Most of us are familiar with Solatube type passive daylighting, which is functionally nice, but for my eye an aesthetic compromise. I was looking over the Green Source magazine this morning, whose audience is mostly commercial, but this product review caught my eye because it’s this kind of sustainable technology I believe we’ll see in homes in the very near future. It’s the next generation of bringing natural daylighting in to spaces that otherwise need some type of energy-intensive electrical lighting.
Parans daylighting system provides natural daylight to interior rooms where skylights or light tubes aren’t practical. How it works is there are solar light reflector/collectors mounted outside the building, say, on the roof; the collectors ‘gather’ the light and transports it via a system of mobile reflectors to indoor light fixtures that are specially designed with fiber optics. It’s super simple and super efficient. In order to maximize the solar collection, there is a micro computer that orients the collector as the sun passes through the sky during the day.
As with many new innovations, I couldn’t get a fixed price per unit from the Parans website, but, they do have a very nice video demonstration on how the system works. I suspect the payback is pretty rapid when used in a large-scale commercial application where there would be hundreds of lights on if there was no daylight available. But, as I mentioned earlier, with the innovations in building design and energy efficiency, this will be on the shelf at the box store within a couple years… I’d bet on it.
Published on April 06, 2010.