LED Solarspot® systems

For architects and building designers needing to provide daylight solutions with guaranteed minimum light levels, Solarspot® International has introduced SILS – Solarspot Intelligent Lighting Solutions.

The system utilises interactive LED light technology synchronised to Solarspot daylight systems to provide a totally integrated and stable light source. Each Solarspot ceiling diffuser is fitted with a circular bank of dimmable LEDs. The unit is then controlled by a light sensing panel mounted in the area being lit to ensure that the minimum pre-set light levels are maintained.

Throughout the day the levels of ambient light are continually monitored. As the level of external light (daylight) increases, the LED unit is dimmed accordingly. When the external light level increase to the point that the pre-set minimum internal level is reached the LED is switch off. If the level of daylight drops past the minimum pre-set level, the LEDs seamlessly fade in to provide a consistent light level to the occupants of the room. As the day progresses, and the external daylight levels drops, the LEDs take over and provide the required light levels for the room.

Energy saving potential

For buildings that are occupied predominantly during daylight hours, the energy saved from only using electric lighting when the daylight levels are insufficient to provide the required levels could be as much as 85%. For building occupied for longer periods of the day, the savings with be commensurate with the hours of occupation. The advantage of the system is that it removes the human intervention factor – people arriving in the dark and then leaving the lights on all day, or just turning on the electric lights by force of habit.


Improved comfort

Through constant monitoring and adjustment of the light within the space, the building designer or owner can pre-set the minimum levels of light appropriate for the space in the knowledge that these will be consistent and will not be interfered with.


BREEAM and carbon footprint reduction

Solarspot tubular daylighting systems and SILS can make significant reductions to a buildings’ carbon footprint and contribute to its BREEAM points total.



LED-25 for the Solarspot D-25 2000 Lumen (round)
LED-38 for the Solarspot D-38 4400 Lumen (round) // 8000 Lumen (square)
LED-53 for the Solarspot D-53 8800 Lumen (round) // 10000 Lumen (square)
LED-65 for the Solarspot D-65 12000 Lumen (round) // 16000 Lumen (round)
LED-90 for the Solarspot D-90 16000 Lumen (round) // 25000 Lumen (round)


What makes us the brightest

Solarspot® – More efficient than Solatube® or Sunpipe®

The BRE test results are in

Compare the efficiency

Read the test report in full

Look at any sun tunnel suppliers’ website and they will probably tell you that their system is the best, the brightest, the most efficient etc. in order to persuade you to buy from them. So how do you know who’s telling you the truth and who’s leaving you in the dark when it comes to the facts?

To say that some manufacturers make claims that are open to interpretation is giving them the benefit of the doubt. A less charitable person might reach the conclusion that they are giving out false and misleading information. A couple of manufactures, who will remain nameless, are claiming to be ‘95% efficient’, when what they actually are is 95% reflective – not the same thing and the net result in terms of light delivery is massive. In fact, no system in the world is 95% efficient and systems with reflective values of only 95% are actually so poor that we discounted them in these tests.

It’s difficult for the average consumer to cut through all of the jargon and reach an educated and informed decision without the help of a qualified team of daylight boffins – and where can you find one of those when you need one? So in order to shed some light on the problem, we went to the independent daylight experts at the BRE and asked them for help.


The test results and what it means to you

Each system was tested three times to ensure that there were no spikes in light or freak results and the average of the efficiency of the three readings is given as the result.

As the table shows very clearly, the clear winner in efficiency terms is the Solarspot D-38 with results that are roughly half as good again as the other two. So what does that mean in terms of light delivery for you and your home.

Simply put, if you had two systems, side-by-side, in the same roof, facing in the same direction, and both tubes are the same length, then if one was half as efficient again as the other, then you would expect half as much light again as the other. But you also need to take into account the width of the tube.

For example; if you put a Solarspot D-38 and Solatube 290DS together – as suggested above – because the Solatube is 30 mm narrower, it has less volume. In turn, the Solarspot would be delivering around 69% more light in the same conditions.

Building Research Establishment

BRE (Building Research Establishment) is an independent and impartial, research-based consultancy, testing and training organisation, offering expertise in every aspect of the built environment and associated industries – that’s what it says on their website so who are we to argue.

We asked them to take our Solarspot D-38 system and compare it to a Solatube 290DS and Sunpipe 450 and test them to see which was the most efficient at delivering daylight – what other reason would you have to buy one and what critical information would you need when deciding which system to purchase? We also referenced a couple of the very popular (amongst builders and not necessarily the individual left with the rather poor results – more will be explained) flexible duct systems.


So why these systems and sizes?

There are many systems and sizes available and it would be impractical, and expensive, to test every single system and size on the market, so we picked the countries best-selling rigid system; the Sunpipe from Monodraught and the Solatube, apparently the world’s leading daylight system. The Sunpipe system has a diameter of 450mm and has a claimed reflective value of 98% whilst the Solatube has a diameter of 350mm and reflective value of 99.7%, so the Solarspot sits in between size wise.

All three systems were just over 2m long and the tests were carried out under a natural overcast sky – this is Britain after all. The tests were performed at the BRE’s headquarters in Bricket Wood in Hertfordshire.


Flexible-duct systems

In tests previously carried out by the BRE for Solalighting Limited, (BRE test number 248038a) measuring the efficiency of two 350mm diameter flexible-duct systems, they were shown to be more flexible fiend rather than flexible friend (you have to be old enough to remember that reference).

The best figures that the flexible unit were able to return were only around 6%. This was with the ducting being pulled tight and with the tube completely straight. In reality the tube will not be totally straight and with some slack in the system; given this more realistic scenario the figures are likely to be nearer 1.5%-3%.


In conclusion

It’s clear to see that there is a resounding winner, and we hope that the winner is our customers. If you would like to read the full report from the BRE you can download it from our website, just follow the link at the top of the page.

If you would like more information about how Solarspot can transform your home with natural daylight, please call us today on 01908 299117 or use our email link.


Solarspot®D-38* 375mm diameter, clear dome with RIR Light Funnel, single-glazed diffuser, Vegalux tubing; 99.7% reflectivity, 2280mm in length
Solarspot®D-38** 375mm diameter, clear double-glazed dome with RIR Light Funnel and additional Convas lens, single-glazed diffuser, Vegalux tubing; 99.7% reflectivity, 2280mm in length
Solatube®290DS 350mm diameter, Raybender dome with Light Tracker reflector, double-glazed diffuser, Spectralight tubing; 99.7% reflectivity, 2280mm in length
SunPipe®450 450mm diameter, diamond dome, double-glazed diffuser, Supersilver tubing; 98% reflectivity, 2280mm in length

* This system is available on special order only and is subject to 28 days delivery.

** Convas lens is supplied as standard to provide maximum protection against condensation and improved thermal performance.


The Dome

  • Impact resistant, crystal clear acrylic domes

All Solarspot® domes are manufactured in crystal clear, non-yellowing acrylic for maximum optical performance. The domes are ‘missile tested’ for impact resistance and a virtually indestructible under normal required usage.


Flashing systems

Solarspot® systems are designed to integrate seamlessly with any roof type for a leak-proof union.

Tile roofs – slates, rosemary tiles, plain tiles, profiled interlocking tiles.


Solarspot D-25 and D-38

  • One-piece flashing moulded from fire-retardant ABS, rectangular-base with expanded polyetherlene foam edging strips and self-adhesive aluminium/bitumen weather strip.


Solarspot D-53 és D-65

  • One-piece spun aluminium flashing, rectangular-base with expanded polyetherlene foam edging strips and self-adhesive aluminium/bitumen weather strip.
  • For these systems we can produce the flashings in individual manufacture. We can make these flashings from any material, that best fit to the roof structure.

Information for Solarspot D-90 applications on tiled roofs available on request.

Flat roofs – bitumen roofs, single-ply roofs, EPDM, fibre-glass, liquid water-proofing

  • Available for all sizes.
  • Spun aluminized steel flashing, circular base with insulated turret.

Flat roof – curb-mounted

  • Pressed aluminium sheets available in a variety of dimensions to suit all curb applications.

RIR™ light capture technology

  • Solarspot patented polyester Fresnel light capture lens system mounted in the tube opening.
  • Direct sunlight hitting the lens from the front is reflected down into the tube opening for exception direct sun light capture.
  • Indirect and diffused light, cloudy and overcast daylight, hitting the lens from either side is either reflected or refracted (depending on direction of light) down into the tube opening.
  • RIR™ light capture technology maximises light harvesting capabilities whatever the weather.


Convas® dome lens

  • Multi-functional fire-rated polycarbonate Convas tray provides the following benefits to Solarspot daylighting systems.
  • Provides polycarbonate top lens to satisfy UK fire regulations.
  • Provides secondary dome lens to maximise thermal efficiency of the dome.
  • Prevents dome condensation.
  • Increases exterior sound proofing qualities.


Vegalux® extension tubes

  • Vegalux® extension tubes, exclusive to Solarspot® systems.
  • Reflective value – 99.7% specular reflectivity, life-time guarantee.
  • All Vegalux® extension tubes are manufactured from 0.4-0.5 anodised aluminium laminated with 3M virtual mirror non-tarnishing coating for life-long maximum performance.
  • Available to extension lengths from 200mm to 1200mm.


Vegalux® angle adaptors

Reflective value – 99.7% specular reflectivity, life-time guarantee.

  • All Vegalux® extension tubes are manufactured from 0.4-0.5 anodised aluminium laminated with 3M virtual mirror non-tarnishing coating for life-long maximum performance.
  • Available in 0-30°, 0-60° and 0-90° options on all sizes except D-90 *

* D-90 – Fixed angle solution available – please ask for details.

Diffuser options


  • Round plasterboard/closed/suspended ceilings
  • Square plasterboard/closed/suspended ceilings
  • Round open ceilings



  • Round plasterboard/closed/suspended ceilings
  • Square plasterboard/closed/suspended ceilings
  • Round open ceilings



  • Round plasterboard/closed/suspended ceilings
  • Square plasterboard/closed/suspended ceilings
  • Round open ceilings



  • Square plasterboard/closed/suspended ceilings
  • Round open/closed ceilings



  • Round open/closed ceilings