Coleus LED 'Skylight' Dispenses Natural Sunlight Indoors

CoeLux has an LED-based "skylight" that actually provides light that is just like a natural sunny day - anywhere inside your building.


(CoeLux natural light LED skylight)

Our goal is to create in the people looking at the sun and the sky the perception of infinite depth," says Paolo Di Trapani, professor of optics and experimental physics at the University of Insubria, in Italy, and founder and CEO of a company called CoeLux. The company designed their light to mimic both the color temperature and intensity of natural sunlight.

That innovation has eluded other lights because a proper daylight-mimicking light can't just approximate the sun’s rays but must also take into account the atmosphere. The reason the sky is blue is because molecules of carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen and other elements in the atmosphere scatter the shortest wavelength of light— blue — more intensely than other wavelengths. When we look up at the sun, it appears mostly unaltered. But the rest of the atmosphere appears blue because of all the short wavelength light bouncing around it.

The CoeLux light uses nanoparticles to do this scattering and essentially compresses the six miles of Earth’s atmosphere into a few millimeters. An LED projector shines in full spectrum white light to create the sun, which in the videos appears far away in the sky.

SF fans may recall the multilevel future cities in science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem's 1961 novel Return from the Stars. How can you brighten up these vast interior spaces?

"How do they work it so that the sky is visible at every level of the city?"

She perked up.

"Very simple. Television - that is what they called it, long ago. On the ceilings are screens. They transmit what is above the Earth - the sky, the clouds..."
(Read more about Stanislaw Lem's sky ceilings)

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