8 Dec 2010

Invisible Streetlight

Korean designer Jongoh Lee has come up with this new design concept; artificial leaves that can be wrapped around trees, branches or any other natural material, producing light at night but remaining more or less invisible during the day. The 'leaves' mingle in with the branches of a tree during the day, collecting & storing sunlight, & then at night light up using the stored sunlight, providing an alternative to traditional streetlights, which purely functional & are set to a fixed height.

The 'invisible' lights are made from a double injection of silicone & aluminium; these lightweight materials enable the lights to have flexible movement, enabling them to be wrapped around most solid things. The silicon protects the leaves from water with its high thermal conductivity property, & its semi-transparency allows the LED lights within to shine through in the dark. Inside the silicon & aluminium outer casing is a "photocapacitor", which converts the solar energy from sunlight into electricity, which is then stored in a nano-wire battery. The high technology device is able to utilize indirect sunlight even on rainy or cloudy days, allowing usage every night.

An ingenious new design concept which could be the future of streetlighting in parks & small streets. The lighting, as the design stands, could not be used for inner city roads as not enough light is produced to illuminate large areas sufficiently to provide safe driving conditions. However, it could be progressed to provide a new form lighting to replace the boring functionality of the traditional streetlight.

(images sourced from Why Design Now)

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