Solar Powered Street Light




Introduction: Solar Powered Street Light

Every product should solve a problem or fulfill a need. The street light with the photovoltaic shield provides many advantages in comparison to the current street lights. We waste tons of energy every day with street lights lighting places without much use most of the time. While street lights are meant to provide light for drivers, drivers still need shade to avoid being blinded by the sun. Do you hate getting blinded in the morning or evening when the sun is low and shines directly into your windshield? Well the photovoltaic shield is placed on a rail and can move up and down to provide the best diversion of direct sunlight into your vehicle. To remain with the energy conserving concept of this product, the light is provided by LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes). The large solar shield on the back provides more power than ever will be necessary to power the light so the excess electricity will be directed back into the city's electrical grid in order to power the homes and businesses nearby. As this is a more futuristic product, it could also be used to charge future electric cars or eBikes allowing people to charge them up while they are parked inside the city. The design is based off of a more modern minimalist style based off of functionality.

The whole 3D Design will be in the 123D Design free software by Autodesk (

The car in the realistic render is a royalty free 3d object from [] 

Step 1: Creating the Basic Sketch

i) Create a document in 123d Design (preferably with cm units)

ii) Select the polyline tool and create the following connecting lines:
- a) a 23cm long line at a 90 degree angle [you may need to do some camera adjusting after this]
- b) a 10 cm long line at a 120 degree angle
- c) a 7 cm long line at a 140 degree angle

Step 2: Refining the Sketch

i) Use the spline tool to curve the edge by clicking on all the joints/vertexes and then clicking enter after clicking the last end point

ii) Delete the lines from the previous step to have a cleaner look. 

iii) Use the offset tool to make 2 new offset lines
- a) offset the line by 1 cm into the center
- b) offset the original curved line by 0.5 cm outward

iv) connect the lines together using FOUR lines connecting each of the endpoint separately to the one in the middle [instead of one line between the two outer ones]

Step 3: Extruding the Faces

i) Extrude the inner arc's face by 4 cm
ii) Move that extruded shape a bit away
iii) Extrude the outer arc's face by 1 cm

Step 4: Creating the Base + Standing Up the Poles

i) Create the base:
- a) Create a box with the dimensions: 3cm x 5cm with a thickness of 0.5cm

ii) Snap the base face of the larger pole to the top of the base [you may need to ungroup them and rotate the pole to make it straight again)

iii) Rotate the smaller pole (the rail) to the same angle as the larger pole and snap the inner side of the rail to the outer side of the pole

Step 5: Creating the Head of the Light

i) Create a rectangle
- a) Rectangle dimensions: 4cm x 0.5cm

ii) Add a three point curve across the top

iii) Delete the line in between rectangle and the semi circle

iv) Extrude the face up by 6cm

Step 6: Making and Adding LEDs

i) Create the LED
- a) Create a circle with the diameter of 0.2 cm
- b) Extrude the circle by 0.3 cm
- c) Fillet the top perimeter of the cylinder by 0.097
- d) *optional* Change the material of the LED now since it will be bothersome later, I recommend using Poly Clear as the material

ii) Snap the bottom of the LED to the rounded side of the street light head

iii) Move the LED to the bottom right of the head

iv) Use the rectangle pattern tool to fill the whole head with LEDs
-a) The recommended amount of LEDs in each direction is: 25 vertical and 15 horizontal

v) Make sure all the LEDS are touching the head of the light

Step 7: Move the Complete Light Head Into Position

i) Using the move and rotate tool move the head (with the attached LEDs) so that the flat side fits on the top along the inside of the arched pole

Step 8: Creating the Solar Panel

i) Create a rectangle
-a) Rectangle dimensions: 1.5cm (width) x 3cm (length)

ii) Extrude the rectangle by 0.2cm 

iii) Using the rectangle pattern tool create the following patter of the extruded rectangle:
-a) Pattern details: Width: Distance= 18.5cm Amount=13 ; Length: Distance= 21.50cm Amount= 8

iv) Create a frame
-a) Create a rectangle behind the pattern
-b) Offset the rectangle outward by 1cm
-c) Extrude the offset frame by 0.5cm 

Step 9: Placing the Photovoltaic Solar Panel Shield

i) Using the rotate and move tool place the center of the solar panel against the rail with the solar cells facing outward

ii) It does not matter where along the rail you place the panel as theoretically the panel will be moving throughout the day depending on the sun's position. 


Congratulations on finishing the tutorial! I hope you enjoyed creating this innovative futuristic street light and can find some inspiration in the sustainable features it presents. As the instructable is meant for a contest it would be AWESOME if you could vote for it! It took quite some time to put this all together so any support/suggestions are gladly accepted. Hope you have a wonderful day and this instructable gave you some sort of new ideas or incentive to vote :).

-Felix Elfering

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    8 years ago on Introduction

    Well this is truly a step-by-step tutorial. I spent more time in step 4 to create the base and standing up the poles, as which need more careful mouse movement to achieve the effect. Anyhow, I would soon finish the whole steps,thanks Felix.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    hey dude, i live near greenwich new york here in the united states, around 2003-4 ish they installed a quarter mile stretch of road with solar panel streetlights. over the years since then maybe one or two of them work still.

    solar power is great on paper but in practice it's just not meant for long life equipment unless you can keep it clean and have the supplies/money to replace the panels as they wear out. if you can get this to work more power to you but a streetlight needs to be a low maintenance fixture, once every four years or so is too short a time to be going out fixing streetlights.

    still it's a proof of concept and it's pulled together quite well, good job!


    9 years ago

    The wind would rip it right off the pole. The wind force is greater at the top of a pole then at the bottom


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Hmm I guess that would be something to consider concerning the placement. Yet not all places have wind that strong, here in Munich for example there is barely any wind that is why I haven't thought about that, but good point. Thank you :)