Artificial Skylight That Looks Ridiculously Real

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CoeLux is an artificial skylight that can change the way we feel and experience spaces. It is an impressive innovation by Paolo Di Trapani, the founder and CEO of CoeLux, because it fools us into mistaking an artificial light source for real sunlight.


This technology is ideal for all types of indoor architecture such as shopping malls, stores, airports, offices, hotels, fitness centers, museums and many more. But it is especially well-suited for underground spaces like parking garages and subways, because it can give them a similar appearance to those above-ground.

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The skylight has a distant-looking light source that shines like our sun. The fake sunlight that pours into the room creates the same subtle gradations in color as natural sunlight, shining a mixture of direct and diffused light to brilliantly illuminate the room. To achieve this, CoeLux was able to simulate the process naturally occurring in our atmosphere, but on a micro-scale with a layer of clear polymer with titanium dioxide nano-particles. Specifically it is the process of Rayleigh scattering, where light hits the gas molecules in our atmosphere and the blue light with its shortest wavelength gets absorbed by the molecules, then radiated in different directions, giving the sky its blue color.

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Different areas of earth are hit at different angles by the sunlight, so there’s more or less atmosphere for the light to get through. This means that it gets absorbed and scattered in some places by fewer, and in others by more molecules, creating a different blue hue. CoeLux is simulating this as well, creating three solutions to people. They provide the CoeLux 60, CoeLux 45 and CoeLux 30.

The CoeLux 60 is a tropical light which is brighter, cooler and with higher contrast. This light is most dramatic, and provides maximum luminance contrast of shadow and light.

The CoeLux 45 gives a Mediterranean experience of a medium and balanced atmosphere. They skylight features a 45 degree ceiling beam, giving equal balance of light and shade.

Finally the CoeLux 30 creates a Nordic sky with a 30 degree light angle relative to the horizon. It’s best as a wall light and is capable of producing a warm, grazing light.

The current design costs over $60,000 and requires a one-meter deep space for installation, but CoeLux is working with Ideaworks to make the technology available for commercial use.

Visionaries + Movers

Paolo Di Trapani (Founder)

Photos via: CoeLux

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