The Lightie: shining light on a real world problem

By Lorrin Windahl.

To many people, light is a luxury that is often taken for granted. We simply turn on a light switch and hey, presto, there is light. But this is not the case for the masses of people who lack access to an electricity grid. Instead, for them, light still comes with the strike of a match and the very real danger of fire. Generally the result of poverty and lack of infrastructure, for these people electricity is still a long way off. But, there is light at the end of this tunnel (sorry, couldn’t help myself!) thanks to creative thinkers such as Michael Suttner.

Michael Suttner with his design, The Lightie.

Michael Suttner with his design, The Lightie.

A self-confessed inventor, Suttner has come up with The Lightie. At less than $10, the light bulb, which looks very similar to a test tube, is assembled into a standard size soft drink bottle. With the use of flexible solar panel technology, together with a lithium-ion battery, the light can be charged using the sun’s rays. A day in the sun, even in cloudy and rainy conditions, can power the light for up to 40 hours.

The Lightie is assembled into the neck of a standard size soft drink bottle. Image courtesy of thelightie.com.

The Lightie is assembled into the neck of a soft drink bottle. Image courtesy of http://www.thelightie.com.

The design has already won a myriad of awards and aims to replace the many paraffin lanterns still in use around the world. To learn more about the project head to The Lightie website.

An 8 hour solar charge can provide up to 40 hours of light.

An 8 hour solar charge can provide up to 40 hours of light. Image courtesy of http://www.thelightie.com

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