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Control Street Lights With Your Cell Phone

dial4light By Evan Ackerman

Okay, first of all, this is legit, not a hack. And secondly, it only works in Germany. In a few villages. I know, it’s a shame, and I got your hopes up for nothing. The German system, called Dial4Light, is designed to save energy by only turning streetlights on when somebody actually needs them. If you’re out and about at night, all you have to do is dial a number, enter a code for your street, and the lights will come on for 15 minutes. The system is completely free, and cut electricity bills by an impressive 25%.

Interestingly, a BBC video report on the Dial4Light shows that there is apparently a billing system already in place, it’s just not in use. In some ways, billing people individually for turning on streetlights makes sense: if everyone else is sleeping, why should they be footing the bill for your 2am street hockey games?

What I’d like to see would be streetlights that operate on the same basic principle, except using Bluetooth instead of a phone call. All you’d have to do is carry your cell phone with you, and whenever a streetlight detected a Bluetooth signal, it would turn on. That way, you’d have light where you wanted it, when you wanted it, without any waste of electricity or excess light pollution.

VIA [ Crave ]








  • Athios

    Isn't this discriminatory against people who are too poor to own a cellphone?

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  • Alex

    Why don't we just employ a motion sensor system so the lights come on when anybody walks down the street. I'd hate to get mugged cuz I left my cellphone at home.

  • mcman

    So, it works in Germany and in a limited number of villages? Hot dam! I'm headed to expedia right now. See you in Shlektinhorsden, where I hear by the way that they have a killer weed tuber festival in the month of Mapril!

  • mcman

    Weeeed Tuber……(Place Homer slobber here)

  • memmy

    I agree with “motion activated” lights… and maybe fewer than 15 minutes? I would probably only need the streetlight for less than 5 minutes. And stray cats would turn them on all night!

  • ymmem

    Hehe, no, citizen, big brother doesn't *require* you to report your position to us every 15 minutes. Of course, not turning on the lights *is* rather suspicious behavior and may get you arrested.

  • ymmem

    Hehe, no, citizen, big brother doesn't *require* you to report your position to us every 15 minutes. Of course, not turning on the lights *is* rather suspicious behavior and may get you arrested.