Clean Power

Published on October 21st, 2013 | by Important Media Cross-Post


An Affordable, Compact Solar Light Bulb

October 21st, 2013 by  

Originally published on Ecopreneurist.
By Derek Markham

N180 solar light bulbFor the millions of people living in energy poverty around the world, lighting their homes or businesses after dark is a tricky proposition. Many times, the only way they can have access to light is through burning dirty fuels, such as kerosene, which is not only unhealthy when burned indoors, but can also be dangerous and expensive.

“I’ve met people in Africa and Asia who walk for miles to spend a month’s income on kerosene fuel for light. Prices fluctuate wildly, and are often controlled by cabal, so people don’t know what the kerosene will cost. They also know it’s dangerous and even deadly to burn this dirty fuel in their house, but they don’t think they have another option.” – Nokero CEO Steve Katsaros

The latest product from Nokero could be a potentially life-changing addition to their lives, as it provides a clean and renewable source of light for years and years. The N180-Start light is said to be the world’s most affordable solar light bulb, designed for those who earn less than $5 per day.

The company, whose name is derived from “no kerosene”, has been producing solar light bulbs since 2010, but their newest offering is kind of a big deal, as it retails for just $6. Even at poverty wages, this low price means that it can end up paying for itself in as little as a few weeks.

The Nokero N180-Start solar light bulb has a single LED bulb that puts out 5 lumens, and runs for about 4 hours on its 400 mAh NiMH battery. It’s designed to be portable, durable, and rain proof, and can simply be hung outside in direct sunlight to charge. The N180-Start also features an automatic switching mechanism to turn the light off when exposed to bright light, which can help to conserve the charge for when it’s really needed.

Nokero also just released a more versatile and brighter solar light bulb that also integrates a larger battery (1400 mAh), which can be used to charge cell phones or other devices via a USB port. The N222 retails for about $45.

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  • cmu

    Just once, once, I’d love to read a post here which has any pretension to actual journalism. Let’s see:

    1- 5 lumens…does the average person relate to that? No. A 15w incadescent bulb puts out 150+ lumens. This light is less than a keychain light. In other words, of no practical use. I think that’s a typo, though.

    2- How is this different from the many ‘garden lights’ available freely & cheaply (less than $6 in the US!), other than different packaging? All have this magical device called a light sensor, which “turn the light off when exposed to bright light, which “turns off the light when exposed to bright (sic) light”. Some have 3 LEDs.

    3- 4 hours: again, marginal.

    4- What’s the life cycle of the batteries? Typically, you have to change them once a year, which is no big deal for use, but may be so for poor isolated villagers.

    This is underwhelming.

  • Matt

    For a light the better approach was the weight based light (shown here months ago). No battery to worry about no moving it into the sun to charge. No temp/humidity worries. As for use in camping, just put a few rocks or sand in the bag once you get there.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Last I heard the gravity light was still in development. If they have a final version that they are going to manufacture it’s only happened in the last couple of weeks.

  • anderlan

    Foremost in my mind is the litetime and durability of the cells. How many cycles, how often, at what temp and humidity range.

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