Africa Gathering is just around the corner, the latest in this series of events.
At the last minute I was pointed towards http://www.illuminationhq.com/, a company that is making and selling a small solar powered LED based lamp. Designed to be cheap, the aim is to get the lamp into areas like Africa, India, Pakistan etc, places where most lighting is still based on the burning fuel.
The lamp is bright enough to light a room, two lamps and you can consider the average room in Tanzania to be fully lit. Each lamp is sold for around $8 and the batteries are good for around 500 charges which should last about a year and a half or so. The replacement batteries are a couple of dollars.
The costs for the kerosene would be $2 – $3 per week, so you can see how these lamps will quickly pay for themselves and also allow people to save a significant amount of money over the lifetime of the initial lamp purchase.
The initial lamp is continually being worked on, improvements to the design to increase the light output are already planned and the company plan to further increase their product range, to sell accessories for the lamps (mounts etc.) as well as investigate the solar technology in chargers for mobile devices, radios etc.
The background for the company is also interesting, they work with NGO’s to get the lamps into countries but they themselves are not a non-profit but operate as a for-profit company. They feel that running in this way actually improves efficiencies.
Someone from Illumination can’t be at Africa Gathering this time, but I have one of the lamps and some presentation material and will be able to show it on the day. Also when the next geekyoto event comes around there is a good chance that someone will be there. The chances are though before that you will hear much more about this small lamp and a small company who have the single goal of
the elimination of kerosene as a domestic fuel source in the developing world.