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Lights in Las Vegas to be Powered by Interesting Method

Conventional lighting just won’t cut it anymore in Sin City.

According to Business Insider, Las Vegas announced in the spring of 2016 that it would be moving toward kinetic-powered street lights. Once complete, these types of lighting will be powered by footsteps.

Vegas Kinetic

Essentially, kinetic pads are installed on a nearby sidewalk in front of lights. The pads can even be installed on roads. As people walk by or cars drive over them, the kinetic energy from that movement is turned into electricity. Solar panels will also help provide enough energy for lights while also ensuring the lighting is only on when needed.

The city is partnering with EnGoPLANET to install the lights and kinetic pads in the Las Vegas Boulder Plaza. Once complete, the project will likely be the first of its kind in the world.

This project is likely influenced by the French solar road project. Both ideas used solar panels and sensors embedded in the road. But as Business Insider pointed out, the Las Vegas project is arguably more ambitious. Simply put, there are not many real-world examples of kinetic energy being turned into an important source of power, let alone providing electricity to lights.

In a press release, EnGoPLANET CEO Petar Mirovic stated how the electrical demand from street lighting produces  approximately 100 million tons of CO2 annually, worldwide. New lighting projects have the potential to lower carbon emissions while lowering electricity bills for cities and towns.

“If you look at traditional street light poles, you will see that they are useless,” said Mirovic. “They simply hold the lighting. With our solution, we’ve changed that by incorporating useful features into the pole and transforming it into a free service spot where people can rest, charge their portable devices or connect to WiFi.”

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said the city is committed to renewable energy and stated Las Vegas is always interested in technologies that will preserve the city for future generations.

Caution Still Needed

Given the ambitious nature of the project, caution is still needed. The new lights will be more high-tech than old street lighting, which means more complex maintenance is required along with the potential for failures in the system

There are also questions over the kinetic pads and what happens if one fails.

Even so, many outside observers will be watching this project and await further results to potentially discover the benefits of a kinetic lighting system.


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