LightCatcher: bringing more daylight into your building
Lately, much attention is given to the health benefits or natural light. Since many people work in offices or other buildings, using many windows can provide the necessary light, but making extra windows is not always possible in existing buildings. In addition, normal windows don’t always provide enough light, for instance when it’s cloudy. The Belgium company EcoNation created LightCatcher, a dome window which, as the name implies, captures natural light using a mirror, lighting up your building.
A mirror integrated within a polycarbonate light dome looks for the optimum light spot. This is usually the sun, but if the sun is blocked by clouds or obstacles, it finds another spot. The mirror captures the incoming daylight, which is then reflected, filtered, and amplified in a light shaft before spreading throughout your building. This makes the dome a cheap and ecological alternative to light shafts or traditional domes.
According to the company’s website, the light is bright enough that you can have your lights off for an average of ten hours a day, which saves electricity and therefore money. An opening in your roof of only 1.7 square metre (18.3 square feet) provides sufficient light for a floor area of 60 to 120 square metre (646 to 1292 square feet).
The mirror in the LightCatcher is driven by sensor technology that searches for the optimum light spot. An integrated solar panel provides the necessary energy, so there is no need to connect the domes to the electricity grid.
The dome is especially suited for industrial and public buildings. While it is made fro flat roofs, it is also possible to use the LightCatcher on sloping roofs. In the latter case, the curb (the supporting structure that is placed on the roof in which the LightCatcher is integrated) is adapted so that the technology can be fitted flat.