Contemporary lighting design of late has drastically changed the ways we can illuminate our homes. The rapid expansion of LED and fiber optic technology has unveiled new possibilities, allowing multiple layers and types of light sources to be placed where traditionally a unidimensional approach would have sufficed. Now instead of having to design lighting around the bulky incandescent or halogen bulb, lighting designers are free to dream up wildly creative apparatuses that incorporate different sizes and colors of LEDs to achieve their vision.
This shift is allowing light to be focused onto task spaces without washing out other areas, while dimmed ambient lighting inconspicuously creates a mood. We can also add light to smaller places, and control color and functional “scenes” through home automation apps. Additionally, by leveraging fiber optics it is possible to collect and channel sunlight through walls, around corners, and into dark areas of your home. It’s arguably not practical for residential projects yet, but widespread fiber optic lighting in the future is feasible. Read below to find out more.
Tunable White is a fascinating LED technology that allows homeowners to dial in color tones of white light ranging from very warm 2000k, akin to firelight, to much cooler 6000k, reminiscent of sunlight, and everything in between. These tones can be selected independent of dimness and can be controlled by a touch remote or by 2 simple dimmers, one controlling tone and the other controlling brightness.
Tape LEDs and even fiber optics are allowing us to squeeze light into new spaces, such as small overhangs, cabinets, and drawers.
Fiber Optic Day Lighting
We all know about solar tubes and skylights, but the Swedish company Parans is breaking new ground in natural lighting. The Parans Fiber Optic Skylight fills interior spaces with sunlight by utilizing solar collector lenses and optic cables that can run through walls, around corners, and into lighting fixtures. The fantastic implication of this technology is the possibility of collecting light from an exterior wall or roof and directing it through multiple floors of a building or home into a basement or interior room where there are no windows or possibilities for a skylight.
Parans developed a sun tracking collector device that focuses sunlight into optic cables. This video shows one of these devices, which is comprised of an army of lenses tracking a moving light source.
When tracking the sun, the lenses don’t noticeably move, and they use very little electricity to do so. It’s surprising how bright of light the Parans system can provide.
At $7,500 for one collector and 33 ft. of optical cabling, it is definitely an expensive light fixture, but there are chandeliers that cost more and aren’t nearly as “green” – but it’s still hard to justify when thinking of how efficient LEDs are.
Let’s close with some photos from one of our most recent home finishes. The client selected some very unique, contemporary fixtures that are too cool not to share!
Note: This is *in house* photography.
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