Metropolis, a publication that “examines contemporary life through design” (and that The Dirt looks forward to perusing each month), has recently announced the winner of its Next Generation design contest. The winning team, the San Francisco-based firm Civil Twilight, came up with a way for streetlights to dim and brighten at night as needed. The heart of the system is an ultra-sensitive photocell that measures ambient moonlight and light pollution levels. When one of these “lunar-resonant” streetlights needs to be on, it is, but when it’s bright enough outside at night the light would dim or turn off completely.
The only question would be “When is ‘bright enough’ bright enough?” Public safety folks may think it is never a good idea to turn off a streetlight at night. Still, I bet there are LAs out there who would love to design a streetscape with such smart lighting. A full rundown of the winning team and the runners-up will appear in the May issue of Metropolis.