Streetlights Switch On Only When You Need Them

And help reduce CO2 emissions when you don't.

Streetlights leave a huge carbon footprint. One potential solution is to treat them more like houselights: shut them off when we're not around.

Tvilight, a smart streetlight project from Dutch designer Chintan Shah, does that by using motion-detecting sensors. Plug them on to new or existing streetlights, and they can detect when a vehicle or pedestrian is heading through, then light up to show the way. The lamps also capture speed, so they can anticipate when someone will reach the next light, and change brightness based on weather conditions. When nobody is in the area, the streetlights power down, working at a dim glow to conserve energy.

The project is already in use in Ireland, and although we've seen automated streetlights before, the weather- and speed-prediction tools seem to put these a step ahead. (Plus there's actually a video of this model in action.) Shah is also working with designer Daan Roosegaarde on the project, so hopefully we'll see Roosegaarde's smart-highways project in action soon, too.