Next Generation® is an industrial design competition founded by Metropolis magazine to promote activism, social involvement, and entrepreneurship in young designers. This year the theme is “Energy”.

The San Francisco-based firm Civil Twilight awarded $10,000 for their energy-conserving “Lunar Resonant Street Lamps” proposal.

More details from Arch News now: “Replace standard urban streetlight bulbs with “lunar-resonant” units that would automatically dim or brighten in response to ambient moonlight – potentially saving as much as 95% of energy used in street lighting, while also enhancing nighttime visibility and enabling city residents to once again experience the pleasures of observing the nighttime sky.

According to the team’s statistics, streetlights account for 38% of all electricity used for lighting in the U.S., and produce about 300 million tons of carbon emissions per year. In addition, their light pollution prevents two-thirds of Americans from seeing moonlight or stars.

The concept could be implemented simply and economically, by retrofitting existing lights with dimmable LED bulbs and a highly sensitive photo-sensor cell that would detect/respond to moonlight (as well as cloud cover and atmospheric conditions affecting daytime needs for street lighting). Most parts required are available off the shelf.”

This make me think of Dutch design house Demakersvanthe’s Light Wind– a street lamp that was powered by wind.