Royal Philips Electronics
It is a very elegant and efficient solution to an everyday typology of object that because of its ubiquitousness can really define a city street. – Zoë Ryan
In cities such as Milan or Vienna, these mesh-type lights are common but to be able to see the sky lit without a structure or visible light fixtures over the street, this is much nicer. – Defne Koz
The efficiency of the bulb is what makes this a game changer in design. – Sam Vinz
This could really transform a city. – Chris Force
With traditional mercury vapor lamps to be banned in the EU from 2015, urban planners are seeking innovative alternatives. The FreeStreet lighting system offers a progressive and exciting solution which will also help to clear some of the clutter from our increasingly busy urban
landscapes. The system eliminates tradition streetlight poles, instead connecting a string of LEDs along narrow cables which are virtually invisible during the day. The result is lights which appear to float in mid-air. This flexible, lightweight solution provides homogenous light distribution with no visible or physical obstruction from poles at eye-level.
The brief was to design a lighting system that has no visible and physical obstruction on eye-level. It had to be almost invisible during the day.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
The FreeStreet lighting system meets the decluttering needs of cities and potentially causes a paradigm shift away from the historical standard, the “shoebox on a pole”. The system taps into the emerging need for cities to replace existing catenary lighting due to upcoming legislation (ban of mercury lamps) and offer an up-to-date solution.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
The lighting system is developed from the decluttering proposition. After very successful validation of demonstrators with end users, the system is now available on the market.5. The Value: How does your project earn its keep in the world? What is its value? What is its impact? (Social, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, environmental, cultural, gladdening, etc.)
The design of FreeStreet is unusual because the LED lamps are incorporated in a single cable, so the lamp simply looks like a thicker part of the cable. This makes it possible to span large spaces without the cables swinging, and the lamps are directed downward at all times. In Eindhoven, the Netherlands, the lighting system is installed. It is suspended at a height of 4.5 meters by means of only four poles. It hangs just below the crown of a mature tree. This means that unlike with conventional lamp-posts the light source is at a low level and the light is emitted in all directions, both beneath and between the trees. The atmospheric square is a pleasant meeting-place thanks to the “floating” light between and beneath the newly planted trees.