Nov. 5 - A new way of laying paths developed by a New Zealander living in the British countryside allows walkways to absorb light during the day and emit it at night, which could light streets all over the world more cheaply and efficiently than street lights. Joel Flynn shines a light on how the technology could pave the way to the future.
This is a path that glows in the dark, and it could one day herald the end of street lights. Starpath absorbs ultra-violet light during the day. It then emits it once it gets dark. Hamish Scott developed it on his farm near London. He says the energy savings could be substantial. SOUNDBITE: Starpath Inventor, Hamish Scott, saying (English): "I guess, from the other side, is just a different way of tackling the energy crisis that everybody's in at this point in time, and we're just trying to do it from the other end where we're trying to save energy rather than produce more energy." The path is put together using an elastic spray polyurethane, which holds the aggregate - or the material that gives the path its look and its glow. It's then sealed over the top. The illuminating nature of the path could have benefits for roads and cycle paths - especially as the glow can be made in any colour, not just blue like on this trial path in Cambridge. It could also be of particular use in developing countries where energy is expensive or difficult to come by. Because it can be sprayed on, installation costs are minimal. And, Scott says, his invention could develop dramatically. SOUNDBITE: Starpath Inventor, Hamish Scott, saying (English): "The end point I really don't know because I think this technology could really take off and appeal to people. I think it's a different way of how we see things and I think people will take it on board and realise that we can use something that's very natural, in front of us all day every day and sort of move forward from there." And with thousands of companies all over the world reportedly interested in Starpath, the future for this technology looks nothing but bright.