Update 8/08/2012 – Parans is now available through Wasco.
The interesting thing about fiber optic lighting is that it creates the ability to put natural light in places where there is none. Generally, here’s how it works. Using a building-mounted panel with computer-controlled, sun-tracking lenses, natural light is channeled through optical fibers to luminaires that diffuse the light (see diagram below).
Since early 2008, HUVCO Daylighting Solutions has been offering a fiber optic lighting system like this, or the Parans System, which was developed in Sweden. Although light only travels about 60 feet through optical cables, the ability to direct light in this manner is quite interesting.
HUVCO provides a variety of options to both collect and diffuse light. Cables can be routed through walls, ceilings, and subfloors, depending on your building set up. And HUVCO also has hybrid luminaires that use both natural and electric light.
Natural light has been attributed to increased productivity and morale, better performance, and increased sales. Additionally, using fiber optic natural lighting reduces the need to use electrical lights during the peak time of day, thereby providing the potential for reduced energy costs, depending on how much you’re paying for the entire system.
As a relatively new product, we haven’t yet seen any cost or ROI studies on the Parans System, but we will certainly keep you posted as this kind of information hits the market. Anyone have experience using fiber optic lighting?
Photo credits: Huvco.