How do Ciralight SunTrackers work?

Ciralight SunTrackers use GPS technology, solar power, and mirrors to actively follow the sun and funnel natural light into buildings throughout the entire day. After ten minutes of sunlight, a small photovoltaic (solar) panel charges with enough energy to power a GPS unit. The GPS unit then communicates with a satellite to locate the SunTracker’s coordinates and determine how to position the mirrors for optimal light reflection. Finally, the mirrors adjust to follow the sun and direct sunlight into a building from sun-up to sundown. Visit our How-It-Works page for more information.

What are the advantages of using a Ciralight SunTracker?

Ciralight SunTrackers deliver more natural sunlight for more hours a day than any passive skylight on the market. Using solar powered GPS technology, Ciralight SunTrackers naturally illuminate building interiors with up to 63,000 lumens of natural light for up to 10+ hours a day.

Why is the natural light provided by Ciralight SunTrackers better than artificial, electric light?

  1. Free and profitable – Natural light increases sales and return visits in retail; improves learning rates and test scores in schools; promotes higher productivity and morale in the workplace; and speeds up recovery in health care facilities.
  2. Enhances human vision – Full spectrum lighting delivers brightness, contrast and clarity without eyestrain.
  3. Aids health – Sunlight prevents illnesses and disorders such rickets and seasonal affective disorder, and it assists in proper growth and development.

Will I save money by installing Ciralight SunTrackers?

Installing Ciralight SunTrackers will immediately save money through the reduction of electric light usage during peak utility hours, the reduction of air conditioning needed to counteract heat created by electric lighting, and the elimination of costs associated with lamp repairs, bulb replacements, and maintenance labor costs.

Which businesses have installed Ciralight SunTrackers?

Ciralight SunTrackers have been installed by many businesses including Office Depot, Boeing, IKEA, Whole Foods Market, Ace Hardware, Walt Disney, Best Buy, Johnson & Johnson, Caterpillar, LG, Staples, Dicks Sporting Goods, PetSmart, Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, San Diego Parks & Recreation, and more.

What kind of ongoing maintenance is required for Ciralight SunTrackers?

Ciralight SunTrackers require minimal maintenance. While the protective dome lets in more light while clean, seasonal rain will often wash off any dust that may accumulate during dry seasons. If not, the surface can easily be manually cleaned. SunTracker units are otherwise completely self-powered and self-programming and do not require any periodic maintenance.

How much area does each Ciralight SunTracker illuminate?

Depending on ceiling height, Ciralight SunTrackers evenly distributes natural light between 600-1000+ sq. ft. per unit. Optimal ceiling height for the SunTracker is 16’ or higher, but in order to accommodate ceilings lower than 16’, Ciralight sells a Low Ceiling Diffuser Lens that prevents overlighting the area directly below the unit by evenly spreading light out towards the sides of the room.

How do I determine the number of Ciralight SunTrackers I need?

The necessary number of Ciralight SunTrackers is calculated based on the building’s dimensions, particularly the ceiling height and room area, as well as the recommended or required brightness (measured in footcandles or lux). Ciralight uses DIALux software to determine the number of SunTracker units a building will need in order to obtain proper photometric levels. To learn more about illuminating your space with Ciralight SunTrackers, you can view information about the DIALux program and request a layout here or contact one of our sales representatives today.

How many hours a day can I light my building with Ciralight SunTrackers?

Ciralight SunTrackers can deliver up to 10+ hours a day of sunlight indoors. Regardless of location and season, one of the great features of the SunTracker is its ability to continue directing sunlight into a building during the early morning, late evening, and the height of the winter season when other daylighting solutions cease to work.

Do Ciralight SunTrackers include UV protection?

The plastic domes and lenses of all Ciralight SunTrackers are infused with UV Protection. If requested, the UV protection can be removed to allow full transmittance of UV rays.

What sizes are available?

Ciralight SunTrackers are currently available in two sizes. The SunTracker 400 is a 4’ x 4’ model that weighs approximately 76 lbs. The SunTracker 800 is a 4’ x 8’ model and weighs approximately 136 lbs. Both models requires a 2’ or taller lightwell depending on the structure of the roof and ceiling. Please view detailed product specifications here.

Will a Ciralight SunTracker work in my home?

Ciralight SunTrackers will certainly work in your home, but ST400s and ST800s may not be the right daylighting solution for you. Ciralight is preparing to launch the ST200 model, a 2’ x 2’ model for homes, small offices, and classrooms. Contact us today to discuss whether the Ciralight SunTracker is the right solution for your home.

Can Ciralight SunTrackers be installed on a multi-story building?

Ciralight SunTrackers can bring natural illumination as far into a building as 20 feet. On a multi-story building, SunTracker technology can illuminate the top floor or any floor level below that can receive sun exposure from the roof level, such as in an atrium.

What do I need to install a Ciralight SunTracker on my building?

Proper installation requires a weather-proofed curb installation that allows the SunTracker to rest perfectly horizontally level at a 1’ height above the roof. After the curb is in place, a power drill with a ¼” hex attachment, a wrench, and a compass (or smart phone compass app) are all that are needed to finish the installation. Please visit our Installation page for more detailed information.

Can I replace my existing skylights with Ciralight SunTrackers?

Ciralight SunTracker 400 and 800 models can easily replace your existing 4’ x 4’ and 4’ x 8’ skylights. Using the already existing curbs on the roof, Ciralight SunTrackers can replace passive skylights and deliver higher quality natural light for longer periods of time.

Can any contractor install a Ciralight SunTracker unit?

While Ciralight SunTrackers are a simple product and the installation is not difficult, we recommend having a certified roofing contractor install the unit(s) to your roof. The installation of each unit takes about two hours and can be done on new construction projects or pre-existing buildings.

How do I decide the length of the lightwell I will need?

The length of the SunTracker lightwell is based on the distance from the top of the roof to the bottom of the ceiling. Hanging obstructions below the ceiling should be taken into account when determining the lightwell length, because it is important to ensure that the light will not be blocked by these items. In the case of a drop ceiling, the lightwell can be designed to be flush with the drop ceiling.

How do I decide which lower diffuser lens is right for me?

Ciralight offers several options for SunTracker diffuser lenses. We offer two basic materials: (1) flexible polycarbonate or (2) acrylic which, while lacking flexibility, is less susceptible to yellowing or clouding over time. We also offer three distinct lens shapes:

  • The Pyramid Diffuser Lens: great for dispersing light in all angles.
  • The Flat Diffuser Lens: perfect for accommodating building obstructions, and; 
  • The Low-Ceiling Diffuser Lens: designed for ceilings lower than 16’.
View more information about our lenses on the Products page.

What is the expected life of a Ciralight SunTracker?

Ciralight SunTrackers have an expected lifespan of 30+ years. An independent third party has certified the SunTracker's GPS Controller in extreme weather conditions from -20°F up to 200°F in an accelerated Life Cycle test. Ciralight SunTracker exceeded 30 years of wear without failure.

What certifications do Ciralight SunTrackers have?

Ciralight SunTrackers have been certified with 30+ Year Life Cycle Testing by an independent tester; Water Leakage and Air Blowout by AAMA; Florida Product Approval by the Florida Department of Community Affairs; Los Angeles Research Report Number by the City of Los Angeles; Fall Protection approval by OSHA; and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient and U-Value findings by Architectural Testing. Information about all of these certifications and tests are available online here.

Will Ciralight SunTrackers help make my building LEED Certified?

Ciralight SunTrackers can add LEED points to your building for energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design process. Contact us today to find out how our SunTracker daylighting products can earn your building LEED accreditation.

Which tax credits or incentives are available for Ciralight SunTrackers?

Tax Credits and Incentives vary by municipal, state, and federal governments. In the United States, a good resource for finding daylighting rebates and incentives is at the Database of State Incentives for Renewables:  http://www.dsireusa.org.

Once I place my order, how quickly will my Ciralight SunTracker ship?

Once your order has been placed, it will take approximately two weeks to process the order and ship your SunTracker units.

How do Ciralight SunTrackers compare to their competition?

The Ciralight SunTracker is an Active Daylighting device. Active Daylighting devices use moving parts to adjust to the changing position of the sun throughout the day, thereby maximizing the amount of sunlight that comes into a building. Passive skylights, like those sold by Solatube, Velux, and other companies, remain stationary and transmit light into a building during very limited hours of the day. The difference with SunTrackers adds up to nearly 300% more sunlight captured and used to light your building from sunrise until sunset. You can view more information about the Competitive Advantage provided Ciralight SunTrackers on our Products page.

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