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 ]