Sundrop – Net-Zero Energy Lamp

This project was featured on core77 as part of the Autodesk Design for (your) Product Lifetime Showcase.

This is a concept that I’ve had in the back of my head for a while, and it was reignited by a¬†recent article showing used soda bottles being filled with water and installed into houses in third-world countries. The bottles captured a significant amount of light, and I wondered if a more industrial and refined version could be designed. Natural light has always seemed superior to any kind of artificial light, and I wanted to create a system for gathering and dispersing the light into a home or building using flexible fiber optic cable.

I’ve always been amazed at the properties of fiber optics. They’re incredibly efficient at what they do, and can carry a¬†tremendous amount of data over huge distances. The reason behind this is due in part to their flexibility. By utilizing the properties of total internal reflection, we are able to manipulate the path and flow of light with minimal loss.

My project’s goal was to utilize optical fiber to create a hybrid lighting system for an indoor space. The first part of my design is a parabolic collector lens, which would be installed on the roof of the structure. Larger lenses could be used to sustain multiple units. The lens would focus the light through UV and infrared filters and down through a multi-mode fiber optic cable. The flexible nature of the cable and the low-loss properties of the optical fiber would allow for a significant distance between the lens and the receiving light.

The light is then routed through the fiber to a hemispherical dispersion lens at the bottom of the lamp. For this I designed a modern hanging lamp that could be used to disperse the light. A glass sphere is used to disperse the concentrated light into the room below. At night, light is produced by a array of LED lights beneath the shade. The shade is constructed from two pieces of opaque injection molded plastic, which hold translucent facets. Electricity is transferred down through the sheathing of the optical fiber.

exploded lens orthographic
exploded shade
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ortho assembly
kitchen1
kitchen2
composite 1
composite 2
kitchens
sundrop

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