Artificial Skylight Brings Sunlight To Any Room

Humans aren’t supposed to be cooped up indoors all day, but who wants to be bothered by UV rays, insects, allergens, traffic, physical activity, and other people? On the other hand, a gloomy living space generally inhibits productivity — if not making it difficult to find what you’re looking for. So, if you’re looking to illuminate any room in your place, and you have the cash and the patience to wait for its widespread release, CoeLux is a skylight that needs no sky or sun — not that you’ll be able to tell the difference.

The Italian developers [CoeLux Srl] are perhaps wisely remaining tight-lipped on how the effect is achieved, but confirm that nanoparticles in the skylight mimic the effect of atmospheric fluctuations, compressing that vast deep blue into a few milimetres while maintaining the perception of infinite depth.

Walking inside on a rainy day only to find the sun gleaming down on you would add a reality-bending touch to any space — especially a basement workshop or recreation room; to that end, the designers hope this will facilitate underground ‘earthscraper’ developments. At present, CoeLux has three lighting settings — tropical, mediterranean, and Nordic — but it’s not much of a stretch to imagine it could one day simulate any weather at any point on earth.

If in the meantime you’re stuck with a more traditional chandelier, check out this winch that will facilitate the process of changing any burt bulbs. If you are building a silo and need to further trick your captives vault dwellers try building one of these elevators.

90 thoughts on “Artificial Skylight Brings Sunlight To Any Room

          1. um, still true. source: 2 auto-tech brothers, who still fix leaky sunroofs in 2010+ vehicles under warranty. usually due to tree debris clogging up the sunroof drain holes.

    1. That’s far too expensive for mainstream consumer and commercial use maybe NASA could use it on underground Moon and Mars habitats or the navy on nuclear submarines.
      A better idea would be to simply use concentrators and fiber optics to bring sunlight in.
      Though many applications could just use a low cost suntube.

    2. something there sounds extremely inflated, sun spectrum lighting is nothing new and while this looks and properly feels more realistic is it really worth the $59,990?

      you can find led’s with a CRI above 95% for $10 or less.
      hell with a little work one could replicate and develop an entire analogue of this system for that amount of money.

    1. If you have a couple of feet of space in your ceiling and a spare antique UK telephone booth it’s quite easy to achieve.
      A portal gun would be simpler, but a bit rough around the edges.

      1. Utter tosh, it’s myths like these that cause people to be put off using this method. It’s been fairly well known in the antique English phone box community that you only need about an inch of clearance, leave the rest in another time!

  1. “…tight-lipped on how the effect is achieved, but confirm that nanoparticles in the skylight mimic the effect of atmospheric fluctuations… GLITTER!

    I want to take that thing apart; let’s see how it works!
    Maybe it is a giant OLED screen? Plasma disply? Something new?
    Diffuse blue light and an artificial sun that is rendered extremely realistically; do we know what the power consumption is?

    1. Betting it’s a couple of fresnel lenses and a sheet of plexi with small dots etched into it like most LCD screen light spreaders have. The BS about the “nanoparticles” well Paint has a lot of nanoparticles and the right paint color on the inside of the box will do the exact same thing.

      A single 200 watt led point source with the lenses and a diffuser grate along with some led’s lighting the blue paint field at the top and you can do this in the 3 – 6 feet depth they require for their design.

      1. IIRC the “nanoparticle” is real and this is a university spinoff. Basically the inventor was experimenting with infinite mirrors and LED arrays to mimic Rayleigh scattering, ending up with a special mix of titanium nanoparticles on a special set of dispersion sheets(aka white oil paint on pieces of plastic) and made it into a product.

        This has nothing to do with the light source, purely about the blue sky effect. A set of pre-painted films for $60k.

      Indoor Use Only Light Source: LED (not dimmable)
      Installation Type: Drop Ceiling Max. Power Consumption: 350W
      Ceiling Height: 7’1”-8-4″ (range) Average Power Consumption: 300W
      Dimensions: 93.5″ x 65.9″ x 27″ Power Input: 230V
      Weight: 660 lbs. Warranty: 2 Years
      Sky-light size: 38.8″ x 19.3″ Suggested Area for Unit: 215 sq. ft.
      pulled from:

        1. The “Non-dimmable” would refer to the supply, implying that power is needed for more than just the light source and the dimming would be handled by the unit itself. However, no mention was made of the apparent direction of the light source changing over time which suggests the 3D effect is static rather than active.

    1. Why do people keep posting comments like this? Can you not read? A projection would look FLAT, like any old video screen. The point of this “skylight” is that it gives a sensation of depth by scattering the light.

      Also, note that it casts sharp shadows, like the sun with its relatively small angular diameter, and yet is still sun bright. No image projected on a flat screen could in any way emulate that–you’d need a high-intensity, direct-view light source (a high-power LED array, for example), beamed through a scattering medium.

      +2 Internets for anyone who comes up with a DIY solution, no matter how complex, to give a believable scatter & depth effect to an artificial sky.

      1. not a problem: use a blonde or 100w led and some quarter or eight white diffusion close to the source approximately four meters from the hole in the ceiling. only two meters? use some mirrors to fold the light cone. add a small softbox for the soft fill against a blue board if necessary. We studio cameraman do it all the time in studios around the world. I thought this was a thing for in a basement, but this is just basic studio work. Of course I am all to happy to do it for you for 60k excluding installation :-)

      2. I’d use a piece of blue led edge lit Endlighten with a rear projected curved screen for illusion of depth (or perhaps mylar ala flight sim mirror) and a moveable LED spotlight to simulate the sun. Not sure how it’d work in practice, but that’s the first solution that popped into my mind.

      3. Projector as a lightsource, allows adjustment of color temperature, addition of atmospheric effects mirror allows depth but without having an 8 foot deep false ceiling as projector will just be off to the side an arbitary distance. Will allow shadows and full controll. Engage your brain before you post.

  2. Together with a student, I started developing LEDs lamps capable of emitting sunlight spectrum. Based on Arduino, WS2811 ICs and 5mm LEDs of various wave lengths (including cyan and amber)… Project got stuck after the prototype…

          1. Just had a funny though… if you covered one of those single pad per hole boards in graphite everywhere on the copper side, shaded with pencil, would it be like a resistance backplane for LEDs..???

          2. [RW]
            Your giving me interesting ideas to play around with graphite powder…
            Every time you shake the LED array the brightness would change for every LED. Hmmm.
            This idea goes into my ‘bored/stuck on a project/want to have fun list. ;)

        1. i have only owned the strips and screw in replacements from and those are fairly expensive, we also chose the 5600k , that said they are used for printing (as room lighting at our workstation) and photography so we dont mind the prices in the same way one would for proper lighting use throughout a building.

          i know makes some high cri lamps that look good lighting wise and are fairly cheap, we have filmed with them a couple of times with great results but i haven’t owned any, i know several videographers that use them though, they might be a much better bet if you intend to use it for a whole house.

        2. i own both screw in bulbs and strips from those are quite expensive though, we dont mind as much since we use it for our printing workstation and photography but the light they put out is amazing, it really has made a major difference when doing color work, we do however use the 5600k version.

          i have worked with strips and modules for video work, several videographers i know use them and they arent nearly as expensive as the yuji’s, they still look very good compared to your traditional led, if your intention is to light a whole living space they might be a better option.

          1. Thank you for the information. Currently, I use compact fluorescent lamps. However, those with a good spectrum are not very efficient, especially @6500K. Probably for the same reason, they disappear more and more from the market here in the EU, because they do not achieve a top energy rating.

            Most white LEDs, even pricy ones, lack sufficient cyan. I am not sure why this is still the case, because powerful and cheap cyan LEDs are available. I find a lack of cyan unacceptable @5600 or @6500K. Too many things look too strange. I even prefer a discontinuous spectrum over a lack of cyan. Unfortunately, with this “problem”, I seem to be part of a very small minority.

            The self-build LED lamp that I mentioned above, combines different LEDs of different ranges of wavelengths and can provide any spectral distribution anywhere found on the sky from before dawn till after dusk. However, the luminance density is low in comparison to compact fluorescent lamps which would require a reorganized electrical installation for good positioning of the LED lamps. And in the end, I would probably have a better spectrum than now, but at the expense of higher power consumption…

  3. Having an imitation skylight Likud that might be nice might if all you want to do is look at it and show off to your friends. Have you ever tried reading a book in direct light or trying to do any kind of work the shadows are horrendous and dynamic range greatly exceeds the eyes dynamic range.

    If you want a usable skylight imitation a solar pannel directly coupled to a pannel of LED’s as the sun gets bright the increased output drives the LED’s harder and they get brighter a cloud comes out and the LED’s dim.

    Add a good diffuser and you have nice natural imitation that you can actually work under.

    1. Judging by the patent, it uses a very bright source of visible light (a point light, probably a powerful full spectrum LED) coupled with an infrared light source (incandescent or halogen bulb) optically coupled, that are bounced off a slanted plane.

      The plane is covered with a layer of nanoparticles that are of smaller size than the wavelength of visible light (5-350 nm particles according to patent). Because the particles are so small they create an effect similar to Rayleigh scattering (, basically very similar to what happens in the atmosphere to sunlight. The effect makes it hard for the observer to determine how far away the light is.

      The background of the ‘box’ is uniform and painted with probably vanta-black or something similar (it has to not reflect any light ideally), so that it’s very hard to pinpoint the distance of the light, aka. it looks like the sun.

      After being reflected by the nanoparticle coated plane, the light goes through an optical diffusor (the actual hole you see the light coming from in the videos). This lets some of the direct light through but also partially diffuses it to make a more believable effect. The layers in the diffusor also create the blue you see through the opening, it’s probably caused by the diffusion of the light coming through it, and not the actual background.

      Conclusion: The info is all in the patent application, particle sizes, suggested materials, equations to get the values for everything. It seems very simple in general, but the effect is given by very precise control over the materials used. It MIGHT work as a 50$ hack version, but it might not be so epic because some of the ‘proper’ materials would be very expensive to get a hold of.
      Here’s the PDF, if anyone wants to give it a shot I’m sure it’s a great hackaday prize entry :D

  4. Honestly a bit disappointed about all this. This product is years old, I had questions about it then and have no solutions now. Why is this hackaday worthy? Not only in the choice of propagating this advertisement, adding nothing to the conversation but the quality of comments is not what it used to be on this site. I’m sad hackaday is so desperate to resort to clickbait content with no substance. “Nano particles” is marketing talk and not a valid blog post. The old school hackaday was black-and-white and always 1337 shit. wtf is the point of another tech blog?

  5. It would be easier to stack a few thousand drinking straws to get directional light from a diffused led array. You could then add a blue transparent layer at the end for the blue sky effect. It would be smaller and cheaper.

  6. Why not simply use fiber optics and an exterior solar concentrator? Executed this idea years ago but didn’t have sun tracking for the collector.

    Apparently now there’s commercial solutions that do exactly this. Look up “fiber optic skylight” on the googler.

  7. I’d use this. I’m pretty critical here and I actually kind of like this. Admittedly I’d probably just RE it instead of buying it. It’s not like it uses algorithms or complex lighting or lens science..

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