It is estimated that street lighting accounts for over 30% of all electricity purchased for most cities. Inefficient lighting wastes billions of dollars each year and can account for 28% of total greenhouse gas pollution produced by a municipality. The City of Sydney, Australia and others across the world are taking a strong look at converting the conventional street lights to more environmentally friendly technologies. Sydney estimates that if their trial is successful, low energy lights could reduce energy consumption by up to 50%. There is clearly a market for low energy street lights, but unfortunately, most of the designs have been uninspired. This self-sufficient street light breaks the mold.
Designed by Natalia Romanova, the light is graceful, practical and innovative. Seeking inspiration from the self-illuminating species of the deep ocean, Romanova has created an elegant example of how to design for everyday objects.
The core of the design is a simple formula: solar panels and LED lights. The simple concrete base and metal spine contraction pole integrate well in most urban landscapes. The lamp itself is a graceful pod with solar panels on the top, able to convert one hour of sunlight into 1.3KV of electricity. The two LED panels use 0.5KV of electicity per hour. The lamp also contains an Alarm Beacon that will flash red in the case of an accident or even if an animal has tripped the motion detection device at the base of the lamp. This feature would be useful in high vollume wildlife crossing zones.
The motion sensor at the base of the lamp is only triggered by animals over 20KG so as not to inundate the drivers with constant warnings for smaller animals. The base of the light also houses an electricity plug for electric cars in the case of an emergency plug-in. One can imagine the practicality of this feature at rest stops as electric cars become more prevalent.