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'Smart' street-lamps light up only when people are around

Washington, Jul 21, 2013 (PTI): 15:34 IST
A cyclist passes a mural of Pinocchio located in front of a street light at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa. REUTERS
An Indian-origin designer has developed unique 'smart' street-lamps which light up only in presence of people, an invention that could slash energy costs by 80 per cent.

The 'on-demand' streetlights only glow in the presence of a people, bicycle or car, and remain dim the rest of the time.

The system dubbed Tvilight was invented by designer Chintan Shah while a student at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

Shah, while flying overseas, noticed street-lamps lighting streets that, in the middle of the night, were empty and desolate, CNN reported.

"I started researching. I wondered, why are they burning? How much does it cost? Is this a problem? I discovered some amazing numbers," he said.

Shah said that Europe pays over USD 13 billion a year powering streetlights, which accounts for more than 40 per cent of government energy bills.

His offered a solution to develop an intelligent, lighting system using wireless sensors to conserve energy.

Shaw believes the system will slash energy costs and CO2 emissions by 80 per cent, and maintenance by another 50 per cent, due to the integrated wireless sensor that allows lamps to alert a central control center.

The technology to distinguish between people and smaller animals, like cats and mice, so it would avoid lighting up unnecessarily has also been developed.

"I thought, why should each citizen pay for street lights that aren't being used? We now have a solution for that," he said.

Tvilight has already been implemented in four municipalities in Holland and one in Ireland.

"We have enquiries from Israel, Turkey, the United States, Australia, India and Japan. The problem is not a lack of enquiries, it's the team's capacity to deliver the solution worldwide," he said.

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