Currently in the world there are more than one billion people in the world that still use the traditional oil lamp. It is considered less effective, more expensive and more dangerous than other forms of cleaner illumination; such as the solar lamp that has been developed by start-up LEDsafari.
To overcome the numerous problems associated with the use of kerosene lamps by 1.6 billion people on the planet, LEDsafari have developed an ingenious system for a DIY lamp that is made from equipment that is currently available on site, like electrical wire, empty bottles and a mobile phone battery.
At the heart of this start-up is an educational workshop lasting three days, which is organized locally and led by globetrotters who are trained by the start-up. The idea is to educate and train the people who will benefit mostly by this product. More than 200 people in Tanzania, India and Kenya who have attended the workshop are already in receipt of the economic and health benefits of this resourceful system.
The use of kerosene poses many problems such as financial, health and environmental. Just the health problems that are associated with the use of kerosene lamps has been widely documented and studied and to change from the use of this dangerous material could have a massive effect on people’s lives and the environment. For instance, kerosene is extremely toxic when it is burned and daily use is equal to the inhalation of smoke from 40 cigarettes, according to a study by the University of Berkeley.
Govinda Upadhyay, PhD student in the Solar Energy and Building Physics Laboratory, had the bright idea to develop this simple but effective lamp. Because of the design of the lamp, it can be made by anyone; these lamps require hardly anything more than locally found equipment. Only the solar panels are ordered from abroad. There is no patent that would impede the widespread use of the system. The materials needed for making 100 lamps weighs only 1kg, that weight can easily to fit in a carry-on luggage. “Globetrotters who like to mix business with pleasure can attend a day of training with the start-up in Switzerland…They then go share this new knowledge with a village in a developing country for three days before going on vacation. It adds a humanitarian touch that fans of travelling off the beaten track appreciate.” Upadhyay said.
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