Tight budgets have forced cities to become creative. In some small towns across Germany, lights are no longer on at night when no one is on the streets. However, residents can turn on the lights via their mobile phone, on demand.
The solution seems to have started about one and half years ago in the small town of Morgenröthe-Rautenkranz in the Erzegebirge. The streetlight on demand system saves the town about $5,300 annually, writes Christine Leisto on TreeHugger.
Groß Pankow is the most recent community to consider on-call streetlight, according to the Berliner Morgenpost daily newspaper.
In the town of Döblitz, which has used a similar system for about a year, the invention is attributed to a local resident Heinrich Frühauf. He received permission from the town to install a modified mobile telephone in the electrical box controlling the street laps. Citizens can call that number to turn the lights on. A timer then shuts the lights off again in 15 minutes.