Imagine if sitting at a stoplight created ambiance instead of idle time. This idea, together with the desire to divert old traffic lamps from landfills, is the vision behind Greenlight Concepts’ beautifully recycled traffic-light lamps. Crafted from reclaimed traffic lights, these fixtures tap into the waste stream to bring “Yielding Yellow” and “Go Green” a whole new meaning.

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Trash became the inspiration for these treasures when architect Daniel Kriven saw a San Francisco city crew updating old “Walk / Don’t Walk” signals with LED versions. Kriven tracked down the tossed materials, his colleague Nicholas Lee and, from brainstorm to brilliance, Greenlight Concepts was born.

“Lamps,” says Lee, “seemed like the logical solution. After all, we would be re-using the lenses for what they were originally intended. Of course, we were bringing them up close and personal, giving them a new sense of scale and appreciation.”

The beautifully textured glass that is central to each piece evokes a unique setting. Each green, red or yellow lens has an intricacy that, given its utilitarian origins, is surprisingly intentional. Sculpted into GLC’s pendant and bucket lamp designs, the lenses invite you to sit long; a mood far removed from their original purpose.

At $90-299, Greenlight Concepts’ lamps reflect the reality that it costs less to throw the traffic lights away than reuse them transformed. Luckily, Kriven and Lee are up to the challenge of acquiring the recycled materials – even hunting down lenses from old train signals to provide a “clear” option – and bringing new illumination to an urban obsolete.

It’s good design that makes you stop, but reclaimed materials that give you a green light.

+ Greenlight Concepts