Sunoptics Prismatic Skylights was founded in 1978 by Jerome (Jerry) Blomberg, formerly one of the owners and president of Blomberg Window Systems in Sacramento, California. He decided early on that daylighting was the easiest, most cost-effective way to save energy and at the same time improve lighting quality with full-spectrum natural sunlight.
His leadership included serving as president of the Glass Management Association of Superior California and national president of the then Architectural Aluminum Manufacturers Association, now the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA). As president of AAMA he organized “The National Fenestration Council” to lobby for the adoption of Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS) as the national energy conservation standard as the alternate to prescriptive conservation standards, as proposed by the Ford Administration. President Ford signed BEPS into law in 1976 before he left office. Blomberg served as chairman of the Building Envelope Sub-Committee in the development of California's first Non-Residential Energy Efficiency Standards. This was before the California Energy Commission was legislated into existence.
A Total Systems Approach To Energy Efficiency
Managing the available natural energy resources at the building was Blomberg's original goal to save energy. Daylighting with skylights gave the quickest return and had the best public acceptance, so that became the focus.
Blomberg contended that the single most significant way to achieve energy efficiency in buildings is daylighting to reduce baseline building energy use. PG&E's ACT2 Energy Efficiency Demonstration Project (Resources) validated that claim and convinced Blomberg he was in the right end of the energy reduction business.
How Sunoptics Revolutionized The Daylighting Market
Combining his expertise in window systems with his passion for energy reduction through daylighting, Blomberg focused his attention on perfecting skylight design.
In 1978, Sunoptics introduced the prismatic skylight, a unique concept in skylight optical design. At the same time, Sunoptics created the 800MD frame designed which eliminates the leak and condensation issues associated with standard industrial skylights. This new design, still in use today, helped Sunoptics offset the perceived negatives of standard industrial skylights.
Sunoptics has worked hard to become vertically integrated and today is the only skylight manufacturer that produces it’s product from the raw plastic through to the finished product. We continue to concentrate our education and sales efforts on those applications with the greatest potential for energy savings through daylighting.
Acuity Brands Acquisition
In February of 2011, Sunoptics was acquired by Acuity Brands. "The entire Sunoptics team is pleased to join the Acuity Brands family," said Jim Blomberg, President of Sunoptics. "For a number of years, we have been integrating Acuity Brands' LC&D(TM) lighting controls products, enhancing the value of our prismatic skylight solutions. This combination is a natural next step in our relationship and an exciting opportunity to leverage Acuity Brands' strong lighting industry access to market, advanced technologies, and opportunities to integrate with LED lighting and intelligent controls. This will also support the continuing development of new and innovative lighting solutions for our customers," added Blomberg. (Acquisition Announcement)