You can’t always predict the rainfall. There are times when you just know that it might rain and you remember to carry an umbrella with you but there are other times when it’s just quite impossible to predict a downpour. What do you do at those times? You run towards a shelter, start finding a bookstore, a local shop, the bus shelter or anything on the public space. Now think about a public umbrella that is placed at several postings on the road to give you shelter at those times when the rain is most unexpected. It’s been made possible by designer Mikhail Belyaev.
He calls it the Lampbrella which is a lamp and an umbrella, 2-in-1 product. It’s a lamp post which will have rain-sensing umbrella so that it does not stay open at all times (not when it’s not raining). The concept is more so a standard-looking street lamp which has been fitted with an umbrella and a built-in electric motor which can open and close the umbrella on demand. These Lampbrellas are expected to prove helpful for those who are caught up in a downpour suddenly.
Lampbrella not only has a rain sensor but also is fitted with a 360 degree motion sensor on the fibreglass street lamp. This detects whether Lampbrella is being used to hide from the rain or for any other purpose. For three minutes, the canopy closes down if not used. As an inspiration, the designer said, “Once, I was driving on a central Saint Petersburg street – Nevsky Prospect – and saw the street lamps illuminating people trying to hide from the rain. I thought it would be appropriate to have a canopy built into a streetlamp.”
The sidewalk umbrella will be programmed to move at a low speed so that there is no safety risk. Also it would be grounded so that it protects you from any possible lightning strike. It will be installed at 2m (6ft 5in) off the ground and will be of a diameter 2.2m (7ft 2in). At present, Lampbrellas are a just a concept. Belyaev insists that these will however be installed at places where there are no major trees or canopies to hide from the rain.