and plans to scale up the technology to power entire smart cities.
"The potential is huge," she told Dezeen. "Street lights could be connected to trees. Forests could become power plants. Rice fields in Indonesia could produce food and electricity for the local population."
The Living Light encases a plant inside a glass tube. As the plant photosynthesises, it releases organic compounds into a soil chamber below.
The organic matter is broken down by bacteria fostered through a microbial fuel cell – a system that mimics bacterial interactions found in nature. When this happens, electrons are created and transported away from the soil.
The electric current is passed along a wire and fed into a ring fitted with LEDs. These light up when a user touches the plant's leaves.
Van Oers claims that future cities could be powered exclusively by plants in a similar way, by replacing the electric grid with a more sustainable microbial energy system.