Solar Powered Streetlights A Bright Idea

The solar-powered street lamp is one of those concepts that seems incredibly obvious, given some thought. (After all, what do streetlamps do by day except stand around in the sun? They might as well be doing something useful.) Until now, however, it has remained, largely, a concept.

Danish designers Michel Riss and Jens Rosbjerg have made that concept a reality with the “Sun Flower” (which comes to us via The Design Blog), a high intensity, low consumption solar cell streetlight for public areas like parking lots, parks and streets–all without a municipal power supply. When it comes to juice, the Sun Flower eschews grid-fired electricity for clean, green sunshine, collected daily via five photovoltaic modules that fan open like the petals of a flower.

Sun Flower Solar-Powered Streetlight

image via The Design Blog

Power is stored in an internal battery; when a sensor tells the Sun Flower that dusk has fallen, that energy is released  to power five 56 W LED lamps, providing high-intensity white light to illuminate public areas over an average lifespan of 50,000 hours (over 10 years). If one LED should malfunction, not to worry; unlike your string of Christmas lights, the other LEDs will continue to function normally.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

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