Elektor Team

The great outdoors indoors

December 10, 2013 | 14:37
The great outdoors indoors
The great outdoors indoors

The way moving clouds influence the lighting conditions on earth is an important factor in creating the feeling of spaciousness and freedom we experience outdoors. Because for many of us working under the open sky is seldom really a practical option, researchers of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering have developed a luminous ceiling that simulates passing clouds, conveying the impression that you are sitting outdoors.


The luminous ceiling consists of 50 x 50 cm tiles, each of which holds 288 LEDs. A diffuser film in matt white is attached approximately 30 cm beneath the LEDs and ensures that the individual points of light are not perceived as such. This diffuser film creates homogenous lighting that illuminates the room throughout. A combination of red, blue, green and white LEDs is used in order to produce the full light spectrum.


The researchers carefully examined natural light to find out how and how quickly the light spectrum changes when clouds move across the sky. They then reproduced these dynamic changes in lighting in a way that is not directly obvious to the naked eye. The results of a preliminary study indicate that users find this dynamic lighting to be extremely pleasant, promoting concentration and heightening alertness.

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