Joseph Flaherty reports: As portions of the US are battered by snowstorms and shrouded beneath gray skies, a European startup is developing a light fixture that mimics the sun.
Each CoeLux fixture models the sunlight of a specific locale, be it the cool color and strong shadows of equatorial countries, the even glow of Mediterranean sunlight, or the slightly dimmer and warmer, but more striking patterns found along the Arctic Circle.
CoeLux fixtures use traditional LEDs, calibrated to the same wavelengths as the sun. However, accurately recreating sunlight also requires mimicking subtle variations caused by the atmosphere, which varies in thickness and composition depending upon where you are on earth. CoeLux uses a milimeters-thick layer of plastic, peppered with nanoparticles, that does essentially the same thing in your living room. CoeLux’s inventor, Professor Paolo Di Trapani hasn’t made any disclosures about how the nanotechnology works in practice, but an impressive list of peer-reviewed publications, industry awards, and testimonials from customers provide comfort that these devices actually work as advertised.
Despite the dynamic nature of the light, the fixtures feature no moving parts. Different qualities of light are created by manipulating the size and placement of the LED “hot spot”—the portion of the fixture meant to represent the sun—within the fixture’s two-foot wide and 5-foot long frame. The tropical unit has the largest hot spot, the Nordic unit the smallest. The thickness of the plastic sheet varies as well, thicker for the Nordic light than the equatorial light, to mirror the atmosphere. The light doesn’t emit any ultraviolet rays, so it won’t give you a tan or ease your seasonal affective disorder, but it will make the darkest basement, warehouse, or subterranean dwelling feel like a solarium.
Shining a New Light on an Old Problem
For thousands of years, man has tried to bring sunlight into dark spaces. Egyptians used complex arrays of mirrors to bring natural light deep within the pyramids, but this is labor intensive and difficult to achieve without a huge slave-labor force.
Northern European palaces from the 18th century feature bright Trompe l’oeil frescos of sunny skies, designed to bring cheer during long winters. Las Vegas casinos use similar techniques, augmented with LEDs and other technologies, to make you think you’re outdoors, not frittering away your money in the soulless confines of a casino. Read the rest of this entry »
“My wife and I bought this after selling our daughter Amanda into white slavery. We actually got a refurbished. It’s missing the remote, but oh well– for $10K off, I can afford a universal, right? The picture is amazing. I’ve never seen the world with such clarity.
Amanda, if you’re reading this, hang in there, honey! We’ll see you in a year.”
[you know you want to buy this TV, as a bonus, it’ll really, really help support this site]
I just wanted to add an addendum to my review. Since posting it, we have received a flood of responses. People have said some pretty hurtful things–even questioning our values. Let me assure you, this was not an easy decision to make, and we made it as a family. Obviously, it’s very personal. But in light of all the second-guessing, I wanted to explain our thinking.
First and foremost, screen size. I really think you can’t go too big. 85″ may seem huge, but you get used to it fast. Second, resolution. Is 4K overkill? Please, that’s what they said about 1080P! More dots = better. Period. And as far as this being a $40,000 “dumb” TV, people need to re-read my initial post: WE BOUGHT IT REFURBISHED. It was only $30,000…
You started out simple, piercing the dark with a cheap handheld flashlight as you traced a terrible rendition of your name through the air. You were hardly halfway through the last letter of your name before you were running over to the camera to see if it worked. You, like many a bored digital camera owner before you, had discovered light painting.
As its name implies, Pixelstick is… a stick of pixels
More specifically, the Pixelstick is a 6’ bar containing 198 full color LEDs. At the core of Pixelstick is a simple brain: a handheld controller, an SD card reader, and a bit of lightweight circuitry to parse images pulled from the card.
Now here’s the invention that we’ve all been waiting for: A device that instantly charges our cell phones.
A gadget like this might soon be on its way thanks to a bright 18-year-old from Saratoga, Calif., who was recently honored at an international science fair.
Eesha Khare is the mind behind a super-powerful and tiny gizmo that packs more energy into a small space, delivers a charge more quickly, and holds that charge longer than the typical battery. Khare showed off her so-called super-capacitor last week at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Ariz. In her demonstration, she showed it powering a light-emitting diode, or LED light, but the itty-bitty device could fit inside cell phone batteries, delivering a full charge in 20-30 seconds. It takes several hours for the average cell phone to fully charge.
Khare also pointed out that the super-capacitor “can last for 10,000 charge cycles compared to batteries which are good for only 1,000 cycles.”
Khare’s invention is flexible and could be used in roll-up devices and might even have applications for car batteries.
The judges at the science fare were wowed by Khare’s brilliant invention and the senior at Lynbrook High School in San Jose received the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award and $50,000.
“With this money I will be able to pay for my college and also work on making scientific advancements,” Khare told a cheering audience after receiving the prize money.
I’m sure her parents are proud and thrilled!