There’s no doubt the sun is a powerful resource. With it, photovoltaic cells make electricity, and our skin makes vitamin D. The Parans skylight, developed in Sweden and now available in the United States through Wasco Products, brings more of the precious commodity to interior spaces.
The daylight-harvesting system uses fiber optics to pipe sunlight into buildings. The benefits are obvious for spaces where external light can’t reach, but corner offices and penthouse suites have something to gain as well. Where direct sunlight is full of harmful UV rays and windows let in heat-producing infrared, Parans filters them out leaving full-spectrum, visible light.
“For people suffering from [Seasonal Affective Disorder], doctors typically prescribe one of two things: anti-depressants or full-spectrum lighting,” says Jeff Frank, CEO of Wasco Products, Parans’s exclusive American vendor.
Research has verified sunlight’s health benefits and power to promote work, learning, and oddly enough, buying, too. “Even though it’s very cost-effective from an energy-saving standpoint,” Frank says, “the biggest reason some of our nation’s major retailers use daylight is because they know sales increase in daylit buildings.”
Here’s how the Parans system works: The receiver uses a GPS system, paired with two built-in motors, to follow the sun and automatically shut off in the dark. Fiber-optic cables, which are bundled in sets of six and come in 15-foot increments, transmit the light to the luminaires. With three energy-free models and one hybrid, there’s an option for any space within 60 feet of a receiver.
One receiver powers six L3 spotlights, just less than two inches in diameter, which can focus 700 lumens (lm) each. Powered by two cables, the L2s are two-square-foot panels emitting up to 1,400 lm in two varieties: pure (sunlight) and hybrid (sunlight and LED). The L1 comes in two sizes, small (17.7 x 17.7 in), which emits the same amount of light as the L3, and medium (35.4 x 17.7 in), which puts off double the light at double the size. Parans, welcome to the USA.