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Single Source House Lighting

Home Lighting Simplification
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An internally silvered/mirror globe in the attic from which (internally reflective) tubes or fibres grow to terminate as the ambient lighting for all areas of the house.

[edit] louvres are probably better than a globe, and placement isn't really restricted to the attic (the post was originally written as a rider to <link>).

A series of bulbs inserted into the globe, of binary-proportioned outputs (eg: 5w, 10w, 20w, 40w, 80w, 160w), switched on/off (and dimmed in the case of bulb types that that actually works with) to emit the complete lighting requirements of the house, both indoor and (taking a leaf from 2fries' "Passive Deck Lighting" post) outdoors.

Advantages:
- works for *any* lighting types (incandescent, flourescent, LED) including future developments *without* having to put holes in the walls/ceiling to change the wiring... you could even mix and match to find the custom colour temperature you like (requires more bulbs)
- one spot to both store and change the lightbulbs, easily physically accessible: no stepladders required.
- no big rush to change a burnt-out bulb since the system will compensate until you get around to it
- precise control of the amount of light in a room using non-incandescent bulbs.

Disadvantage: - ... umm... PITA to retrofit to an existing dwelling.

(For those of you who haven't already wasted a few bucks finding out: dimming a CFL bulb reduces it's lifetime to a matter of days... something they don't mention on the package, and something the power companies accidentally overlook when they dink the entire grid's voltage during high-usage periods).

FlyingToaster, Sep 07 2008

Ball with Tentacles http://www.the3dstu...spx?id_product=7764
not entirely unlike this [FlyingToaster, Sep 07 2008]

Indirect Lighting Example http://www.inviting...ct_Light_List_A.htm
Almost.. natural.. light!! [Bcrosby, Sep 09 2008]

originally written as an adjunct to... Solar_20Lighting
[FlyingToaster, Oct 18 2008]

[link]






       I don't get this. How do you control the light coming to any one room, other than by some sort of light-wasting shutter?
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 07 2008
  

       //How do you control the light coming to any one room//
...light *reflecting* shutters; a globe silvered on the inside into which socketed CFL bulbs are placed and from which various sized tubes, reflectively shuttered, protrude and lead to opto-strategic points in the house.
FlyingToaster, Sep 07 2008
  

       Hmmmm. It's still going to be wickedly inefficient.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 07 2008
  

       [MB] in what respect ? If your interior is reflective in the same spectrum as the bulbs' output then the only place the light has to go is down the tubes that aren't totally blocked by a reflective baffle (that reflects the light *back* into the box(/globe/whatever)). Note that the shutters are on the globe end, not the room fixture end.
FlyingToaster, Sep 07 2008
  

       How about a fishtank?
daseva, Sep 07 2008
  

       //How about a fishtank?//
I'd rather have a box of donuts.
FlyingToaster, Sep 07 2008
  

       //[MB] in what respect // Well, OK. Suppose you have 30% of your shutters "open"; this means that at least 70% (and, given plausible geometries, probably more like 90%) of your "sphere" is going to be closed. So, most photons are going to bounce many times around the sphere before they find an open exit. Reflective coatings are far from perfect, so you're going to waste energy. And this neglects any losses through the light-pipes.   

       Put it this way. If all houses had this system, and some manufacturer came up with a way to instead put a light source *directly in each room* where it was needed, I think he'd make a fortune.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 07 2008
  

       [MB] I think with a house designed with it in mind you could get away with only 3-4 bounces... using 98pct efficiency mirrors, the losses are easily made up by superior light source options.
FlyingToaster, Sep 07 2008
  

       [Toaster] The problem comes with the internal reflectance in the sphere and the light pipes. The best data I can find suggests that high end fiber optics run to about 99.99% reflectance. At 1000 bounces, this isn't bad, about 90% effecient, at 10000 it drops to 60, both of those assuming you can generate similar reflectance inside your sphere, which isn't definite. Given that you would also have additional losses at joints, shutters, etc. and that I would expect the actual bounce numbers to be high, I would have my doubts about the overall efficiency of this. Despite that, if it was combined with an additional input for daylighting (as in another idea), I'm not certain it wouldn't work.   

       Oh and most CFL packages do warn about dimming, I think. But there are CFLs specificly designed for it.
MechE, Sep 08 2008
  

       On second thought, though, I think I'd rather have a dozen different light sources than a dozen different mechanically controlled shutters. I don't think this simplifies anything, really.
MechE, Sep 08 2008
  

       Indirect lighting calls for spreading out light evenly across a large area... maybe it's a better fit. Instead of a light every two or three feet around a large room, run fibers.   

       I'd see benefits in less maintenance in changing bulbs... maybe a bit more efficient and in general safer (no-voltage fiber vs electrical wiring and hot fixtures).
Bcrosby, Sep 09 2008
  

       love the visual. so nature-inspired; reminiscent of a plasma globe.   

       that whole light bouncing thingy made me think about this problem a bit. i thought there had to be ways other than transmitting electrons or photons to a light-emitting device when i came up with this mind numbingly stupid idea:   

       keep the organic-looking tentacled reactor sphere, but rather than transmitting light, use it to generate an energy-carrying liquid. perhaps containing something like ATP.   

       the 'bulb' end of things would contain an enclosed enzyme/biologic-magic that reacts as the fresh liquid flows over it. perhaps something like luciferase.   

       that's it really. the more liquid flow the brighter the container glows. used liquid heads back to the reactor for re-energizing.   

       sadly inefficient, probably dim, but would be comfortable mood-lighting in a damp dark home, to the tune of faint humpback whale calls of course.
TIB, Sep 11 2008
  

       High quality normal mirrors (even without getting into dielectrics) can have 99.9% reflectance in the visual spectrum; that's over 100 bounces to get down to 90pct. I admit the "ball" idea is more fantastical than realistic, perhaps a bellows arrangement.
FlyingToaster, Oct 18 2008
  

       Why not, instead of dimmable CFLs, have a PCB with hundreds of tiny high power LEDs (like you find in those mini LED maglites). They could be switched on/off by a digital 'dimmer'.
SeeJayDee, Feb 03 2010
  

       /why not LED's ?/
'cuz at the time (2008) we had just switched over to CFL's and I wasn't aware of how much cooler LED's were :)
  

       LED's would be better since the area of the emitter is smaller, thus more effective reflectors can be built.
FlyingToaster, Feb 03 2010
  

       why not just run those internally reflective tubes / fibres to the part of the planet that's still in daylight?
insufficientlycooked, Feb 07 2010
  

       This would be best for lighting common areas in a large office building, rather than a house. The lighting would be controlled centrally, and in unison -- it would simply turn on, everywhere, at the start of the work day, and off again at night -- so no shutters, or shutters that were adjusted only rarely, and only by maintenance personnel (like HVAC). What's more, an office building has more need of artificial illumination during the daytime than a house does. During the daytime, as the eminent Dr. Toaster has elsewhere noted, this system could exploit sunlight, which surely would be an efficiency improvement.
mouseposture, Feb 07 2010
  
      
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