What better place to test run the world’s first smart street lights other than The City of Lights itself?
EnGoPlanet has successfully installed the new street lights at Boulder Plaza in the Arts District of Las Vegas. The lights are powered by people and sunshine — and Las Vegas has plenty of both.
They work via kinetic energy pads installed under or near the light posts; when pedestrians walk on them, their steps create a charge of energy that is then stored in the battery. The use of solar-kinetic power seems to be an efficient way of harvesting free energy without the carbon dioxide dump that traditional street lights produce at a tune of about 100-million tons per year.
Not to mention, these lights are just plain cool.
Las Vegas mayor Carolyn G. Goodman raved about the project: “We want to provide the highest service levels while also looking to the future and ensuring that we are sustainable. Through our LEED certified buildings, solar projects, water reclamation, alternative-fueled vehicles and sustainable streetlights, Las Vegas continues to lead the way. Las Vegas strives to be on the cutting edge of all things, and this project coincides with plans to develop an innovation district in our downtown.”
EnGoPlanet CEO Petar Mirovic is looking even further ahead and hoping to install their smart street lights in rural areas in Africa without access to electricity. “Clean and free energy is all around us,” he said in a press release.
Free, but not cheap. The initial cost of the structures is significant, and EnGoPlanet has started a crowd-funding campaign to raise $300,000 for the project.
Mirovic urges all cities to invest in a cleaner future. “This project is small, but a very important step in that direction.”