The next time you visit Las Vegas, Nevada, be sure to check out the world’s first footstep-powered street lights. Located in Boulder City, the kinetic and solar-powered lights can be found in the city’s Arts District. The project was a collaboration between the city of Las Vegas and EnGo Planet, which seeks to combat the more than 100 million tons of annual carbon pollution which is generated by more than 300 million traditional street lights worldwide.
As MyModernMet reports, the concept is actually quite simple — which causes one to ask why they aren’t more common elsewhere. Near the street lights, kinetic pads have been installed. When pedestrians walk, jump and step on the pads, the energy from human movement is obtained then stored in a generator. One footstep produces between 4 and 8 watts. Combined with solar energy gathered during the day, enough energy is gathered to power the LED street lights.
EnGo Planet could have stopped there, but the company went farther by adding a few features to the lights that make them even cooler. For instance, each street light has a WiFi hotspot as well as mobile charging station fitted with a wireless charging pad and USB ports. Smart sensors which monitor air quality, temperature, and humidity have also been installed. The entire system can be monitored online, allowing the operator the check the collected data, see the battery status, and dim the lights if need be.
It should come as no surprise that Las Vegas invested in the technology, as the desert city’s government is now 100% powered by renewable energy. Commenting on the footstep-powered lights, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman said, “We want to provide the highest service levels while also looking to the future and ensuring that we are sustainable. Through our LEED certified buildings, solar projects, water reclamation, alternative-fueled vehicles and sustainable streetlights, Las Vegas continues to lead the way.”
EnGo Planet’s next goal is to bring the smart street light technology to 10 rural areas in Africa. In poverty-stricken communities, streetlights are missing and few people can afford to simply charge their phone. As a result, it is not a stretch to say this technology is a game-changer. When their IndieGoGo campaign was live, the company sought to fund the production, shipping and installation of at least 60 units in order to bring light to some of the 1.4 billion people around the world who still have access to electricity or public lights. Let’s hope the goal can still be met.
Following are images of the footprint-powered lights in Las Vegas, Nevada:
Images Credit: Engoplanet