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New lighting system mimics blue skies, sunrises and sunsets

29 November 2018

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has developed an indoor lighting technology that mimics the daily change of natural light from sunrise to blue sky to sunset.

Sample application as skylights
Sample application as skylights

The system, which consists of a thin panel and frame measuring less than 100mm, incorporates a proprietary edge-lit method that emits LED light from the side of the light panel to achieve highly natural light with the depth and colour of the sky. 

Modern workplaces are being upgraded to create comfortable environments that stimulate and motivate employees. This includes the enhancement of lighting in offices that have darkened or covered windows or no windows altogether. Mitsubishi Electric's new system, unlike conventional LED lighting system, produces highly natural light, including colours similar to those of sunrises and sunsets as well as blue skies, and creates a sense of depth to make indoor spaces feel larger and more open.

Main features

Thin package produces light with depth and colors similar to real sky 

• Edge-lit panel emits LED light from the side to mimic the sky's Rayleigh scattering effect, which occurs when sunlight strikes atmospheric air molecules in the daytime and scatterings short-wavelength blue light more strongly than long-wavelength red light, making the sky appear blue when viewed from below.

• Panel and frame thickness measure less than 100mm combined, comparable to an ordinary lighting fixture, for wide-ranging applications in offices and public facilities. Also, panels can be tiled to cover large ceilings.

Prototype simulating blue sky
Prototype simulating blue sky

Replicates colours of blue sky and both sunrises and sunsets 

• LED light source colours are controlled automatically throughout the day to replicate daily transitions of natural light from sunrise to midday sunlight to sunset.

Future developments

Going forward, Mitsubishi Electric will develop applications that provide pleasing natural-like light in offices, public facilities and other environment where natural light is limited or unavailable.

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