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Delft Student Invents Presence-Triggered Street Lighting System, Saves Power

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A student from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands has invented a street presence sensor system that dims street lights down to 20 percent when nobody’s around.

Of course, this would normally mean cities adopting the idea would save 75-some to 80 percent street lighting electricity (assuming someone DOES actually walk on those streets at nighttime), and carbon emissions by the same amount.

Chintan Shah, the inventor, has devised all of the lights to be LED type, all of them linked wirelessly (imagine the hacking possibilities – a seasoned hacker could turn off his streetlight remotely if it’s disturbing).

The system has been designed so that it reports to a central control station when a light “bulb” doesn’t light anymore, so the managing company can come and replace the defective unit.

It’s an interesting and simple solution, if you ask me. Now Chintan is working on preventing the system trigger on animals.

Now I’ve seen this technology thousands of times at various places – there are literally millions of presence-activated lamps, but nobody actually implemented this idea on streets – millions of tons of carbon dioxide could be saved yearly, worldwide. A 3 to 4 years time is enough to recover for the initial cost of the system.

It could also help with reducing nighttime light pollution, which is blamed for the changing of the pattern of naturally-occurring chemical reactions during the lack of light that would clean the atmosphere from various dangerous chemicals emitted during the day.

Chintan started a spin-off company called Tvilight, that will produce and commercialize such systems.

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