New Building Lights Itself at Night

A building under construction in Japan will use sunlight to illuminate its rooms after the sun goes down. Sections of the walls of the new office complex will be constructed with a new building material that contain super-thin, transparent solar panels and as many as 320 light-emitting diodes that release whitish-blue light at night. The material, a joint venture between Japanese construction company Shimizu and Sharp electronics, can convert about 7% of solar energy into electricity, which is enough to illuminate the building for an average of 4.6 hours every night, according to NikkeiNet Interactive (subscription required). The building is going up in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, on the southeastern edge of Japan. We'd love to see a similar, more practical version of this technology that directly lit the interior, but, hey, solar and LEDs together...lots to like here. ::New Scientist via ::Boing Boing

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