100% Faux-Natural: 3000-LED Interior Daylighting Illusion


We can wish all we want for more windows, but some side-by-side building sites make it impossible to let light in on all sides. One designer has a strange solution: a shockingly realistic panel of 3000+ hidden LED lights that fit right into the wall and create the illusion of window-generated illumination in otherwise dark entry and stairwell spaces.

Our brains instantly recognize the distorted rectangles created by daylight passing through a rectilinear opening to the outdoors – a sure sign of direct exposure to the sun. Combined with this cognitive trickery, the soft and diffuse nature of this light (combined with it being set flush against the wall with subtle secrecy) reinforces our initial impression that this is indeed sunlight.

This award-nominated design by Daniel Rybakken is one of an ongoing series of simple furnishings that range from practical and conceptual, artistic to architectural, and deal in different ways with mirror imagery, illusion, color, reflection, natural light and artificial lighting in small installation experiments and large residential spaces.

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