Go With the Flow: Eco-Friendly Wind-Powered Street Lights


True innovation comes from seeing a problem and coming up with a solution that is both simple and creative. That is exactly what this lighting concept does: it solves the problem of unsafe coastal cities by adding inexpensive, wind-powered lighting to the beaches where the electric grid does not reach. The concept from Hungarian firm Igen Design is called Flow, and it uses abundant natural resources to provide safety and beauty.


The basic design of Flow is a bamboo pole fitted with a number of bamboo “blades,” each equipped with an LED on the end. The blades are arranged in a spiral pattern and attached so that they will spin freely in the wind. With the turning of the blades, the entire setup builds up energy. The light posts are, in effect, wind turbines that use the wind energy they capture on the spot.


Every part of the Flow light post is biodegradable other than the LEDs and other electronic components like wires, but these components are designed to be recyclable at the end of their life cycle. Bamboo is quick-growing, abundant and inexpensive, making it the ideal material with which to build these tree-like structures.


According to the designers, in many coastal third world cities the beaches are full of life during the day but abandoned at night due to the lack of lighting and resulting danger. The electric grid does not reach all the way to the beaches, making traditional street lights impossible to install. Flow would make use of the near-constant wind in these locations to generate eco-friendly light.


(all images via: Igen Design)

The concept is not only safe for the Earth and for tourists, but beautiful as well. The spinning, dancing LEDs would make unique tracers against the dark night sky, painting mesmerizing shapes while helping to illuminate the beaches.