For all the fancy, futuristic tech available in the world, simple windows remain a luxury. They're expensive, breakable, energy-inefficient- and that's just the glass itself. Windows with a view- even a glimpse of the sky- are harder to come by, especially in offices and cities. But what if the ever-changing, luminous quality of the sky could be reproduced on your ceiling?
As reported by Discovery News, Fraunhofer has innovated a way to allow workers to feel as if they're working under the open sky. Using thousands of red, blue, green, and white LEDs, they were able to reproduce the subtle and dramatic shifts of light that occur constantly. As Dr. Matthias Bues of Fraunhofer stated, "The LEDs allow us to simulate these dynamic changes in lighting in a way that is not directly obvious to the naked eye. Otherwise the lighting might distract people from their work. But it does need to fluctuate enough to promote concentration and heighten alertness."
I've always been lucky enough to have at least one sky-facing window in my apartments (I know many people, especially in New York, are not so fortunate), but know from various jobs how deadening it can be to have no windows. I always felt dulled, quite stupid, and about to fall asleep- not exactly ideal for worker-productivity! Though natural light will always be ideal, the sunny ceiling could still dramatically improve workers' quality of life.
Currently, the price for the dynamic ceiling is $130/square foot, but this is expected to decrease as more and more are made. Do you think it will ever be affordable for home use? Would you want clouds on your ceiling? During the darkest, foggiest months of the year, I think a lit ceiling could do wonders for our well-being, energy levels, relationships, and happiness.
(Image: Fraunhofer IAO)