Germany's Bright Idea

ILLUSTRATION FOR TIME BY BROWN BIRD DESIGN

Every night at 11 p.m., the village of Dörentrup in central Germany is thrown into total darkness. Strapped for cash for the past few years, the local council has taken to switching off all the streetlights. But while the scheme saves money, it left residents like Dieter Grote and his wife worrying about their children coming home in the dark. "My wife has all the good ideas," says Grote, who runs an advertising agency. "I discussed the problem with her and we thought it must be possible to have the lights available on demand." Grote got in touch with the local...

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