The Misola LED skylight uses displays to mimic how the sun moves across the sky. At first glance, Mitsubishi’s latest product looks like a normal skylight. (Image credit: Mitsubishi)
Let’s face it, being an office worker has its downsides. There are late nights, stressful workloads, and endless meetings to endure. Not to mention you’re probably staring at a wall all day. Many offices don’t have a lot of windows, which means not enough natural light. This could have an adverse effect on your mental state. After all, we need sunlight for energy. It’s an issue Mitsubishi wants to tackle with its latest product, the Misola LED skylight.
The Misola is an LED-lit panel that simulates natural light and how the sun moves across the sky. It’s designed to look like a recessed skylight that’s easy to attach to ceilings or walls. Each light comes with four panels with one panel darkened to look like a shadow, mimicking the shadows created by the sun. The other three panels change color frequently to match how the sunlight would change throughout the day. They’re pretty impressive. You wouldn’t be able to tell it’s only light from one quick glance.
It’s like mirrors on walls… It looks like a whole other room in there!
Mitsubishi hopes to install the new skylights in offices and big warehouses to improve work-life for employees. They also think it could be beneficial for those in nursing homes and hospitals. And while it’s an innovative way to help boost energy and mood for workers, it comes with a hefty price tag. The manual skylights start around $6,200 while the deluxe versions, which can run on timers, cost $6,800. Which prices that high it’ll be tough to convince companies to install them in their buildings.
It’s a smart idea, but Mitsubishi isn’t the only one using smart skylights. ESI Design created something similar in 2018 as part of an installation for Chicago’s 900 North Michigan shops. They installed 190-foot LED lights on the ceiling that mimicked skylight along with other complex designs. Other companies are currently working on their own solutions to help simulate natural sunlight. Dyson has introduced Lightcycle lamps that use your location to recreate the intensity and color of the sky where you are and in 2014, Royal Caribbean installed 80-inch 4K screens on the walls of the interior staterooms to create virtual balconies displaying live feeds from cameras located on the sides of the ship.
Back 2008, a company called SkyV created similar skylights that used high definition LCD screens that simulated natural light and natural settings in general. The screens displayed animations of clouds moving across the sky and trees blowing in the wind. Their newest products are larger than a skylight looking more like huge windows and still offer the same simulated experience to help people get a dose of the outside world when they’re holed up in windowless buildings.
With people spending more time indoors, the issue of not getting enough natural sunlight will only get worse. But these high tech solutions can at least help you get some much need light. Though you may want to make sure you still get outside once in a while. Or wait until the next version of the light that radiates all the beneficial wavelengths. You know it’s being worked on.
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