Barlow Builders is based in Broken Hill, NSW, a town that is best-known as an iconic Australian mining town in the desert. Over 500 kilometres from the nearest capital city, Broken Hill has an isolated population of around 20,000 who rely on their local builders, carpenters and other tradespeople for most household repairs.

In November 2016, Broken Hill was hit by a series of ferocious storms that included cyclonic winds and hail stones the size of golf balls. Very little of the town was left undamaged and six months later, local tradespeople are still struggling to keep up with the demand for repairs.

A long-term local carpenter, Raymond Barlow (Barlow Builders) said; “After the storms hit we had so many broken skydomes it was unbelievable. They just disintegrated.”

“Now many people are wary of reinstalling the same traditional skylights again, as they feel they will be in the same boat the next time there is a big storm.”

One of Raymond’s clients who refused to replace his shattered skydome with another traditional skylight showed Raymond an alternative- the illume Skylight Alternative.

Illume Skylight Alternative has a diffused light panel, which performs in a similar way to most traditional skylights. The difference is that it’s powered sustainably by a solar collector on the roof.

Once introduced to the product, Raymond was intrigued by the practicality and functionality of the illume Skylight Alternative. It behaves in a similar manner to a traditional skylight by the amount of light being emitted changes with external climate lighting conditions.

illume Skylight Alternative becomes brighter on sunny days and dimmer on cloudy days. It builds light from dawn until full sunlight and then light recedes as dusk and night approaches.

In short, it provides all the ambience and balance with external light similar to a traditional skylight, but without all the concerns that eventuate when traditional skylights fail to withstand extreme harsh weather conditions.

“Many of my customers, especially the elder ones no longer want to climb a ladder to inspect their roofs, have opted for the illume Skylight Alternative over traditional skylights due to having to repair damage from hail storms,” Raymond said.

“They love the fact there is no roof penetration required and therefore none of the hazards associated with putting a hole in your roof. And so far, clients with solar panels have not reported any damaged solar panels from the storms.”

“So, for me, there is also peace-of-mind that comes with the illume Skylight Alternative because it means that I won’t have to worry when the next big storm comes through because I know my illume Skylight Alternative customers will not be impacted.”