Sometimes new and innovative ideas can overwhelm tried and practical applications such that inefficiency becomes standard. The modern use of electric lights and lamps perfectly demonstrates this fact. For the past century, artificial illumination has dominated the way we light our workspaces and homes. Fed up with the humming of florescent lights, skyrocketing electric bills, and pollution of coal-fired power plants, many have turned to sky wells, floor-to-ceiling windows, and internal windowed courtyards to bring in as much natural sunlight from the outside as possible. With this idea in mind, an anonymous German-student submitted an interesting concept, called Daylight, for James Dyson Foundation's 2011 James Dyson Award.
This notion puts a modern twist on a forgotten technology over 3,000 year old, natural reflected light. Metal louvers hang horizontally outside of windows. These adjustable aluminum features block out the harsh sun and direct light into the interior space where ceiling lamps sporting LEDs and reflective panels hang. These interior components feature light sensitive panels that can increase and decrease LED output. These combine with the natural reflected light to reach pre-set illumination levels and can even match the outside's ambient colors. Since the design focuses on reflecting daylight and not sunlight directly, it also eliminates hotspots and glare.
Ancient peoples used polished copper plates to illuminate their insides spaces and versions of exterior metal louvers actually hung outside of buildings up until the 20th century before Edison's invention pushed them into the periphery. The idea came to this nameless German student when he or she noticed offices and sporting complexes with drawn shades and blinds on windows to block out the harsh glare of the sun while interior lights and lamps blazed.
With the Dyson Foundation's contest open to entries until August 2nd, we won't know the results for a bit; but by transferring a supposedly antiquated idea into to the modern age, the future for the Daylight concept certainly is bright.
Image credits: JamesDysonAward.com