Imagine your next summer backyard party: the sun has just gone down, the music is playing, and, as the breeze picks up, the lights come on from a string of solar powered, wind-lit LED lights. This innovative design for enchanting outdoor lighting is from Yoshihiro Shimomura, a circuit designer design lecturer at Chiba University in Japan. Shimomura first used battery powered prototypes for his wind-lit creations but has since upgraded to tap into the sun’s energy to light up summer nights.
The light is composed of a glass, bell-shaped, vessel, that holds the LED light, circuitry, and solar panel. Wax holds the electronics inside the glass vessel and disperses the emitting light. Paper is suspended from the center of the circuitry, and as the strip of paper is blown, the light turns on. The light will burn depending on the weather that day – more sun charges the battery longer and stronger winds keep it on.
Shimomura and his assistants exhibited their design in 2005 at the STARNET show in Mashiko. They set up 100 lights outside of the gallery for people to come enjoy. One visitor wrote in the message book, “I closed my eyes and sensed the wind, and when I opened them, the wind lamps had sensed it too and were starting to glow.”
These very zen and beautiful fixtures are unfortunately not available for sale, but keep your eye out for them. It is good to see more designers utilize the sun, wind and other renewable sources to power electronics. There is so much more potential out there; it is only a matter of how we harness that energy.
+ Wind-lit Solar on Living World