Bringing Sunlight Indoors With 'Sundoliers'

It's the heart of summer, your friends are off catching tans in the tropics, and yet you're stuck in a cold, dark office devoid of sunlight.

Human beings are not adapted for such an injurious lighting dynamic. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, daylight is simply a higher-quality, healthier light than that from artificial sources.

Sundolier, a company based in Boulder, Colo., is capitalizing on the advantages of daylighting. The company has engineered a device, called the "sun harvester," which collects and concentrates sunlight on the roofs of buildings, and then channels and distributes it inside. Through this process, Sundolier generates the equivalent of about 40 fluorescent light tubes: enough to illuminate 1,500 square feet of windowless space.

Those high-quality photons ain't cheap. The price of a Sundolier system ranges from $20,000 to $40,000, depending on the amount of space needed to light. Nevertheless, one Sundolier client states that the technology provides energy savings within three years. Furthermore, studies have linked daylight to increased productivity and decreased absenteeism, two sure ways to improve a company's bottom line, according to the U.S. Green Building Council.

For those in modern work settings, who feel isolated from the sun's soothing rays, Sundolier offers hope. The first society of mole people will have to wait.

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