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FOCUS RESEARCH NEWS Sunlight simulator granted Horizon 2020 funding A

project that uses LED lighting and nanotechnology to

simulate sunlight indoors has received EU funding under the Horizon 2020 programme. The optical system created by Italian company CoeLux recreates the physical and optical effects of natural light indoors by simulating the diffusion and transmission of sunlight through the atmosphere. This optical system, anticipated to be ready for market at the end of the year, has been proven to have a positive impact on the comfort and wellbeing experienced in settings where there is a lack of natural light.

The CoeLux light diffusing technology has been designed with a focus on the healthcare industry, but can be applied to other areas where there is a lack of sunlight. ‘Evidence collected in the course of the project has shown that even claustrophobic individuals feel happy and relaxed

‘ This optical system has been proven to have a positive impact’

when exposed to CoeLux light despite remaining in a window less room of a few square metres for a sustained period of time,’ said Professor Paolo Di Trapani, coordinator of the project and a physicist at the University of Insubria in Como, Italy. While previous research in this area concentrated on the development of low-energy– consumption light sources with the same spectrum as that of the Sun, Coelux’s system is based on the observation that the Sun does not provide its natural light only as a result of its spectrum but also due to subtle scattering effects related to the sky itself. The researchers at CoeLux | @electrooptics

used energy-saving LED technology to reproduce the sunlight spectrum, combined with a sophisticated optical system to create a sensation of distance between the ‘sky’ and the ‘sun’.

Nanostructured materials, only a few millimetres thick were also designed to recreate the entire Rayleigh scattering process that occurs in the atmosphere. Users can experience the

light of Northern Europe, of the Mediterranean and of the Tropics in the three setting options that Coelux system provides. The system will be ready for market towards the end of 2014.


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