The Eco Guardian Project: Free Firefly Light

Since the FabLab Dynamic was founded in July 2013, the many cases of “Social Design” have been their main focus and they have continued their research on projects like “3D Printing Hermit Crab Shell,” “Derivative Wheelchair for Animals,” and “Free Energy Generator,” (Extended reading: 用3D列印幫寄居蟹成家吧!) turning Social Design into the virtuous circle of Making, Sharing and Learning, by observing our everyday problems.

By the end of 2015, coal-fired power takes up 78.34% of Taiwan’s total generation of electricity, while nuclear power takes up 16.04%, renewable energy and others only take up 5.62%. The vast disparity forces us to think if there are ways we can generate electricity naturally.

The Free Energy project launched in 2014 has made a device that generates electricity from soil without any external power or battery, and it can light up a bulb by simply pouring water on it. This brings new possibilities for the development of green energy that is environmentally friendly. The project lasts until 2016, and how we are going to work with nature and achieve a better environment has thus become our duty.

Start by becoming friends with the fireflies

Taiwan has a rich ecosystem, and it is the firefly season from May through September, but due to various types of destruction, river pollution, over development and light pollution, the beautiful scene of basking in the starry night with the fireflies has become a luxury.

Most people don’t know that, light pollution affects the characteristics of fireflies. Fireflies are nocturnal, and they use light to communicate with one another. Artificial light obstructs their own light signals, plus adult insects show high phototaxis, meaning they are easily distracted by strong lighting during reproduction. Larvae however, show negative phototaxis, and they will stop emitting light and just run away from the artificial light. Fireflies needs an environment with clean water and no light pollution to survive, which is usually a primitive natural area. Because of the wet and dark environment, and the 3 No Policy of No Capture, No Noise and No Direct Flashlight, people often slip and fall and hurt themselves. How these problems can be solved while still being friendly to the ecosystem are the core values of this project.

The Free Firefly Light we designed and made generates electricity and produces light by itself after you have inserted it into the soil. No battery, electrical outlet or any other power source is required. Meanwhile, this device uses red LEDs because insects can’t see red light, so when you set up the Free Firefly Lights along your path of firefly watching, no firefly and its natural habitat will be affected. You can easily enjoy a safe and free experience under the lighting, while being friendly to the natural environment.


Fly high in the Aliban ecological farm

In 1997, 60 families raised money in the name of “Deposit for Nature” to buy a piece of land and founded the Aliban ecological farm, in order to preserve the beautiful scenery. Over ten hectares of valley land, and almost 20 years of restoration, the ecosystem is now richer than ever, forming a natural classroom of magnificent fireflies, dancing butterflies and croaking frogs. Activities like eco tours inside the farm during different seasons have earned them the title of Excellent Leisure Farm evaluated by the Council of Agriculture. This attracts almost ten thousand tourists per year. If the crowdfunding is a success, the FabLab Dynamic will finish setting up all devices in the main firefly watching zone within a year, while inviting everybody to join the cause, and build a better environment together.

The crowdfunding lasts until the end of July, be sure to check out their Facebook page for the latest news!