In many parts of Europe, the hallways of hotels are lined with lights connected to motion sensors that only switch on when needed. The energy savings over their wasteful US counterparts–which keep the lights on all night long, whether anyone needs them or not–go without saying. A new concept from Phillips Design applies the same concept to cities with the Sustainable City Light.

During the day, these lovely lampposts look more like urban art, unfolding like flowers to harvest both solar and wind energy. At night, they fold up quietly, their “stalks” emitting a warm, low-energy fairytale glow–until local proximity sensors alert them to humans in the area, whether in automobiles or on bike or foot, at which point they once again “bloom,” this time with superbright LEDs to light your way.

image via Yanko Design

It’s a lovely, visionary design all around–both in terms of aesthetics and energy-efficiency (which comes to us by way of Yanko Design). But the best part about it is, these lights have the capacity to harvest more energy during they day then they actually need at night, creating a smart streetlight that actually powers the city grid. Genius!

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