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— Architecture

SmartLight redirects sunlight into "light-locked" building interiors

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have developed technology that could help cut lighting energy costs by brightening up rooms with natural light. The SmartLight system is designed to direct sunlight into dark, dingy rooms located within the bowels of buildings without requiring the installation of new wiring, ducts, tubes or cables. It also allows excess light to be harnessed and centrally stored to provide energy for electric lighting on cloudy days. Read More
— Environment

Spirit Solar Powered Lighting Column integrates panels into the post

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. Read More
— Good Thinking

Wired merry-go-rounds provide energy to remote schools in Ghana

At first glance, a merry-go-round that generates electricity appears to be a charming idea. But Empower Playgrounds President, Ben Markham, came up with the idea in 2006 during an 18-month stint volunteering in Ghana. There he was struck by the lack of lighting in rural schools and dwellings, as well as the paucity of playground equipment. A charming idea it remains, but it's a serious one, too. Read More
— Around The Home

USS Enterprise-like flat LED light bulb could end up selling for $3

Not long ago, we took a look at Cree’s new LED light bulbs. At US$12.97 a pop, the 60-watt-equivalent model sounded like a pretty good deal. If NliteN’s disk-shaped 2D-Lite reaches production, however, it could make the Cree product look downright expensive. Initially slated to sell for $10, the dimmable 60-watt-equivalent "800 lumen-class" bulb is planned to drop to $6 by 2015, and to $3 by 2017. Read More
— Science

Smart Glass controls both lighting and heat levels

Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have produced a "smart" glass coating that can be selectively controlled to block visible light, heat-producing near-infrared (NIR) light, or both, by applying a small electrical charge to it. The ability to do this dynamically has the potential to deliver improved lighting, heating, and cooling efficiency in buildings, thereby maximizing energy savings and still providing bright and well lit environments in different weather conditions. Read More