Published: October 29, 2013

sun still


By Tom Cheshire

Lucy Norman knows how much we need natural sunlight, so she set out to get more of it into our lives. “I did a lot of research into optical physics, hanging out at Imperial College London and being a pain speaking with physicists,” the 29-year-old founder of design studio Lula Dot says. It turned out the best way to move light about is also the simplest: by using a mirror.

Dot’s Sun Sill comprises five mirrors mounted on to Arduino-controlled motors, screwed on to a windowsill. These move with the position of the Sun, bouncing light on to a bigger mirror inside the room. It’s controlled by a smartphone app: users enter the height of the room’s ceiling and the distance between mirrors; the app then uses GPS to determine where the Sun should be. The first Sun Sill is proof of concept, but Norman is now working on mark two, which will have waterproof motors running off a solar panel and use light-dependent resistors to track the brightest part of the sky. Hello, sunshine.