This might not be the most practical outdoor light in the world, but what the Firewinderlacks in pedestrian utility it makes up for in sheer engaging awesomeness. Transforming wind into light, the Firewinder is a hanging, wind-powered LED light that can be powered by the smallest breeze. Unlike most wind turbines that spin vertically, the Firewinder spins in a horizontal direction, illuminating its LEDs in a spiraling helix of light. The coolest thing about the Firewinder is that it doesn’t just run on or off, but instead is visibly reactive to subtle changes in the environment. How bright the LEDs glow corresponds directly to how fast the turbine spins, enabling observers to visualize the power of wind.

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Created by UK inventor Tom Lawton, the Firewinder was inspired by his desire to ‘see the wind’. Lawton hopes his new design will inspire people to think about the invisible beauty, awesome power and endless resource of the alternative energies which encircle us.

Decorative as it is, we think this is a charming design which has the power to engage people with the beauty of clean, renewable wind power. Kudos to Tom Lawton for coming up with this beautiful idea!

(Available summer 2008) + Firewinder + Light Wind – Wind-powered LED Lamp on Inhabitat