Fawning Over a Faux Skylight

HomeTronics Stuns Customers With Unique Lighting Concept From Italy
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The CoeLux faux skylight system takes about two days to install.

This isn’t the first article about Greg Margolis introducing a bleeding-edge residential technology, and it probably won’t be the last. Over the years, the CEO of HomeTronics in Dallas has marketed and sold well-known brands like CAT and Runco, and more esoteric offerings like C-Seed stadium-sized outdoor TV (featured in the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog), and last year boasted the very first installation of Auro3D audio in a home theater. Like a great chef whose world travels reveal exquisite new flavors for new entrées, Margolis’ more recent exploration has resulted in a truly unique discovery out of Italy. It’s an “artificial skylight” technology so disruptive that it has the potential to change the way interior spaces are designed, lit, and look.

CoeLux is an optical system based on nano technology to artificially reproduce the natural light and visual appearance of the sun and sky. Margolis recently hosted an open house to reveal this new addition to his showroom, which has been transformed from a dedicated home theater into a multi-purpose room following the CoeLux addition.

“We had a range of professions there–interior designers, builders, architects, commercial developers, lighting reps, and doctors in charge of medical facilities, and everyone was blown away,” Margolis noted. “The only ones who did not [think] it was real were the people that came in at night.”

The manufacturer offers three different versions of the light for different parts of the world. The “60” is for those who prefer the more dramatic (60-degree) slice of tropical light. The “45” is 45-degree ceiling beam (equal parts sun and shade) for lovers of the Mediterranean basin. For enthusiasts of Nordic countries CoeLux 30 is available with a 30-degree angle beam relative to the horizon. It is a wall window and is capable of reproducing warm, more lateral light.

Margolis, again, boasts the first installation of a technology in the U.S., this time with the CoeLux product, and has secured distribution rights from California to Texas, going “straight up the U.S. map.”

Unit pricing ranges from $30,000–$40,000, not including freight and import fees. HomeTronics has completed certified installation training led by CoeLux engineers, and now has five trained installers on staff. The integrator is providing full engineering services to fit CoeLux into desired applications as well. A system takes about two days to install, according to Margolis.

“We see applications of all types, with the majority in commercial facilities,” Margolis said. “In the residential market, you might consider dressing rooms, game rooms, family rooms, kitchens, and even garages. I say ‘garages’ as a play off a commercial application in car dealership showrooms.”

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CoeLux artificially reproduces the natural light and appearance of the sun and sky.Margolis explained that lighting in car showrooms does not accurately reflect the color of the car when outside in sunlight. “CoeLux lighting allows car dealers to showcase vehicles inside, accurately and at any time day or night, in rain, clouds, snow, etc. Now homeowners with car collections can do the same thing. They can appreciate their cars, show them off in ‘natural’ light.”

Margolis said that standard halogen “can” lighting in the room with the CoeLux provides a dramatic comparison in the HomeTronics showroom.

“When you switch the cans on and the skylight off, the mood changes from vibrant and comfortable to depressing, and to think that's what we work in,” he said. “It’s a very eye-opening experience.”