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Working Invigorated Under an LED Sky Ceiling

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Jan 10, 2012 01:01 AM
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by Glenn Meyers last modified Jan 09, 2012

Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO) in Stuttgart, Germany have developed a moving luminous ceiling that has office workers gazing at moving clouds without ever leaving their desks. IAO researchers teamed up with LEiDs GmbH, an LED technology company, to make sure their ceiling simulates natural light conditions on a partially-cloudy day as accurately as possible.




 

 

For those who feel cramped in the traditional office environment, here’s an airy and energy efficient solution that deploys LED lighting in the design of a new era ceiling said to enhance productivity.

Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO) in Stuttgart, Germany have developed a moving luminous ceiling that has office workers gazing at moving clouds without ever leaving their desks. IAO researchers teamed up with LEiDs GmbH, an LED technology company, to make sure their ceiling simulates natural light conditions on a partially-cloudy day as accurately as possible.

For the artificial environment to be as close to real as possible, the researchers measured how light fluctuates throughout the day, including how fast changes in the light spectrum take place and how intensive they are. The goal was to make the lighting dynamic enough to improve concentration and heighten alertness, but not any more dynamic than that – otherwise, the whole thing would end up being just an unnecessary distraction.

A preliminary study has show this dynamic lighting is pleasantly perceived. A group of volunteers conducted office duties for four days subjected to light from a 30 by 60 cm ceiling display. On the first day the light was static, on the second it fluctuated gently, and on the third the changes in lighting conditions were more rapid. On the final day, the majority of volunteers (80 percent) said they wished to continue working with the rapidly fluctuating light.

Said ceiling consists of square tiles – each tile holding 288 light emitting diodes. A diffuser film in matte white is attached beneath the LEDs. The diffuser film creates homogenous lighting that illuminates the room throughout, says Dr. Matthias Bues, who led the project at the IAO.

A combination of red, blue, green and white diodes is used in order to produce the full light spectrum. The set-up is able to simulate dynamic changes in lighting conditions that are not immediately obvious to the naked eye, even when they can impact workplace effectiveness.

The prototype sky ceiling takes up 34 square meters of space and uses some 32,560 LEDs to provide light with the intensity of over 3,000 lux (500 to 1000 lux is already enough to create comfortable lighting conditions). A small section of this virtual sky is going to be exhibited at the beginning of March in Hanover, Germany, during the CeBIT trade show.

At present, the sky is a pricey 1000 euros (US$1,290) per square meter (10.76 square feet). Hopefully, the price comes down as the ceiling gains popularity.

Certainly much more fun those old-fashioned drop ceiling panels.

Photo: IAO

Source: Clean Technica (http://s.tt/156Z5)

 

 



 

 

 
 
 

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