What is it?
In many areas of the world there is no lighting grid system so after dark, life comes to a halt as there is no reliable or safe lighting available. It is estimated that 500 million Africans and 1 billion Asians have no sustainable lighting. This means they rely on Kerosene lamps, a far from ideal solution as the gases they produce can have harmful effects, not to mention the cost of the oil needed and the low light given out by the candle. Philips have found a way to solve this issue with their solar powered LED lighting. The solar power provides a low cost, sustainable light source for these off grid areas.
above: An example of how the off grid lighting works
Why Solar Powered LED Lighting?
In areas such as Africa, which has a lot strong sunlight, Solar power is perfect. The sun charges the lamps during the day and when night falls the LED’s give off a powerful light. The advantage of the LED’s is that their lower power consumption means the can stay on for longer; As they consume less power, they use up less of the stored energy, meaning the energy can last longer. The LED’s long life span will also ensure a low maintenance cost for the lamp without the need for frequent bulb changes. The lamps do not require any mains electricity which means they have a low installation cost allowing them to be placed almost anywhere.
Applications of the Solar Powered LEDs
- Roads and junctions
- General areas flood lighting
- Sport activities and events
- Construction sites
Impact on the region
In equatorial regions they have roughly 12 hours of nightfall a day, and if life has to stop at nightfall due to lack of lighting it impacts quality of life heavily. Having lighting means businesses can work later, communities can come together in sport activities and communal areas which are safer due to the bright lighting. Lighting the roads at night means safer roads for drivers and pedestrians, also it creates inviting business opportunities. If businesses can travel easily in and out of major cities and town, it creates a welcoming environment for business bringing a better economy to the towns and cities. The project itself of installing these lights creates considerable job opportunities for locals to install and the maintenance of the lights.
Other uses of Solar Lighting
Philips have produced a range of Solar powered LED’s which include hand held lamps, home lighting systems and reading lights. These products when used in off grid areas give users a considerable increase in quality of life, as they can do more at home after dark, things we take for advantage such as reading a book before bed, or just sitting in a well lit room in the evening with your family.
So next time you flip on a light switch at night or drive down a well lit road, have a think about how you would cope without these everyday luxuries, and what a difference the solar powered LED lights are making to peoples lives across the world.