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The Sustainable Future of Lighting

The Sustainable Future of Lighting

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.