Read to the end for the end of a decades-long childhood manhunt.

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Light and dark are the hallmarks of Star Wars but for me they're also the struggle I have with my living room / dining room / home office area in my home. I'm a big champion for remote work, yet also acknowledge that the setting needs to be 'right' to feel comfortable. A good chair? Check. A nice desk? Check. Ample lighting? Houston, we have a problem.

Since moving to my current home I have struggle with having enough light come in from the outside. The opportunities for windows are zero aside from the few already installed because I live in a complex. This leads to dark areas that, while on my periphery, dim the entire space a bit too much for my liking. And since I've lived here I have on-and-off tried to think of ways to brighten the space.

What came to me was the idea of a virtual window. Essentially a light that could be mounted on a wall that mimicks outside light. I found through this video that if you used a broken TV where the panel still lit up, you could repurpose it as a nice lightbox. But it requires a TV broken in the right way and skills & tools I don't have. So, my space has sat fairly dim.

Then something awesome happened. My partner had stumbled upon some very cool IKEA lighting that looked like a backlit mirror. I relayed my desire for a virtual window and with her help we were able to find this: the IKEA Floalt LED panels. They are bright (2800 lumen!), can dim, and can change color temperature. Oh and they're smart-home capable.

It took some work, some struggles, and a bit of professional help to mount one of the pair I bought. But with these two 24x24 super-bright panels now gracing my home, I have incredible amounts of daylight coming into my room without any need to cut holes to the outside.

While I don't suffer from Seaonal Affective Disorder I do know that getting more light into my space makes me happy. Daylight is proven to help and be a benefit. The nerdy side of me loves that these lights hook right into my existing smart home system. I found a circadium application for the lights that automatically changes the brightness and color temperature based on the time of day. So now, it's zero-configuration. The lights handle themselves.

Yes, I know this can be a complicated setup. Yes I know I could have found an LED panel that only did daylight (4000K for those keeping track). But would it be the one I wanted? Not at all. While the IKEA ones weren't too expensive at $150 each, I'm glad I was able to dip into some tax return cash to help make my home feel more like home. And personally, I think they look great.

For now, that is all I have. I hope you have a great week.


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During World War 2 the US created a bomb that used live bats. Source

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