These streetlamps only light up when you need them

Credit: Tvilight

If a tree falls in a forest and no one’s around to hear it, does it still make a sound? It’s an age-old philosophical quandary, but it isn’t nearly as pressing as this one: If a streetlamp shines when no one is around, is it using energy? The answer, of course, is yes. And lots of it. That’s where Tvilight comes in.

We waste a lot of money on streetlights. Europe spends $13 billion powering them, which is more than 40 percent of its energy expenditures. And these release 40 million tons of CO2 each year. Think 20 million cars. Tvilight drastically changes this.

It’s a simple concept: the streetlights only light up when you need them. The rest of the time, they remain dim. By using intelligent wireless sensors, the lights can detect people, bikes and cars. The sensors detect how fast something is approaching, and the lights pop on as needed.

It’s expected to cut CO2 emissions by 80 percent. It’s also expected to cut maintenance costs in half, since it’ll be able to signal a central control center when in need of repair.

While this is Tvilight’s sole function at the moment, there has been speculation about how the technology could be used, including having lights turn red if an ambulance is approaching. The possibilities are endless.

Check out the absurdly mesmerizing video of this baby in action, below.

Tvilight, via CNN

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