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Skylight. Image credit: <a href="">gfpeck</a> on Flickr.

Clean Power

Control The Sun Straight From Your Phone or Tablet

They say there’s an app for everything under the sun, but now there’s actually an app that actually allows you to control the sun (so to speak).

Natural sunlighting innovator SunCentral has designed the SunBeamer Control Center app in conjunction with the company’s SunBeamer 500, the world’s first cost-effective intelligent sun-tracking device. The SunBeamer uses advanced optical mirrors and reflectors to automatically track and direct natural sunlight deep within buildings, which is especially useful for areas typically closed off from natural light. Basically, the SunBeamers bring the outside light indoors without excess heat and glare, and with the app, users are able to point the beams of sunlight wherever they want, effectively controlling the sun’s illumination of their building’s interior.

SunCentral CEO Guthrie Cox says this new app opens up a whole new world for interior lighting design. “Imagine being able to, in real time, control the sunlight from your skylights,” Cox said. “Whether you want to shine the sunlight on a product feature, keep your struggling plants alive and vibrant indoors, or switch off the light for presentations—you can now do it all from your mobile device.”

According to SunCentral client Ramon Osguera, General Manager of Westfield Santa Anita, a major mall in Arcadia, California, the SunBeamer and app prove particularly useful for shopping centers that want to adapt to the trend of outdoor shopping experiences without having to undergo a major construction overhaul.

“We already have a beautiful outdoor promenade, but we were looking for a way to bring some of that natural open-air beauty inside that mirrored the feel of modern outdoor shopping malls,” said Oseguera. “SunCentral provides the perfect option for us to mimic the feel of the outdoors without losing any of the comfort of being indoors.”

This technology has implications reaching beyond just the aesthetic of a building, as the SunBeamer offers a way to harness natural sunlight throughout the day to reduce the need for electric lights. These devices automatically track the sun all day, so barring any weather-related issues, there is no interruption to the light indoors. SunBeamers also filter out over 99 percent of UV light and 55 percent of unwanted heat, which Cox says plays an important role in reducing carbon footprints.

“We have designed our SunBeamers and new app to create indoor environments using natural daylight where people just want to be. The SunBeamer provides people with a premium indoor experience, while simultaneously reducing energy consumption,” Cox said.

In addition, this technology has the ability to impact energy conservation around the globe, as the company has already completed installations of the SunBeamers across North America as well as in Australia, Japan, and Germany. Cox also explained that because the installation process is non-invasive, the SunBeamer can be retrofit to any building where skylights could be installed.

“Our SunBeamers don’t require us to make any significant changes to a building’s structure,” he added. “We’ve made it easy for anyone to start benefitting from using natural daylight indoors.”

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