DIY Artificial Sunlight
The goal of this project was to recreate some of the unique characteristics of sunlight, namely that the sun itself is practically at infinity, and that the atmosphere scatters some of its blue light resulting in the blue sky we're all familiar with.
The backbone of how this project works is an old satellite dish. Satellite dishes work by reflecting distant radio waves to a single point, as they're usually a section of a parabola (shape). By inverting this process and making the satellite dish reflective to lightwaves, it's possible to emit parallel light rays from it by installing a bright LED at its focal point instead.
This makes the LED light appear to be at infinity when viewed bouncing off the satellite dish, and results in shadows cast from it being parallel, for example.
As for the blue sky effect, that's produced by passing the light through a light scattering medium. In the case of the video this is achieved using soap, but there are other methods that will be explored in a future episode.
As this project is very much a prototype, there is no written guide or files for it. However, it's a topic that will be revisited in the future so stay tuned.
To discuss this project and help develop it, or request help yourself in building it, please visit its accompanying forum post here: