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A change of office scenery, anyone?

Dreaming of working at the beach? Imagine working under a sunny sky – the next best thing created by researchers at the Fraunhofe Institute in Germany.

They've developed an innovative luminous ceiling, using a combination of LEDs to imitate the open sky and create the effect of clouds drifting by.

The ceiling consists of tiles 50cm square, each containing an LED board, which in turn is made up of 288 LEDs. A diffuser film is attached 30cm beneath the LEDs to create homogenous lighting. A combination of red, blue, green and white LEDs made it possible to generate the 16 million colours needed to create a realistic virtual sky.

“The LEDs allow us to simulate these dynamic changes in lighting in a way that is not directly obvious to the naked eye. Otherwise the lighting might distract people from their work. But it does need to fluctuate enough to promote concentration and heighten alertness,” says Dr.Matthias Bues, head of the industrial engineering department at the Fraunhofe Institute.

The virtual sky is priced at 1,000 euros ($1,627) per square metre. But with nothing but rainy days for Aucklanders to look forward to, it just might be a worthwhile investment to boost worker productivity.