Soil Powered Lamp: A Fresh Take on “Dirty Energy”

by , 03/11/09

dirt lamp, soil-powered lamp, sustainable design, dirt powered lamp, green design, alternative energy, soil power, green gadget, Marieke Strap

Soil naturally contains energy conducive metals like zinc, copper and iron, and microbial fuel cells (sometimes referred to as an earth batteries) are capable of converting electrolytes in soil into usable energy. Dutch designer Marieke Strap’s Soil Lamp uses conductive plates made from copper and zinc buried within the soil to provide constant and (nearly) eternal light for an LED bulb. Maintaining a Soil Lamp is as simple as watering a plant – just feed it a splash of water every now and then to keep the energy flowing.

dirt lamp, soil-powered lamp, sustainable design, dirt powered lamp, green design, alternative energy, soil power, green gadget, Marieke Strap

The Soil Lamp takes pride in its simplicity and innovation, baring all in a transparent bulbous base. The implications of creating energy from soil are promising – as a free and abundant resource, nearly everyone in the world has access to dirt, save those living in deserts or urban jungles. Because of its naturally occurring conductivity, soil is easily converted into energy that will last far beyond the lifetime of an incandescent bulb, so long and its properly watered.

+ Mareike Staps

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  1. Red2000bc October 27, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Well to me it sounds alot better then the current energy comsuming methods that we are using at least it is something different and im not a hater like some of the trolls

  2. gg July 3, 2009 at 2:43 am

    the residu from the chemical reaction arent that green either.

  3. shwetarhul May 3, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    This is cool stuff!!

  4. Pandele March 13, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Just as Gregb said, this is copper-zinc battery. It only uses earth for having water and salts. The energy comes from the metal plates themselves (the electrons migrate from one plate to another, gradually consuming one of the plates). Just as a car battery works. Producing copper and zinc is still energy consuming so this is a real hoax.

  5. gregb March 13, 2009 at 1:19 am

    Sorry, this is nothing more than a copper-zinc battery. The kind kids make by stacking pennies and nickels together with a bit of salt water as the electrolyte. Once the two metals finish corroding, the battery will stop working. Its neither an endless source of energy or based on soil microbes- and when you include the cost of smelting the copper and zinc, a huge waste of the planet’s resources.

  6. aintdeadyet March 12, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    So I understand this as the same tech that kids in science classes everywhere use to make potato or lemon batteries?

  7. crackgerbal March 12, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    These light bulbs are pretty cool. I could see this on front porches near peoples homes. Wonder how long before they are mass produced.

  8. davidwayneosedach March 12, 2009 at 10:11 am

    These soil lamps are certainly intrigiging. If they could be mass produced I’m sure they’d find a ready market today!

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