Street lights are one of things people in heavily populated areas tend to take for granted. They make walking and driving a safer, more pleasant experience, but they also account for a significant chunk of a city's energy usage. Solar powered street lights offer a solution for places where electricity is at a premium, or locations that are off the grid completely and the Spirit Solar Powered Lighting Column is the first example we've seen which rolls the post and the panels together in a standalone design.

This is certainly not the first street light to be powered by solar panels, but unlike Sharp's solar LED street light and Urban Green Energy's solar lights, the Spirit design sees the solar panels and battery pack integrated into the post.

Kaal Masten, the studio responsible for the new LED street light, says it can function using 100-percent solar power, who means it does not need to be connected to the grid at all in order to function.

The Spirit "solarmast" runs 12-24 Volt LEDs and has an onboard power management system that enables the light to be automatically dimmed to maximize running time and suit the surrounding environment.

To protect the unit from theft and vandalism, the company has included a patented three-stage door lock on the steel cover for the lithium batteries which are housed at the bottom of the column. The modular design also means the height of the posts is customizable, coming in heights up to 18 meters (19.7 yards).

The designers plan to install the first lights at the Eindhoven University of Technology.

Source: Kaal via Inhabitat