Despite being relatively new to the UK, the Solarspot light pipe has actually been around for around 15 years
Actually the brains behind the Solarspot light pipe were involved in the initial development of the Solatube which is probably why there are some similarities between the two systems – just look at the logos. But that’s pretty much where the similarities end.
Despite the two systems both using the same 99.7% reflective tube material, the Solarspot light pipe is able to throw out around 70% more light per unit than its distant American relative. But don’t just take my word for it.
When comparing a system it’s very difficult to make an accurate comparison to another as each situation is different, they’re done throughout the year and so the sun is higher or lower in the sky or simply that one day is brighter than another. The only way to make a true comparison is independent testing to calculate an efficiency figure. This figure allows you to compare one system with another and there are only two companies that have had the honesty to test and publish these figures – Solarspot and Solatube light pipe.
The testing here was done by the independent BRE in the UK, and both companies have also used the CSTB in France. The efficiency figure allows technicians to make valuable light calculations and for us mere mortals to make a valued judgment as to who’s telling the truth, and who’s hiding behind a brand.
Without getting into the advanced mathematics, the figures for Solarspot and Solatube are:
- Solarspot D-38 – 57%
- Solatube 290 DS – 40%
- Solarspot D-25 – 55%
- Solatube 160 DS – 35%
The net result of these is that the Solarspot light pipe is brighter by around 70% on both sizes. That’s why Solarspot is our recommended system, and we’ve never had a disappointed customer as a result.
- The brightest system, and by a long way
- Easy to fit
- Light kits and dimmers available
- Really only one diffuser style
- Top end price – but then it is the brightest and what else do you want it for
- Manual dimmer only works if you can reach it without steps
- No integrated fan system if that’s what you want
This is a certificate of processes and nothing really that benefits the end customer. Bureaucracy for bureaucracies sake some might say but I guess it does give you a reassurance the the quality of the product is consistent.