Moonlit nights, dimmer lights

WorldChanging has announced the winners of the annual design competition sponsored by the design publication, Metropolis. Designs targeting energy were the focus of this year's competition.

The winning design is brilliant in its simplicity:

The winning team, a San Francisco-based design collective called Civil Twilight, landed the grand prize with a project called Lunar-Resonant Streetlights -- streetlights specially designed to 'sense and respond to ambient moonlight, dimming and brightening each month as the moon cycles through its phases.' The lights would replace standard bulbs with LEDs and a photosensor, which work together to reduce energy consumption by creating only as much light as is needed according to the natural illumination of the moon. They also minimize light pollution by 'utilizing the available moonlight, rather than overwhelming it,' bringing stars back into the urban skyscape. It's a brilliant integration of a high-tech design and an ultra-low tech natural resource.

The concept is so stunningly simple, one wonders why no one ever thought of it before.