Seattle-based lighting company Vu1 has launched an Electron Stimulated Luminescent (ESL) bulb, which creates soft light like a CFL, costs about as much, and is mercury free. In fact, the company states that their product contains no toxic materials whatsoever. Could this be the beginning of a light bulb revolution? Perhaps. Learn more here.
This plug-in device uses photocells to tell your lights to turn off when the sun's out. At the tip of Blink's flexible neck is an eyelid-like sensor, which gathers information about the amount of available natural light. Bend the neck toward the window, or lower the eyelid to create your own settings. So genius because -- as the site notes -- even with the most efficient bulb, human inefficiencies (ie, leaving the lights on) will still exist. Blink helps overcome this in an unobtrusive way. This design was recently entered in Core77's Greener Gadgets Competition.
This cellphone application gives people power over the streetlights. Dial4Light was created in Germany, where many towns, succumbing to cost pressures, are turning off streetlights to save energy. Once dialed in, your streetlight will stay on for 15 minutes. The company states that it could save cities up to 25 percent in electricity bills. Although this idea has a lot of potential, I think it has some accessibility problems -- what if you can't afford or don't want a cell phone? But with that fairly important issue aside, if you combined this with DarkSky innovations, the idea could help us save much more than money: keeping lights off when not needed also helps reduce light pollution, which effects avian migratory and human sleep patterns.
Especially intriguing to those of us from rainy cities is the LightDrops Umbrella by Sang-Kyun Park. This LED-illuminated umbrella turns each raindrop's energy potential into electricity with a polyvinylidene fluoride (PDVF) conductive membrane. The more it rains, the more light you get. Not exactly dependable, but the conductive membrane is totally fascinating. Imagine what else you could create with this type of conductive membrane! For example, it could be helpful for recreational or permanent tent dwellers.
What other cool innovative designs are helping to decrease energy while still lighting up the night? Leave your findings in the comments below!
Thanks Ecoble for the illuminating story!