The streetlights are watching you with Tvilight. Well, sorta.
When I, Dr. Bulb, notice businesses using outdated lighting technology, I’m always inspired to enlighten them on the wonders of LED troffers and LED wall packs. But when Dutch designer Chintan Shah was flying overseas and noticed streetlights were wasting energy on empty desolate streets, he was inspired to make a greater change.
According to CNN, the Delft University of Technology student then discovered that Europe pays over $13 billion a year powering streetlights, which translates into 40 million tons of CO2 emissions annually—enough to power 20 million cars.
But how could Shah solve this problem without turning off the necessary streetlights? Well, LED of course!
His idea was to design an intelligent, “on demand” LED street lighting system using wireless sensors. With this technology, streetlights will only light up in the presence of a person, bicycle or car.
I, Dr. Bulb, think this is an awesome idea! And apparently, so did Delft University of Technology. After his concept won a campus competition, the innovative student collaborated with the university to develop a LED lighting system called Tvilight, which can detect human presence and provide 360° coverage around a light pole. Additionally, the integrated wireless sensor enables lamps to alert a central control center when it’s time to be serviced.
Shah predicts the system will slash energy costs and CO2 emissions by 80% and maintenance by 50%. Tvilight has been implemented in four municipalities in Holland and one in Ireland, and has enquiries from Israel, Turkey, the United States, Australia, India and Japan. Shah and his team are still trying to figure out how to implement the technology worldwide, but I believe in them!
Obviously, the primary purpose of Tvilight is to conserve energy, but Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde thinks it has artistic potential as well. He imagines writing a piece of software that creates a boulevard of interactive lights when he goes on romantic strolls with his girlfriend. Shah understands the many possibilities too, and dreams of the street displaying the score during a live sporting event.
What other possibilities could Tvilight present? I wonder if the streetlights could play my favorite song as I walk by!