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CoeLux: Artificial Sunlight That’s Real Enough to Trick Your Brain

CoeLux says- Let there be light!

For centuries, men have tried to bring sunlight into dark areas that don’t allow it. The Egyptians used mirrors to try to bring sunlight into the pyramids, Las Vegas casinos use LEDs and other technologies to illuminate the dark casino floors, and even residential homes use what they can to imitate real sunlight using lightbulbs to help improve mood and productivity. For the most part, all were unsuccessful (or not successful enough) until the birth of CoeLux.

How does CoeLux work?

CoeLux fixtures use traditional LEDs, calibrated to the same wavelengths as the sun that we revolve around. However, accurately recreating sunlight also requires mimicking subtle variations caused by the atmosphere, which varies in thickness and composition depending upon where you are on earth. CoeLux uses a milimeters-thick layer of plastic, peppered with nanoparticles, that does essentially the same thing in your living room.

Di Trapani is a professor with impressive list of technical publications on his CV, but when asked about CoeLux, his first references are to works of art, like The courtyard of Saint Ambrogio church in Milan or Van Gogh’s painting The Sower. “CoeLux is not copying nature, but putting nature on a stage, like art does,” says Di Trapani. “It focuses attention on the most relevant feature of natural light—the dynamic interplay between the sky and sun light.”

You can get a CoeLux now, but expect to spend no less than $10,000. The installation alone can cost up to $7,000. Let’s just hope that like our smartphones, CoeLux continues to evolve and eventually become more affordable so the common folk like us can experience such technology in our own homes.


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