Let there be light! New light re-creates natural light indoors

1 Apr 2014

Disgruntled office workers in darkened rooms can rejoice as an innovative new light fixture has been developed which aims to recreate the physical and optical effects of natural light indoors by simulating the experience of sunlight through the atmosphere.

The COELUX EU-funded project to the tune of €2.5m was one of 12 innovative technologies showcased at the 2014 Innovation Convention in Brussels in March and set to take a share of the US$80bn global lighting market.

In windowless rooms, the constant exposure to high intensity halogen lights can have an adverse effect on a person’s feeling of happiness and it is hoped the new light will try to replicate the light exposure of natural sunshine.

According to the product’s release, the light has been designed with a focus on the healthcare industry, but can be applied in retail, hospitality, museum, airport, underground transport, spa, sports centre, cinema, office and industrial environments.

It also is aimed towards those working or living in underground spaces, either due to space restrictions or as a way of coping with extreme climates.

Prof Paolo Di Trapani, coordinator of the project and a physicist at the University of Insubria in Como, Italy, has been working on re-creating natural light artificially for over ten years and believes the project is a major breakthrough: “Evidence collected in the course of the project has shown that even claustrophobic individuals feel happy and relaxed when exposed to COELUX light despite remaining in a windowless room of a few square metres for a sustained period of time.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic