There’s a new line of luminaires changing the way people think about “artificial light.” An Italian company called CoeLux has developed an innovative light source that recreates the look of sunlight through a skylight so well that it easily passes as the real thing.
It’s a high tech LED skylight that’s designed to provide “sunlight” for interior spaces cut off from the outdoors. One of the main ideas behind it is that to create realistic sunlight, you can’t just simulate the sun… you need to recreate the atmosphere as well.
CoeLux uses an enclosed LED projector backlighting a thin layer of plastic, sprinkled with nanoparticles, that mimics the sun and atmosphere. It’s not just the color temperature that’s the same — the quality of the light, and even the shadows, feel amazingly the same as well.
People who have had a chance to experience the skylight so far have been tricked into believing that there was an actual hole in the ceiling, and the sample photos on the CoeLux website come with a cautionary note: “The photographs on this site are real and unretouched. They are not computer renderings.”
Here are a few more shots of interiors illuminated by this artificial sunlight:
The technology is designed for providing the appearance of sunlight to spaces that could use it (e.g. basements, hospitals, museums, interior office spaces, underground transportation hubs), but it seems photographers could also make use of it as well for an artificial sunlight source in a studio.
Each fixture models the sunlight of a specific locale, be it the cool color and strong shadows of equatorial countries, the even glow of Mediterranean sunlight, or the slightly dimmer and warmer, but more striking patterns found along the Arctic Circle.
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