Lighting: Here Comes the Sun with the 3M Sunlight Delivery System

When no amount of window glazing can solve an interior lighting issue, 3M’s latest invention may be the answer. 3M’s Architectural Markets division launched the 3M Sunlight Delivery System, which aims to naturally illuminate those deep spaces that, quite literally, rarely see the light of day. But the benefit of implementing the system is two-fold: if it performs as it’s meant to, it will offer energy savings while providing consistent light levels in all types of spaces, whether already well-lit floors or windowless cores.

“Daylighting is the original green building practice,” says Dan Franus, 3M marketing manager. “The importance of integrating sustainability in building planning only continues to grow, and there is nothing more energy efficient than the sun.”

The system pools together multiple technologies starting with a  rooftop collector that requires a single entry point. GPS-equipped to track and capture the sun’s strongest rays, the unit funnels the light through a series of ducts lined with 3M’s reflective film. The ducts connect to light fixtures that, when detecting overcast conditions, supplement the sunlight with built-in energy efficient artificial lighting.

The system is available for new commercial projects, and can be retrofitted into existing buildings. The U.S. Department of Defense is planning to install the system at one of its facilities this year.  —Sheila Kim

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