The depressing white light people associate with hospitals and the claustrophobia associated with windowless workspaces may soon become a thing of the past. Among the wide range of cutting-edge technologies exhibited by Mitsubishi Electric at the recently concluded CEATEC Japan 2018, the company also unveiled an indoor lighting system that mimics natural sunlight.
It’s not just one specific shade of sunlight either, the technology very accurately imitates the daily shift in colors observed at sunrise, sunset and everything in between.
Mitsubishi’s system consists of a thin panel and frame which measure less than 100 millimeters, incorporating a proprietary edge-lit method that emits LED light from the side of the light panel. This light then passes through suspended diffusers to create a natural look that makes this new gadget seem more like an actual window than a piece of cutting edge technology. These ‘windows’ can also be used to line entire ceilings, creating the illusion of an open-air working space.
Mitsubishi’s invention goes far beyond simply making workplaces, schools and hospitals look prettier. Light has a significant impact on human beings psychologically and physiologically. This is because light affects the circadian rhythm — a biological clock that regulates sleep timings, hunger, hormone release, body temperature and other important bodily functions. Sunrise, high noon and sunset are actually landmarks in nature’s biological clock and constant exposure to a single shade of light for extended periods disrupts this rhythm.
Speaking to the Japanese press a day before CEATEC kicked off, an official from Mitsubishi Electric stated that the company expects substantial demand for the lighting system from underground shopping centres and offices without windows. However, an official date of commercial release has not been announced as yet.