As a simulator maker, we can say the artificial sky, is the ideal instrument for every lighting designer and lighting engineer. In fact, to predict daylight penetration inside a building, a scaled model under an artificial sky is the only reliable prediction method in the case of unusual situations, complex geometries, or heavily obstructed windows (for more information see the introductory text of Lok Shun Apple Chan, professor at City University of Hong Kong).
The artificial sky is not limited by the weather conditions of the real sky and is able to reproduce standard or statistical skies.
The artificial sky reproduces the skylight at the ground level, called diffuse component of the natural light. To simulate skies with sunlight (direct component) it is possible to supply the artificial sky integrated with an automated heliodon (or a solar simulator for the research and development laboratories).
We can design and build different kinds of artificial sky, from the simplest to the most expansive:
The mirror box artificial skies are normally rectangular or octagonal boxes and are able to reproduce quite well the standard overcast sky conditions with the CIE luminance distribution (also known as Moon and Spencer).
They are cheap and can be placed in nearly every laboratory.
The reflecting dome sky simulator can be made with a reflective opaque dome surface or a translucent one. The lighting system inside or outside the dome can be designed to be able to reproduce sky distributions different from the standard overcast sky, but it remains quite limited compared to the virtual dome simulators or full domes.
The reflecting dome skies are very fast and simple to use.
The virtual dome type artificial skies (also know as CGI) are scanning simulators where the sky patch or the scaled model is moved (by a robot) to reproduce the entire vault.
They are extremely flexible, because they are able to reproduce any kind of sky (statistical or mathematic).
We offer two lines of CGI artificial sky: Kiwi as a single sky patch; Dragon as one sixth sky vault.
The full dome artificial skies are able to reproduce any kind of sky distributions at high speed. They are available in few big lighting firm (e.g. Bartenbach Lichtlabor) or university laboratories (e.g. Cardiff University).
They are very expensive simulators but very powerful and the fastest.
We offer two lines of full dome artificial sky: Durian with a coverage of around 66%; Papaya with a coverage of around 100% and bigger dimensions and larger selection of luminance and color of lights.
Every type of artificial sky is complete and functional with:
The artificial sky can also be provided with:
Our integrated artificial sky and heliodon are: