A highway in the Netherlands is experimenting with solar technology to illuminate a strip of highway at night with vibrant, glow in the dark, neon. The underlying idea is that these glow in the dark highway strips can eliminate power hungry, unsightly streetlights in magnificent style. Thus far, the Netherlands’ use of solar technology has gained widespread appreciation and respect from environmentalists and skeptics alike.
On a stretch of highway an hour south of Amsterdam, the design firm Studio Roosegaarde was given free rein to line the boundary lines with strips of solar powered, highly luminescent strips. These strips soak up sunlight during the day, and then emit the energy at night, creating the appearance of a magical fairy land. Stuido Roosegaarde proposed to test their innovative design in real life, investigating the smart highway’s resistance to the elements. So far the project has gained immense attention and success. The strips effectively replace pesky street lights, and they do it in style. The studio’s founder Daan Roosegaarde claims, “we even had a local traffic jam because people wanted to see it. Some describe it as going through a fairy tale.”
The glowing stripes represent a victory for conservationists aiming to progress conventions towards a green, environmentally conscious future. Roosegaarde claims, “the glowing lines show that an energy-neutral world can also be beautiful.” Indeed many agree that the Netherlands’ new strip of highway doubles as a testament to energy innovation and a romantic journey for couples. “It’s something you would like to take your girlfriend or boyfriend to visit,” Roosegaarde says.
The project’s success has led to interest from China, Japan, and other larger projects in the Netherlands. Production cost is totally justifiable, clocking in at roughly the same price as standard streetlight installations, even before taking into account the savings incurred from energy reduction and conservation.