Brilliant Invention Brings LED Sunshine To Windowless Rooms!


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Categories: Energy

This is no case of merely pretending that one is outside, as in vast, open areas in Las Vegas casinos where huge trompe l’oeil ceilings and self-dimming lights suggest that one is in Venice or Caesar’s Rome, with real-time lighting changes. In those situations, you still know that you’re watching a glorified lightshow. This is CoeLux's lighting system, a gloom dissipater and installation that's initially as disconcerting as suddenly being turned upside down. It’s like walking into another dimension.

It is not a sunlamp. You will not tan, and I doubt your photo-chromatic glasses will dim. But your brain will incontrovertibly believe that you are in a room in Portofino in August, or Miami in September. And your brain quickly tells you how this has a gazillion possibilities and applications, like changing the atmosphere in that games room you installed in your basement, the one you don’t spend as much time in as you thought you would because there’s something amiss. And that something is sunlight.

CoeLux is described succinctly as “an optical system that recreates the sun and the sky in spaces that would otherwise be devoid of light. Funded by the European Union (at last, something worthwhile from that meddlesome body), it was developed by physicist and CEO/Founder of CoeLux Srl Professor Paolo Di Trapani. It began as a research project and Trapani’s “obsession with the visual effect of the sun and the sky, and a dedication to the notion that we are not built to live in dark boxes.”

CoeLux Srl is a spin-off of Insubria University at Como, Italy, headquartered in ComoNext Technology Park, a site created by the Como Chamber of Commerce to encourage the growth and competitiveness of local businesses with high tech potential. Di Trapani and his team worked on the lighting project for more than a decade, finally succeeding in recreating an accurate and convincing visual appearance of the sun and the sky.

This is no mere light bulb: the team employed “varying densities of nanotechnology to scatter light from an LED light source.” For the scientific types among you, CoeLux demonstrates “the effect of Rayleigh scattering in the space of one metre, creating the illusion that the ‘sun’ is suspended in a pure blue sky.”

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