Brilliant Invention Brings LED Sunshine To Windowless Rooms!

Categories: Energy

Prior to LED lighting, not much had changed in the industry since Thomas Edison.  With the continued improvements in LED lighting technology, the first thing that was so big and great about it was the savings of electricity, virtually cutting energy usage for lighting down to 20% of former usage levels.  It takes time to feel the savings because the bulbs were so expensive at first, but those costs have now been coming down with increased sales and production.  The other exciting thing that is beginning to happen is that innovators are coming up with great new uses for the low-energy lighting technology that will continue to make dark places even better!  

Is your apartment or workspace seriously lacking in natural light? Well listen up – Italian physicist Paolo Di Trapani of the University of Insubria has invented an artificial daylight device called CoeLux that looks just like the sunny sky!

And unlike other artificial daylight fixtures, CoeLux actually replicates the color temperature of sunlight and the way the sun moves across the sky.

CoeLux uses the latest energy-saving LED technology to reproduce the sunlight spectrum. It uses a sophisticated optical system to create a sensation of distance between the “sky” and the “sun”. And its surface is made of nano-structured materials only a few millimeters thick that recreate the entire Rayleigh scattering process which occurs in the atmosphere and makes the sky appear blue. These elements can be incorporated into high-tech false ceiling and window systems, to create a “skylight” for interior and underground spaces where the sun can’t reach.

How well is it able to emulate real sunlight? During tests, even clausterphobic people felt happy and relaxed when exposed to CoeLux light, despite the fact that they were in a tiny windowless room of just a few square meters for a sustained amount of time. Users can choose between three settings to replicate the light of Northern Europe, the Mediterranean or the Tropics.

+ CoeLux  Via World Architecture News

A gloomy December evening in a decidedly rainy London. The top end of Great Portland Street looks positively Sherlockian. The mind accepts the darkness, and it’s evident even inside a well-lit showroom for custom installation and home automation that night has fallen. How so? Artificial light is just that: artificial. You don't have to be a cameraman or painter to know the difference.

We go downstairs in the Ideaworks offices, ostensibly for a demonstration of Dolby’s latest surround sound technology. I pay no attention to another room. I assume it's a floor-to-ceiling Hockney, one of those paintings of his, like “A Bigger Splash”, that make you wish you lived in L.A. – only it was three-dimensional. Not a hologram, nor a projection, but a real table, a real chair. And what looked like real sunlight. At 7pm in London, in December. Yeah, right.

Ideaworks’ founder and Managing Director, Kevin Andrews, is a lighting maven, an early adopter of low-voltage lighting, automated scenes, Lutron and Crestron hardware – he regards illumination the way an audiophile deals with hi-fi equipment. He laughs as I attempt to lift my jaw from the floor.

Above the scene, for all intents and purposes, is a skylight, maybe a meter by a meter-and-a-half. Within and above it is a glowing orb which, if it’s not the sun, is doing a reasonable facsimile of Ol’ Sol. I will later learn that the illuminating effect is identical. The only difference is that, for the time being, it stays in one place and does not traverse an imaginary sky. It is a sophisticated lamp that just happens to think it’s the sun.

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