Lighting like blue sky? Check out Mitsubishi Electric’s LED system that mimics skylights to boost worker morale and make spaces feel more open

by Brianna Crandall — October 1, 2018 — Mitsubishi Electric Corporation just announced that it has developed an indoor lighting technology that mimics the daily change of natural light from sunrise to blue sky to sunset. The system, which consists of a thin panel and frame measuring less than 100mm, incorporates a proprietary edge-lit method that emits LED light from the side of the light panel to achieve highly natural light with the depth and color of the sky, with an effect similar to a skylight or window.

4-part photo showing skylight-like LED light and applications

The LED light system produces highly natural light mimicking sunrises, sunsets and blue skies, and creates a sense of depth to make indoor spaces feel more open. Image courtesy Mitsubishi Electric

Mitsubishi Electric points out that modern workplaces are being upgraded to create comfortable environments that stimulate and motivate employees. This includes the enhancement of lighting in offices, public facilities and other environments that have darkened or covered windows or no windows altogether. Mitsubishi Electric’s new system, unlike conventional light-emitting diode (LED) lighting systems, produces highly natural light, including colors similar to those of sunrises and sunsets as well as blue skies, and creates a sense of depth to make indoor spaces feel larger and more open.

Main features

1) Thin package produces light with depth and colors similar to real sky

  • Edge-lit panel emits LED light from the side to mimic the sky’s Rayleigh scattering effect, which occurs when sunlight strikes atmospheric air molecules in the daytime and scatters short-wavelength blue light more strongly than long-wavelength red light, making the sky appear blue when viewed from below.
  • Panel and frame thickness measure less than 100mm combined, comparable to an ordinary lighting fixture, for wide-ranging applications in offices and public facilities. Also, panels can be tiled to cover large ceilings.

2) Replicates colors of blue sky and both sunrises and sunsets

  • LED light source colors are controlled automatically throughout the day to replicate daily transitions of natural light from sunrise to midday sunlight to sunset.

Mitsubishi Electric will exhibit its new technology during CEATEC JAPAN 2018 at the Makuhari Messe exhibition complex in Chiba, Japan, from October 16 to 19. The timing of the envisioned commercial release will be announced later.