Not all public places should be illuminated equally. Take urban parks, which need more artificial light than a busy boulevard that's already aglow, day and night, in endless rows of shops and bars and restaurants. Mass-produced street lamps, of course, aren't attuned to such subtleties. So a lot of times, you're left with spaces that are either underlit, and unsafe, or grossly overlit, and a drain on the city's electricity bill -- not to mention the environment.
Margus Triibmann's solution: customizable street lamps. Inspired by pine trees, "Branch City Lighting" features light bulb-equipped "branches" that can be added to a lamp post in any quantity to emit just the right amount of light. What's more, each branch is adjustable, which means that lighting can be directed toward the spots that need it most.
One drawback: We're guessing this system -- a concept as best we can tell -- would not be cheap. Any time the word "customizable" enters the equation, you can pretty much guarantee a hefty premium. That said, cities don't seem to have any problem sinking money into frilly decorative lighting. It stands to reason that they could divert a chunk of that cash to lamps like Triibmann's and end up with something that's both beautiful and functional.
[Images via Designboom]