Rockstar

Cheap Lighting for Off-Grid African Villages

By: Katie Cordrey - Published: Nov 15, 2009 • References: popsci and spectrum.ieee.org
Danish researcher Frederik Krebs has created an LED lamp that may bring cheap lighting to millions who now rely on kerosene lanterns as their primary source of evening light. The lamp combines photovoltaic cells printed on sheets with LEDs and ultra-thin lithium batteries and will cost about $7 to produce.

The lamps are left rolled out flat during the day for charging and rolled and button snapped into a cone-shaped light-emitting cone at night.

Prototype tests are being conducted in Zambia. Improvements to the design are an expected outcome: The current lamp design is only 1% efficient and is projected to last about a year.