Eco-ravers rejoice! You can bring some spinning LED action into your backyard with the Firewinder, a rather remarkable little invention which turns kinetic energy into a spiral of moving light.

I had the chance a few weeks ago to meet the exuberant CEO of Firewinder, Tom Lawton. Tom grew up in England's windy West Country, and as a boy he dreamed of being able to "see" the wind that he heard every night as he went to bed.

Eight years ago Lawton embarked on a project to create a vertical axis micro wind turbine that could be applied at a consumer scale. After seven years and many failed attempts, he achieved success by bringing on some great engineering minds:

... development involved the expertise of numerous world-class professionals, including a professor of Aerodynamics from Bristol University, a specialist electronic system design consultant and a leading consultant in environmental management & sustainable product design. Aeon Ventures provided funding and extensive support which proved invaluable while the initial concept was transformed into a market-ready commercial product.

Attendees of the Green Dot Awards got a chance to play with the device, and the thing really is mesmerizing. The Firewinder received the Green Dot award in the consumer products category, and they can be ordered online at the Firewinder website for about $250.

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