There are many elements of the BrightShelf® that make it one of the most feature rich daylighting products on the market.
The Patented Ogee (cyma-reversa) shape of the BrightShelf® is truly at the root of innovative design. There are many benefits of this curve that relate to the optical performance of the light shelf. The ogee curve is a convex curved shape followed by an opposing change to a convex shape. Physics tell us that reflected light follows this rule:
Angle of incidence = Angle of reflection
Although the sun is a dynamic light source, constantly changing in both solar altitude and azimuth, it can still be treated as a column of light. Light columns entering the window space will be reflected at the same angle off the reflective surface that they enter. BrightShelf® spreads this light by changing the surface angles so that light is accurately and efficiently spread.
Light incident upon the convex portion of the BrightShelf® is directed at low angles deep into the space. As the light hits the shelf farther out from the window, this light is directed as lower and lower angles until the curve changes to the concave portion. The concave portion takes light that would otherwise be direct sun glare, and redirects this light upward toward the ceiling. As light hits the convex portion the light is brought back towards the window at steeper and steeper angles. This reflection pattern “double washes” the ceiling with light bouncing from a multitude of angles.
This unique shape enables installation of the shelf as close as 16” to the ceiling. This makes BrightShelf® practical in spaces where ceiling heights are as little as 9’-0”. Traditional light shelf installations typically require 3 – 4 feet of vertical daylighting window. This reduction of required ceiling space can be a significant cost savings to designers and owners. Space can be taken out of multi story buildings, enabling either shorter construction, or more floor space to be added for similar envelope construction costs. Lets assume a 10-story building vs. the same building built conventionally. If the use of BrightShelf® enables each floor to be 1’-6” shorter, the overall building would be 15’-0” shorter. This enables the design team to either incorporate an additional 11th story, creating more leasable space, or to save on the construction costs of an additional story. Carrying this same principle to high-rise construction, a 100-story building may be able to either add an additional 10 stories or be 115’ shorter. These savings can dwarf the cost of the daylighting system.
Because the BrightShelf® is a curved, it is an architecturally pleasing element to incorporate into the design. BrightShelf’s® relatively thin profile gives dimension and character to the design of the interior space.
A major problem of conventional light shelf design is when occupants misuse the shelf as a bookshelf or plant shelf. Although flat shelves can function well for these uses, they show nothing but a failure in design. Once items are placed on top of the shelf the light is not allowed to bounce off the shelf and into the space, rendering the design useless. BrightShelf® is less likely to fall prey to this misuse because it does not depict the shape of a normal shelf. Items will not sit at normal angles and the overall lightweight construction inherently tells occupants that this is not a structurally supported shelf design. Also with installations that are much closer to the ceiling level, the shelf may be designed out of reach. The end result is a system that continues to do what it is designed to do, even when the occupants may not fully understand the shelf’s purpose.
Although the BrightShelf® utilizes a dust resistant surface in it’s construction, it is still necessary to periodically clean both the top surface of the shelf and also the surface of the daylighting window. Improperly maintained light shelf systems can lose up to 70% of their efficiency, so it is necessary to ensure that the system is properly maintained. Because of the horizontal projection, the close proximity to the ceiling, and the fact that the shelf is an overhead installation, cleaning of the light shelf system is often overlooked or ignored.
Have you looked at the top of your refrigerator lately?
BrightShelf® design incorporates a unique rotational clip mechanism that makes it simple for any operator to rotate the shelf downward for cleaning operations. Once the shelf is rotated down, the top surface of the shelf, and the daylighitng window are both exposed for easy cleaning. This operation can all be done without the use of tools, making it very easy for any operator to temporarily lower the shelf, wipe it clean, and restore the shelf to its operational position. By making the system easy to maintain, the overall efficiency is increased, and the more benefits are realized.
BrightShelf® rotated down allowing easy access for cleaning.
BrightShelf® locked in operational position.
Each section of the BrightShelf® is designed for +/- 1/8” of thermal expansion. Thermal expansion is often an element that is overlooked by designers. Although minute, there are very few other forces that can pack as much destructive behavior than that of thermal expansion. There is no stopping this force of nature, so if your design doesn’t allow for it, your system can crack your substrate, or the system itself can self-destruct. By allowing space for the light shelf system to expand, these forces are not transferred from the shelf to the clip, therefore your windows, drywall, or brick will not crack due to the light shelf forces.
Thermal expansion room also has an inherent benefit to installation. This additional room makes it easier to adjust for dimensional intolerances from the drawings that occur on virtually all projects. This additional room also makes it possible for the BrightShelf® to be easily rotated, installed, or removed.
BrightShelf® comes to the jobsite 100% pre-fabricated. There is no fumbling around putting together puzzle pieces during construction. Simply screw the clips on, insert the shelf, and snap on the clip cover cap and you're done! BrightShelf® sets itself apart from the competition due to its very low cost installation. Less time spent installing the product means less risk to the contractor, decreased schedule time, and overall project cost savings. Make sure if you are considering the cost of your light shelf system you not only look at the product's cost, but also the installation costs associated.
More Reflectance = More Performance
Because of the efficient distribution of light cast from the BrightShelf®, highly reflective lighting sheet can be used. Where most conventional light shelves actually use materials that diffuse the light, BrightShelf® is just the opposite, using a highly reflective sheet that redirects 98% of collected light. This not only drastically increases performance, the more daylight that is reflected, rather than absorbed means that the light shelf itself does not absorb as much heat. If the light shelf system absorbs too much heat it cannot only become hot to the touch, it can also heat the air around the shelf making it uncomfortable to be near it. Our reflective sheet is an anodized product instead of a film-applied product so there are no issues with peeling or delaminating. Anodizing also makes for a harder surface that is resistant to scratching. Electrostatic properties of the lighting sheet also make the BrightShelf® resistant to dust collection, enabling longer intervals between cleaning.