The Streetlight That Can Detect Floods and Prevent Disease

These innovative streetlights deliver a triple punch.

Feb 17, 2016
High-tech streetlight detects floods, fights disease and charges phones

Malaysia's new streetlights may be the answer to increasing floods and mosquito-borne diseases (factcoexist)

Talk about multi-purpose. Researchers at the University of Malaya in Malaysia have developed a streetlight that does much more than light a path. The impressive outdoor lighting system also kills mosquitoes, sends disaster warnings, and charges mobile phones and batteries.     

Powered by solar panels and wind turbines located at the top of each streetlight, this cutting-edge eco-invention operates completely off-grid. The LED lamp produces low levels of carbon dioxide, luring in mosquitoes until they’re close enough to be sucked into a capture net where they can’t fly away. The streetlight also measures the height of floodwater - the bottom of the light is waterproof, while the top is equipped with antennas that send reports and warnings if water levels get too high. If that wasn’t enough, the light has outlets for charging cell phones and rechargeable batteries in case of power outages.

Besides looking futuristic, all of these gadgets serve an important purpose. The streetlight is a brilliant solution for remote areas with no access to the electrical grid – as a self-sustained, renewable energy source, it can supply basic electricity needs to those who need it most. The invention also helps fight dengue fever, a mosquito-borne viral disease that has taken a particularly strong hold in Asia-Pacific countries, including Malaysia. Finally, as flood events are on the rise in Malaysia, the streetlight provides a reliable and effective means of preventing damage and deaths.

This remarkable streetlight is still in its pilot and early development stage, but that’s likely to change in the near future. As a cost-effective, energy-efficient solution that can save lives, there’s a good chance Malaysia’s conventional streetlights will soon be replaced with this ingenious prototype.

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Mirele writes about everything related to doing good, with a particular interest in volunteering and social entrepreneurship, informed by her background in eco tourism.

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