Solar-Powered Moonrise: A Streetlight Concept

Traditional streetlights spend all day doing nothing. Not until the sun begins to set, does a preset timer cause their inefficient bulbs to flicker on, illuminating the ground below until morning. Since electricity is costly and these lamps are exposed to daylight at least 12 hours a day, many have wondered about powering them with the sun instead.

We’ve featured several solar-powered streetlight designs, some simple and some that feature a combination of alternative energy sources. But so far, this design by a young Korean industrial designer is the only one that seeks to use the sun to mimic the moon.

solar eclipse street light

Image via Seunghwan Jeong/Coroflot

Most of us know that a solar eclipse is a phenomenon of nature during which the angle of the earth causes it to appear as though the sun is blotted out by the moon. In his streetlight concept, Seunghwan Jeong not only seeks to harness the power of the sun to provide off-grid illumination of common walking or driving routes, but also to the spectacle of the eclipse.

The Solar Eclipse streetlight features a gently arching design, reminiscent of the heavenly bodies’ trajectory across the sky. Embedded within the arc is a mobile solar panel and circular lamp. The solar panel collects energy to power the lamp throughout the day, while also driving it up and around the arc. As it moves, a cover on the lamp gradually reveals more and more of the “moon” beneath. By the time night falls, the lamp reaches its highest point, and is fully revealed.

solar eclipse street light 2

Image via Seunghwan Jeong/Coroflot

The lamp would be made from recycled plastic and feature die castings made from aluminium alloy. Not only would they provide cheap, clean lighting during the night time hours, they would act as an educational street art installation as well.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog