When Edison designed the cheap electric lightbulb, he opened up a whole Pandora's box of good and bad -- good, because people could now work without being slaves to the whims of the sun, but bad because years later, we have forgotten how wonderful sunlight can be. Studies have shown that sunlight causes less eyestrain and helps reduce the effects of Seasonal Affect Disorder, in addition to making color rendition of objects more natural (by definition). With that in mind, Sunlight Direct has emerged as the latest company bringing real sunlight to the indoors with optic fiber piping...
Unlike the Parans system which we blogged earlier, Sunlight Direct uses a parabolic collector to gather light into a cable of fibers(Parans uses a bank of lenses to focus light into optic fibers). This might make the system easier to install, since it's basically a satellite dish, rather than the larger Parans system which requires roof brackets like solar paneling. On the other hand, keeping the reflecting mirror clean presents its own challenges. Sunlight Direct's system allows for mixed-source lights, so one collector can be "stretched" by mixing the piped sunlight with florescent tubes in single fixtures. This also smooths outages from cloudy days. The system is still in beta testing, but interested builders and lighting professionals can contact the company for more information. :: Sunlight Direct
Sunlight Direct: More Piped Sunshine
When Edison designed the cheap electric lightbulb, he opened up a whole Pandora's box of good and bad -- good, because people could now work without being slaves to the whims of the sun, but bad because years later, we have forgotten how wonderful