Mike Chino

Solar LED 'Leaf' Streetlights by Jongoh Lee

by , 08/04/08

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What if instead of standard streetlights your nighttime walks were brightened by light-laden boughs of luminous leaves? That’s the concept behind Jongoh Lee‘s elegant Invisible Streetlight, a solar-powered alternative to those ubiquitous energy-sucking globes posted throughout parks and other public spaces. The lamps are designed to wind around existing branches, seamlessly integrating into their environs to enchanting effect. The design makes a wonderful addition to the current crop of beautiful biomimetic led lamps.


invisible streetlight, jongoh lee, solar powered streetlight, led lamp, light-emitting diodes, bio-morphic, lighting

Entwined among existing tree branches, Lee’s lucent leaves store the sun’s energy throughout the day and burst forth with light at night in a visual metaphor for photosynthesis. “The most innovative element of Invisible Streetlight is that it does not require a support because the flexible body in the shape of tree branch is directly installed to the trees lining a street.”

The beautiful solution to un-intrusive nighttime lighting was recently awarded with a prestigious IDEA award. Perfect for parks and other tree-lined spaces, the invisible streetlight provides an inviting ambiance without breaking up the experience of the outdoors.

+ Jongoh Lee

+ International Design Excellence Awards

Via NOTCOT.org and It’s Green Design

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12 Comments

  1. meghan August 17, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    practicality aside, these are completely enchanting. and in my view the world needs re-enchantment just as much as we need energy efficient lighting solutions….

  2. kchick August 11, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    You can kill the tree if you leave the cords wrapped around too long.

  3. MvTCracker August 7, 2008 at 4:26 am

    I would like to see these in canada if they are bright enough to light up the street and sidewalk
    but I would like to see one with a wireless hot spot so each one will find and share wireless signals creating a mesh of wireless

  4. earthsmile August 6, 2008 at 9:57 am

    Maybe the move is to have these ‘leaf-solar collectors’ reside on, or branching out from, their own artificial ‘tree’ (pole) ? If so, these ”Solar Leaf-Collector Trees’ would replace exiting street lamps, or be installed instead of new streetlamps, because the multiple arrays of ‘leaves’ would illuminate as well as existing street lamp technology. Inside the pole (‘solar tree trunk’) could be all the batteries, heatsinks,etc. And if they are to be placed in shaded areas… maybe connecting these solar ‘trees’ to vertical posts w/branching out solar leaf arrays at the TOP of nearby trees would be the deal ? (This would allow the transmission of solar energy back to the artificial ‘Solar Trees’ via wiring ?) This product as it exits now is an excellent ‘start’… how it develops from here will be interesting to watch.

  5. af August 6, 2008 at 6:10 am

    if it is to act as a street lamp effectively, it has to be located at the lower part of the tree, which means it is very much shaded from direct sunlight during the day. That way, issit efficient enough to harvest solar energy?

  6. Barbara Piplits Barbara P. August 5, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    I see it as a wonderful, contemporary residential garden light that is easy to install and way better looking as these ugly lantern style solar lights which line so many pathways. Is it commercially produced already. I would be interested in pricing and distribution.

  7. Mike_Nelson_802 August 5, 2008 at 10:42 am

    The largest problem that I see is that there is no space for a battery to store the solar energy, next, the solar panel is no where big enough to power the thing, third there is no room for an LED driver, fourth the heat coming off the LED array is not heat sinked and would fry the solar panel as well as fry the LED’s. Then to top it all off, solar panels in the shade of trees won’t produce energy. I like that the idea is being thought about, and the concept is fun, but it makes me mad that such poorly planned thinking is winning International Design Excellence Awards.

  8. DeadPanDan August 5, 2008 at 10:13 am

    It’s trying to look natural, but it just looks bizarre. What’s wrong with current hanging solar lanterns?

    I can see a use for solar lanterns in the trees though. No need for pouring concrete foundations, drilling holes in the ground, or wiring. Just hang them from the trees. If they get stolen, they’ll be cheap to replace. For a couple grand you can light up a small park. Enough light for public safety? Conventional lighting doesn’t help if you can’t get funding for it. I think there’s a way to make this work.

  9. RichardMillington August 5, 2008 at 8:53 am

    I agree with Fred and Designundersky, they do look brilliant but how practical are they for being in real parks? Will they last long enough, and be safe enough from vandalism to make it worthwhile?

    I suspect a more robust design might work better than these beauties.

  10. Erik van Lennep Erik van Lennep August 5, 2008 at 7:08 am

    I love the idea, and the look of it, very Tolkien-elvish. But practically speaking, how much energy can they collect when suspended at the shaded underside of a canopy? Would that be enough to power them after dark? It’s an inspiration worth following further. Even if it turns out to be impractical for public areas, I can imagine it gracing many a home garden.

  11. designundersky August 4, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Aesthetically pleasing yes, but if these are to go in civic areas how will they be theft protected? Also, judging from the picture and experience with the use of solar powered lighting, they fail to produce the amount of light necessarily to accomodate public safety.

  12. Fred August 4, 2008 at 10:32 am

    Indeed, a visually perfect idea for a topic park. Questions directly come to me, what’s the lifetime? How to maintain these LED ‘leaf”? Everyboy knows that the leaf branch may grow up soon, become out of order and get broken easily. I would suggest to wind it around the trunks.

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