Streetlight Trees

Marco van Beers
July 19th 2011

We all know the cellphone masts disguised as trees, created in an attempt to blend technology within the 'natural' landscape. Now Taiwanese scientists have created trees that could function as streetlights. They infused the leaves of Bacopa Caroliniana with gold nanoparticles which causes the chlorophyll to produce a reddish luminescence. This phenomenon is awkwardly named bio-LED by the scientists.

According to Yen Hsun Su of the Academia Sinicia and the National Cheng Kun Univerisity: 'The bio-LED could be used to make roadside trees luminescent at night. This will save energy and absorb CO2 as the bio-LED luminescence will cause the chloroplast to conduct photosynthesis.'

This means that while the tree is ‘lit’ more CO2 is consumed from the atmosphere, therefore the glowing trees could reduce carbon emission, cut electricity costs while still lighting streets safely.

Photo courtesy of MrHayata. Via PopSci via Inhabitat.

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Alejandro Kondraasky
Posted 20/05/2012 – 17:00

I was waiting for this to happen, i'm very happy to see that it work perfectly :D

Glenn
Posted 08/05/2012 – 10:17

It's certainly a neat trick, but not very sustainable. As leaves reach the end of their life, the gold is lost and the newly formed leaves would not be luminous.
A far better solution would be to genetically modify the plant to produce a luciferin/luciferase type reaction. this should then be sustainable and not require the addition of trace elements.

Emi
Posted 22/04/2012 – 20:58

Hm. Wouldn't it be epic if all the ugly peaces of metal and other random materials on our streets that we call 'technology' were to b replaced by stuff like this? Like imagine... umm.. i dunno, postboxes that look like... rocks? Or maybe.. Omigosh houses that are created into hills. Like ya know those eco-homes thatr gettin kinda popular lately? And then the entire world would follow. Technology would no longer be grey and smooth. It would be colourful and wild!! Beautiful!!

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Koert van Mensvoort: Is the artificial womb frankenstein-like symbol of (male) engineers trying to steal the magical womb from women? Or… is it a feminist project and needed to reach through equality between the sexes? I personally lean towards the latter. To me it feels like progress if a girl can tell a guy to carry the womb for a change.

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