Is your office poorly lit? Does it need more natural light? Scientists have developed an effective system that gives a feel of more natural light and almost feels like working outside, under a blue sky.
Virtual Sky, uses large flat-screen LED ceiling panels with 288 tiny light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that can each produce red, blue, green and white – giving a total of 16 million colour combinations.
The flatscreens can also create moving shapes, such as clouds, and reflect the changing light of the day, including sunrises and sunsets, depending on the time. With the ultra brightness of the LED’s it not only lights up the room but also lights it bright enough to give the feel of natural light.
Imagine being in the office and looking up and gazing into a bright spring sky with small billowing clouds passing slowly by. Or alternatively looking up and looking into the starts at night.
Open space and natural light has been proven to increase the performance, productivity and moral of employees, explained Matthias Bues, the scientist at the Fraunhofer Institute who designed the new system.
“It really makes you feel like you are outside,” he told AFP.
“Light is so important to your sense of well-being and people love the feeling that they are not actually in the office,” he added.
He says there’s been a flood of interest since announcing the launch of the new system at this year’s CeBIT, the world’s biggest high-tech fair in the northern German city of Hanover.
“We have had very strong interest from several companies. Make no mistake, you will be seeing this in real offices very soon,” he predicted.
He added there had also been interest from hospitals and nursing homes.
“It can be extremely therapeutic for people who cannot go outside very often” such as the elderly, infirm or handicapped.
And as “virtual sky” uses LEDs rather than fluorescent strips, it is also more environmentally friendly than most current lighting systems.
The panels, measuring 50 square centimetres cost about £1000 (about $A1500) each.
The CeBIT, which runs until March 10, this year features about 4200 exhibitors showcasing the inventions of the future, from tech behemoths such as Microsoft and Google to one-man-bands with a quirky gadget.