Illustration: Simon Danaher in Wired Magazine
In 2004, an international design competition was launched to create a new standard streetlight for the City of New York. Our design was selected after a two-stage competition process, and will add to the City’s existing catalogue of fixtures to light streets, sidewalks, and parks within the city’s five boroughs.
In creating a streetlight that will become a new classic, we asked ourselves, “What is the light source of the future?” Hi-flux LEDs emerged as an outstanding solution. With their small size, low wattage, intensity, and extremely long life of over 50,000 hours, LEDs are preeminent as an energy efficient, minimal-maintenance source.
Rethinking the aesthetic potential of LED technology was a driving force for the streetlight’s elegant form. In contrast to the bulky cobra-heads associated with high-pressure sodium lamps, the streetlight takes on a slim, elongated profile enabled by the tiny size of its light source, which does not require a hefty decorative enclosure. Instead, the thin arc of the luminaire itself provides the necessary surface area for housing and cooling the LEDs. The revolutionary aesthetic of the streetlight is specifically derived from the requirements and possibilities of LED technology.