A living plant powers this beautiful lamp created by Dutch designer Ermi van Oers – the Living Light. Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?

During the process of photosynthesis, organic compounds are being released. In the soil, naturally occurring bacteria break down the organic compounds. In the Living Light, this process is fostered through a microbial fuel cell – a system that mimics bacterial interactions found in nature. When this happens, electrons are created and transported away from the soil. The electric current is passed along a wire and fed into a ring fitted with LEDs.  When someone touches the plant’s leaves, the LEDs light up.

It might look like a step too small to change the current status quo, but Ermi van Oers dreams bigger. She imagines a world where “every plant pot is provided with this technology” which will hopefully give Nature “higher economic value and we will start making more green places so that biodiversity can flourish”.

The project is still new and yet to be developed. As for now, the Living Light takes a day to produce enough energy for half an hour’s charge. But Ermi van Oers has already begun to apply the technology to public spaces and is even collaborating with the municipality of Rotterdam to light up one of its parks.

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Living Light is an off-grid lamp powered by photosynthesis

Dutch designer Ermi van Oers has created a lamp that uses a living plant to generate its own electricity – and plans to scale up the technology to power entire smart cities. Presented at Dutch Design Week, the Living Light uses microorganisms to convert the chemical energy that a plant naturally produces during photosynthesis into an electric current.

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