Bricks are about as basic as architectural materials can get, yet these simple building blocks have hidden powers that can be leveraged to provide electricity, according to a new study. From a report: Scientists modified a common red brick — the same kind you’ll find on sale for under a dollar at your local hardware store — so that it could power a green LED light. This proof-of-concept for a “smart brick” reveals that brick technology, which dates back thousands of years, can be tweaked to have futuristic applications, including electrical conductivity and sensing capabilities. The results were published on Tuesday in Nature Communications. “We have created a new brick that can be incorporated into your house that has the functionality of storing electrical energy,” said study co-author Julio D’Arcy, assistant professor of chemistry at Washington University in St. Louis, in a call. “We are thinking that sensing applications is a low-hanging fruit for these bricks,” he added.