Solar Paths  

Posted by Big Gav

These things are a great idea - solar powered bricks that light up at night. If I ruled the development I live in I'd take down all the electric lights around all the paths and replace them with these purely on aesthetic grounds...

Grab a bunch of light emitting diodes (LEDs) connect them to some solar panels and wrap them in some tough polycarbonate plastic and you get Solarbricks. Can be used like pavers in the ground, allowing 2 tonne trucks to drive over them. Or place them vertically in posts. 6 colours, 2 sizes and a variety of shapes. If given 1 hour of direct sunlight, they will illuminate a pathway for about 3 nights or 12 hours, automatically turning on as darkness approaches. Under conditions of cloud, rain or shade 6-8 hours is required for a full charge. A maintenance free life of about 10 years is forecast.

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4 comments

Way Cool, I like it.

Good idea for biking at night. You end up looking at the ground anyways, for sewer grates, rocks, etc., so that it places the light at the most efficient location.

wow. usually i don't go for techno solutions, but this is very cool. When I doing theater and film lighting, we were all very excited about the coming generation of LED lighting fixtures. The advantages were just stunning. So much light from so little power and so much less heat produced also... One hasn't lived until the outline of a bolt on a lighting fixture has been tattooed onto their forearm.

Glad to see these are as popular with you guys as they are with me.

I was chatting with a friend today who gets a bit annoyed by my enthusiasm for green tech (he's becoming more reactionary as I get more radical) and just to annoy him came up with the idea of cross-breeding these solar bricks with the solar shingles I posted about a while ago.

After thinking about it for a while I became quite enthused about the idea - most of the power would be sent into the house / grid, but some could be stored in the roof tiles so they can glow gently at night (and on grim days) - with a nice mix of colours. You'd end up with largely self-powered houses (in Australian conditions anyway) that also look cool at night (as long as people resist the temptation to make them too lurid).

Now - maybe this would just result in excessive light pollution that could freak out any wildlife (or even the vegetation) but you never know - it could even make street lamps obsolete.

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