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Light chimneys

"The children are crowded around the light-hearth, singing songs..."
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(This is my first day and I haven't had a chance to cross-check this, so easy on the ibids, please. I got rather unfairly chastised for my earlier effort...)

This is an architectural basic built into every new house, block of flats, office, school and so on. It is the love-child of the common or garden skylight and the fibre-optic...

For years people have been banging on about the benefits of natural light; S.A.D this, vitamin D that, rickets the other, sunshiney bonhomie, la la la... So the light chimney is a structure which brings a concentration of natural light into the heart of a large building which cannot be reached by the stuff coming in the windows. Now, before I hand it over to that science guy for humane destruction by use of the Greek alphabet and squiggles, I'll give the bare bones. The output, or "hearth", is a one metre by two metre flat flourescent surface on an inner wall. It is fed by a series of solid glass tubes (obviously with highly-mirrored internal surfaces) leading up to the top of the building - hence the "chimney" name. Now, instead of these tubes just ending in a gaping hole at the top, they are led upwards and sheared off into the largest possible flat surface areas. In my head, the total rooftop surface area needs to be - and this could feasibly be achieved - around six times that of the "hearth". (The tops or - "pots" if we want an appropriate simile-cum-anagram - could even become an intriguing artistic feature: "Have you seen Lalique's latest range of light-chimney pots, Agnes? My dear, they're quite something! Alan wants to pick some up from Walmart when he goes there to buy the kids their new rifles, but I won't have it. He's SO mean!") Thus the hearth light is "concentrated" natural light and is consequently brighter than outside. Something we'd enjoy here in London. The tops could be cleaned with a broom by a little chap in grubby Victorian clothing. Possibly singing songs in masacred Cockney. There you go, I've revived an industry.

A subsidiary idea is that this site should allow us to upload doodles in MS paint or such like. I'm sure daft little drawings would add to our work. Maybe one of the programmer geeks can give us that as a late Crimbo present?

Jonkin, Jan 06 2005

sun tubes http://www.coxbp.com/
[scubadooper, Jan 06 2005]

(?) Description of Light Pipes http://oikos.com/li...hts/lightpipes.html
a few other varieties [tiromancer, Jan 06 2005]

Latest architectural daylighting stuff http://www.alternat...om/daylighting.html
My satellite dish will have diamonds on it and then my evil plan will be complete! [moomintroll, Jan 07 2005]

Fibre optic-lit office Fibre_20optic-lit_20office
Same idea, different catagory. Heliostat + fibre optic. Also commercially available. [Laughs Last, Jan 07 2005]

[link]






       Sorry they exist already, saw them on 'Grand Designs' someone was building a house into a bank and needed more light for the back rooms downstairs.   

       I'll see if I can find a link.
scubadooper, Jan 06 2005
  

       They're called sun tubes or light pipes, see link.
scubadooper, Jan 06 2005
  

       Oh, Scubey, come on man. The "sun tube" is no light chimney. It's a plastic skylight with knobs on. It certainly doesn't have the sweeps. I might try the art (thanks others for tips). Then you'll understand and I'll get my breakfast.
Jonkin, Jan 06 2005
  

       Welcome to the HB!   

       You'd be surprised how bright those sun pipes can be - my Mum and Dad are have a couple installed in a house they're building, so I've had a good chance to look at them in operation. Something five or six times brighter might be overkill for the living room. Also check out the link for wicked-looking evil-genius sun-following satellite dish which frankly looks like it's got to be worth holding the world to ransom for a couple of million billion dollars. Or at least Basingstoke.   

       If you had a tree overhanging the collectors you'd get a nice dappled sort of fake-flame effect inside.
moomintroll, Jan 07 2005
  

       I'll give you that, currently they won't be reviving a flagging industry, and it's got to be said that you'd be doing the sweep industry a favour with regards to health and safety and a whole host of pulmonary diseases.
scubadooper, Jan 07 2005
  

       <moomintroll> you can have Basingstoke without holding the rest of us to ransom, please take it, please...
scubadooper, Jan 07 2005
  

       Ummm... no, wait, that's not right. Er, can I go back and change my demands, please?
moomintroll, Jan 07 2005
  

       Great link, [moom].   

       [jonka/Jonkin] Please send an e-mail to bakesperson@halfbakery.com and let Jutta know you couldn't get back in. Creating new accounts can get messy.
Worldgineer, Jan 07 2005
  

       Now who are you calling a portly accountant?
Checkers, Jan 12 2005
  
      
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