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.

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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