Fake Window Brings Natural Light Into Basement

Do you have a depressing basement? Maybe you still live with the parents? You need a fake window to cheer things up! As it turns out, it’s pretty easy to make a convincingly real-looking day-light window — plus you could totally mess with your circadian rhythm!

[thatdbeagoodbandname] has an office in his basement with no windows, which is why he set out to brighten up the room with this project. Apparently you can buy fake LED windows, but they’re expensive and don’t look that good. His goal was to build a cartoony “classic” window that would feel bright and uplifting — and to keep it well under $200.

In the end he ended up buying everything he needed from Home Depot for his project; some 2 x 4’s for the frame, a sheet of acrylic, and a set of LED plant grow-lights.

From there it was pretty simple to assemble, and as you can see, it looks pretty realistic. An extension to this project could use RGB LEDs in order to make fake sunrises and sunsets, and change the light depending on the season!

Or you can go all out and build a miniature sun in your room to make sure you wake up…

[via r/DIY]

27 thoughts on “Fake Window Brings Natural Light Into Basement

  1. I have heard of projects like this , but the main difference is the cost.
    They would basically use a window-sized digital photo frame that was designed to take
    a video or photo captured from the outside portion of the wall.

    It allowed you to see out the window (day/night)…

  2. As an addition one could run it direct of a solar panel or two and the variations in the light output would mimic that of the outside world and keep your rythms in check ;)

    Looks great and a nice and simple construction.

  3. It may look like day-light and I am ready to believe that you can irritate your biorhythm with it … but I guess it suffers from the same drop outs in its spectrum that most LED lights suffer from. Although it might be possible that UV based LEDs get a better (more even) output than blue based LEDs – I’d be interested in seeing a spectrum analysis of the LEDs used.

    1. No need. Almost all white LED’s are the exact same in manufacturing. Only slight variations in the blue versus the green will be present. I studied LED’s for a long time because I run a reef tank off of them. If anyone wants to replicate natural light, just buy a full spectrum LED reef tank fixture. I tested my AI Prime on my tank and compared the light color to sunlight, and they have done such an excellent job mimicking the temperature of light that it looked like I had a small sun over my tank… albeit not as powerful. Of course a setup like that is $200, but someone could replicate it for a fake window.

      Also, is it just me or does this feel familiar… Like being stuck in a pod in Portal.

      1. Sounds like good ideas, but only in areas where there is sufficient sunlight, and only during the day.
        With a sunlight-mimicking setup you can use it on gray days and at night and perhaps avoid some of that winter depression many suffer from.

  4. You could have three photo-diodes each with a red, blue or green filter over them. Then use the values from the photo-diodes to control the brightness of the corresponding red blue or green led.

  5. I was once in an underground facility designed for long term habitation and they had something similar but they utilized curved LCD screens sunk into the wall so that you had a different view from each angle. Above the screen in the sunk area they had a light setup similar to this one.

    It wasnt exactly like a real window but it was damn close

  6. How about someone use the old camera obscura to project a view of the outside above ground into the window well and project it on a translucent screen? I have seen the camera obscura at the Griffith Park Observatory in LA and it is impressive.

  7. would be nice if he used color LED. that way, the color will change accordingly to the timer. bright blue from 8am to 3pm. then darker orange at night time. and finally off during night time

  8. One item of concern is that the spectrum of these LEDs is VERY DIFFERENT from “natural light”. If you go to FEIT and search the specs (www.feit.com/documents/pdf/74302_SpecSheet.pdf) you will note that it is basically two peaks: one at 450 nm (blue) and one at 650 nm (red) and nothing in between. Works for plants, but maybe not so good for eyes :)

    1. Not true at all. White LED’s actually have a blue peak, a green hill and another red peak. There are lots of holes in the spectrum, however look to the aquarium LED light manufacturers. They have produced some very good full spectrum setups. Aqua Illuminations makes very good lights. They hand pick the full spectrum range of LED’s and place them in the fixture. When I have it on full brightness (which turns on all LEDs to max) it looks just like real sunlight and its damn bright.

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