Want To Use Existing Neon Lights To Grow Food?

Urban farming has become very popular over the past decade and new ideas are coming out to help grow food plants in urban environments all the time. One of the more unique ideas is for this urban farming machine designed to use the heat and CO2 from neon lighting to grow healthy and hearty plants while having a pleasant appearance that resembles ceiling fans.

Urban Farming Machine (Image via NAS-DRA)Urban Farming Machine (Image via NAS-DRA)

The neon signs that line the streets of heavily urban areas, such as Hong Kong, produce copious amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) and heat. These machines could be placed to take advantage of both of these aspects of the signs. In addition to helping these plants grow, the plants would help cool the environment and return oxygen to the atmosphere. The plants would also act to help reduce noise pollution.

Urban Farming Machine (Image via NAS-DRA)Urban Farming Machine (Image via NAS-DRA)

This idea is still in the concept stage as the photos show.  The machines would be mounted directly on the signs and would open and close much like some plants. The "leaves" would open out during the day to collect the sunlight and then close at night to gather the CO2 and heat from the signs.

Urban Farming Machine (Image via NAS-DRA)Urban Farming Machine (Image via NAS-DRA)

There does not appear to be an internal mechanism for watering the plants, so they must depend on collecting their own moisture from the rain. That means that these machines might not work so well in someplace like Las Vegas without a little additional engineering.

Urban Farming Machine (Image via NAS-DRA)Urban Farming Machine (Image via NAS-DRA)

Another piece of missing information is what types of plants would be appropriate to grown in this machine, or how they would be harvested or cared for. It would be quite interesting to see a live test of this concept with plants shading the streets of Hong Kong.

Source: NAS-DRA