At the risk of sounding like Martha, we'll say this: Going green is generally touted as a good thing. Turning off lights when you leave a room or setting your thermostat to a cooler setting while you're at work are low-effort, low-risk habits that pay off with high results. How about turning off streetlights that light dark sidewalks when somebody's not using them? It seems a little more difficult and lots more risky, doesn't it? Still, one German town is giving it a shot with cell-phone triggered streetlights...
The residents of Morgenröthe-Rautenkranz, a small german town, plan to save on electricity by only using street lamps when they're needed.
Here's how it works: As you're walking and you come across a lamp that's not lit but you'd like it do be, search the lamp post for it's unique code, and then dial that number to let there be light. New dark spot? New lamp post and new Dial4Light number.
But what if you forget your phone at home or the office or wherever you're walking from? Even worse, as Shiny Shiny points out, what if you get mugged and your phone is stolen as you're fumbling to turn on the next lamp in your journey?
Maybe somebody didn't think this through.
[ Streetlight image from JakeLiefer@Flickr ][ Via Shiny Shiny ]