Instead of turning sunlight into electricity, and then using that to power indoor lighting, Lucy redirects the daylight into rooms for effective natural illumination.
There's no light like sunlight, and even the best LED lighting systems fall short of the visual warmth of full-spectrum sunlight, but short of putting more windows in, or installing skylights, it's challenging to get the natural light of the sun to dark areas of the home or office. We've previously covered a number of daylighting solutions, ranging from light shelves to computerized mirror arrays to mirrored sun-catchers and sun-tracker skylights, but a forthcoming device, dubbed Lucy, looks to be one of the simplest standalone solutions for illuminating dark rooms with natural sunlight.
Lucy, from Solenica, is a completely wireless solar-powered device that reflects sunlight from a window or balcony to another interior location (it can only do so to another 'line-of-sight' location, obviously), and can "intelligently" track the sun throughout the day to keep that location illuminated. The device is said to be able to deliver up to 7000 lumens of warm natural sunlight, and the tracking motor is powered by a few onboard solar cells, so no additional energy inputs are needed.According to this article in FastCoDesign, Solenica claims that "250-square-foot room needs roughly 5,000 lumens to feel well-illuminated," so Lucy could effectively light an average-sized living or dining room with ease, and at no additional cost. Of course, that's only during the day time, and only if you have access to a sunny window with a clear line-of-sight to the interior room, but it certainly looks to be a good option for projecting daylight into a home or office.
Interior daylighting isn't simply a way to reduce lighting electricity consumption, although that's certainly one application, but could be a method of addressing and mitigating the 'winter blues' or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in some people, as well as serving as a full-spectrum light source for artists, photographers, plant lovers, and anyone else who needs or prefers the natural warmth of sunlight.
The bad news is that you can't go right out and buy Lucy just yet, but the good news is that Solenica is going to launch Lucy via an Indiegogo campaign, and will be offering a discounted pre-order price to those on their launch list, which can be joined via the company website. There's no indication what the asking price for Lucy is yet, although the above linked article hinted that it would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $200.