Zero energy…

Singapore, 28th November 2013

3 Three more to go…
I am counting down to my 1000th blog post! I would like to take this opportunity to ask all my readers to send in your wishes, comments and feedbacks on how you have experienced the blog, what you have learned from the blog, what you like about the blog, how it has helped you in your life and so on, it does not matter anything you would like to say; all things that  that I will then feature in my 1000th blog as a thank you to all of you out there that have supported me and have taken the time to read my blog, some I know nearly every day. Thanks to those already reacted! Please let me hear more from you.  

With all the LED “wars” going on I would like to divert attention a bit to something different. We are currently engaged to develop some beachfront lighting in Australia and one of the key considerations in the lighting approach (also for conservation purposes) is to design around a zero energy strategy. In other words no electrical power supply, no cabling, all powered by natural sources. There are already some solar powered bollards installed and even some solar and wind powered streetlights. You may have seen those strange contraptions that besides a street light also have a solar panel and a wind turbine attached to the pole. It looks horrendous if you ask me, similar as those gimongous wind turbines you see nowadays spread through the landscape and sometimes even in sea parks! There is a risk of these things overtaking our environment, much like antennas (used to) do that on the roofs of buildings or overhead electrical cable towers still do in many countries where the electrical network has not gone underground yet.

One of the possible answers could be the use of materials that produce light through luminescence; the glow in the dark products that we know, only now applied in a far more professional way. During the day it just merges with architecture and landscape as a natural material, during the night it suddenly comes to life as it re-emits the sunlight it has absorbed during the day. Is this a material technology that could be further developed in the future? It still has the “draw back” if you can call it that way, that you can’t control it (switch it on or off) and it gradually fades out over time (a few hours maximum). But if we can master the absorption and re-emission of light and possibly even find a way to manipulate it, perhaps it could grow into a much more usable application…with zero energy…

Light Watch 4-205: From a glowing driveway, to glowing cars, skate parks and carpets…who knows what the future holds…

 

28. November 2013 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: city beautification, going green, light watch, lighting and sustainability, lighting applications, lighting of the future | Leave a comment

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