Viva Las Vegas! Sin City is about to become the first in the world to replace conventional street lights with kinetic-powered streetlights. Boulder Plaza is the first area that will be retrofitted with the new off-the-grid lighting solution.
Thanks to green technology start-up EnGoPLANET, the lights will be powered by kinetic pads installed into the surface area in front of the lights. As people stroll down the sidewalk and step on the octagonal pads, their footsteps will be transformed into electric energy that powers the lights. This energy, in addition to supplementary solar panels and motion sensors will assure that light will be available when needed.
A single streetlight would require about 1,440 footsteps to power it for a 12 hour period. Thus, this technology is feasible for a busy section of sidewalk but less realistic for slower foot traffic areas.
The new LED lights will also provide sensors to monitor air quality, water detection, traffic patterns and video surveillance. There are also options to change the light’s color.
EnGoPLANET’s website states,
We are creating a fossil fuel free planet.
With about 300 million streetlights in the world emitting about 100 million tons of CO2 a year, green options seem to be an eco-friendly, cost saving option.
Eventually, the technology can be expanded to roads as well. In the meantime, Las Vegas is taking a gamble. If the Boulder Plaza installation is successful, the project will be expanded throughout the city.
After all, a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. Now, so will the lighting of a thousand lights.