Umbrella Lights The Way

LightDrops looks like an ordinary umbrella but don’t let that fool ya. There’s more than meets the eye here. As water pours over the surface, potential energy from raindrops slamming onto the conductive membrane called PDVF transforms into electrical energy powering embedded LEDs sending your umbrella ablaze with light. The heavier the rain, the brighter the light to help you see your way.

Designer: Sang-Kyun Park

103 Comments

  • Carl says:

    this is nothing new. you can already buy these..

    • Richard says:

      Carl says, “this is nothing new. you can already buy these..”

      Where please?

  • Keith says:

    This is a really cool concept, though, even if you can buy them already. Where do you buy said umbrellas Carl?

  • edima says:

    you can get them already, where please i need to get my first umbrella lol

  • Brian says:

    Seems like an update of the umbrellas from Blade Runner but doesn’t improve upon the original concept. Maybe in a more compact form?

  • bruce bagby says:

    Not so much light the way, but ruin your night vision.

    • Henrique Staino says:

      agreed

    • Nadool says:

      It doesn’t seem to me like it is bright enough to make it harder to see, but you have a point. I’d have to use it to know for sure so you may be right. I think that the larger purpose that it serves would be that drivers see you much much sooner at night than without this. I live on a pretty busy corner close to a train station and man have I seen some very close calls when it rains hard enough in the dark. Can’t trust drivers.

      • Kittekaat says:

        I agree, it’s seems sensible in the same way as turning on headlights at dusk, not to help ME see better, but to me with BEING seen by someone who might otherwise run over me. Probably also great so the bus driver can see you at night in the rain.

  • fb says:

    there’s something like this on instructables,
    and it looks nicer too.

  • Stikknob says:

    Um just a quick thing, the description mentions potential energy of the rain, shouldn’t the description use kinetic unless referring to electric potential but that was not clear….

  • Carl says:

    just google LED umbrella and see what you find..

  • zzznzz says:

    LED umbrellas are available already but none of them use the potential energy of raindrops.
    The focus of this umbrella is not LED, but the potential energy of raindrops.

  • Carl says:

    This is just theoretical though, is would like to see it working even in principle. Otherwise this is just another pipedream.

  • Henrique Staino says:

    And I think we should all agree that if you live in a place with streets so dark you need an umbrella to light your way, you probably wouldn’t have money to buy one of these.
    Streets have lightposts, and criminals, too. I think this is more like a decoy for burglars than something useful…

  • Where can one buy these PDVF umbrellas?

  • Carl says:

    Robert Pritchett i do not think you can buy one as they do not exist…!

  • Matt says:

    Rain tends to come with wind, and wind destroys umbrellas, so an LED light that attaches to the umbrella might be worthwhile, but not an umbrella with a built-in light.

  • Nadool says:

    I have really good eyesight, but even in moderate rainfall at night when driving, I have a hard time seeing people walking sometimes. Especially in the winter when it gets dark early and people are walking home from the train in their black or navy blue suits and long black coats. While this may not be a wise purchase for someone who lives someplace where it rains heavily all year, it seems smart for someone who walks home from the train or something at night often. I see this more as a personal safety item rather than an umbrella that lights the way home.

    Carl – yesterday you said you can’t buy them cuz they don’t exist yet 5 days ago you said you can already buy them?

  • Sam says:

    “it seems smart for someone who walks home from the train or something at night often.”

    Actually, it probably wouldn’t be great for walking at night. The brightness of the LEDs in the umbrella would probably make it more difficult to see things in the darkness until they were only a few feet away. Bright lights aren’t exactly great for night vision.

    • Kim says:

      @sam

      If you read his whole post you can tell that Nadool meant that it would be good for people who walk at night so that OTHER people see them. It’s a concept akin to that of reflectors on a bike.

    • Micah says:

      As already stated, the light would function so as to help other people see you. But as far as helping the person carrying the umbrella, being able to better see things for a few feet around you is a actually a big help. If you know where you are going, the reason for having a light wouldn’t be to look down streets, but to see where you are placing your feet. Or maybe you need to read a map. I fail to see how having a water-powered light in an umbrella would be worse than not having one. You could use it to see the keyhole on your car-door(though this is less of an issue nowadays). Also, it provides a wider beam of light than a regular flashlight or LED would give off, so you don’t have to constantly rely on a small patch of visible ground. Basically, I see a light-up umbrella that you never have to charge, which keeps you safer from idiots on the road and helps make sure you don’t step in a hole that you wouldn’t have otherwise seen. Win.

  • Chris says:

    The point should be to be seen… not to aid seeing. I would think it would cause night blindness for the carrier, but a smart design adjustment would be to make the underside opaque.

    I like the concept of the kinetic energy converted into actual power for the LEDs… I’d like to see a DIY for something like that in such a small form factor.

  • afifa says:

    Where i can buy this umbrella. Can i buy online. pse info

  • Lexica says:

    If you’re walking in the city, night vision doesn’t enter into the situation. Your night vision is already wiped out by the other lights around you (streetlights, headlights of passing cars, etc.).

    This is not to illuminate the surroundings so the person carrying it can see, it’s to illuminate the person carrying it so they can be seen.

    As someone who walks a lot, and often after dark, I would LOVE one of these.

  • christine says:

    Aret they practical. Really what about the danger of lighting.

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  • Suman Dodril says:

    Can this conductive membrane PDVF be used on vehicle surface, so that it lets us see the vehicles as they are without depending on just the headlights which is very dangerous especially during rainy and windy weather.

    In case the entire vehicle is lightly illuminated during rain, headlights can be dimmed too, to ensure drivers in opposite direction are not blinded.

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