, communicated more often with their colleagues, laughed more and helped their patients in better moods than nurses who settled for large doses of artificial lighting.

Maximizing access to natural daylighting and providing quality lighting design in nursing areas may be an opportunity to improve safety through environmental design and enable staff to manage sleepiness, work in a better mood and stay alert, according to Zadeh.

(2014 – Daylighting is the best medicine, for nurses. Cornell University. Retrieved from

“Patients with access to sunlight require 20% less pain medication.”

A 2004 University of Pittsburgh study showed that patients with access to sunlight required 20% less pain medication, leading to lower medical costs. 

LEARN MORE about solatube

Do you want to learn more about Solatube? You can check our download section for brochures, CAD drawings and more. You can also contact us with any question you may have.