Over the past year, we've enjoyed getting to know Philips and its increasingly wacky design concepts. But hard on the heels of the totally serious L Prize Bulb comes FreeStreet, an innovative outdoor lighting solution that has (or should have) a place in every single city.
Here's what FreeStreet isn't: it isn't some depression-colored, power-hungry spotlight that requires its own dedicated giant metal pole and manages to pour enough light pollution upwards instead of downwards to send amateur astronomers literally running for the hills. That's what we got right now.
Instead, the FreeStreet lightning system consists of little pods of efficient LEDs that sprout out from a network of thin overhead wires that provide both power and support. Since the entire system exists overhead, It's not necessary to clutter up anything at ground level, making FreeStreet ideal for sidewalks and other larger public areas. Plus, you'll save up to 40% in energy costs versus those old and busted sodium street lamps while reducing light pollution at the same time. It's also kinda cool and futuristic looking, which doesn't hurt.
The slightly confusing part about FreeStreet is that it requires its own network of wires and doesn't seem to be able to piggyback off of a power line, which is unfortunate. But if you listen to Philips talk about the concept behind FreeStreet, it sort of makes sense: they want the system to be as independent and low profile as possible, and that means packaging everything (lights and cable and all) into one simple thing.
The video below shows the FreeStreet lighting system in stationary action, interspersed with designers from Philips saying things like "celebrating the lightness of light," which you should feel free to steal and repeat whenever you're in need a reliable way of confusing people.