Solar light bulb to shine on developing world (CNET)

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Drew Wilson, Jun 13, 2010.

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  1. Drew Wilson

    Drew Wilson AKA IceCube Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Here's a bright idea for the planet. A Hong Kong-based company has introduced what it bills as the world's only solar-powered light bulb with the hope of reaching millions of people with little or no access to electricity.

    The Nokero N100 solar LED light bulb is meant to replace kerosene lamps as a lighting source in the developing world. The company says 1.6 billion people still lack sufficient access to electricity, and many burn fossil fuels for light, which can be dangerous and expensive.

    The N100 solar bulb is about the size of a standard incandescent bulb and has four small solar panels in its rainproof plastic housing. Five LEDs and a replaceable NiMH battery inside provide up to four hours of light when the device is fully charged. People hang it outside during the day and then turn it on at night.

    Weather, seasons, and latitude can affect charging times. Nokero asserts that one day of charging in the sun can provide about two hours of light, though charging near the equator can provide more. So on a cloudy winter day in northern latitudes, the bulb would probably not be able to replace a kerosene lamp, but on a clear summer day near the equator it would.

    More...

    As silly as a solar powered light bulb sounds at first, I approve of the concept! :smile:
  2. Boomer The Dog

    Boomer The Dog Anthropomorphic

    LED Zeppelin

    That sounds like maybe a more powerful version of all up and down my street along sidewalks. There are solar spotlights too, with a panel that's about the size of a DVD, square.

    I wonder how bright one of those bulbs would be, if you could read by it without hurting your eyes. In some areas, not around here unfortunately, they have solar LED street lighting. I'd really like to see one of those up close.

    I'm really in favor of LED lighting, and so far I have a LED hall light that's 3.5 watts and nice and bright, more lumens/watt than the best CFL twisted bulbs can do, though it's 'daylight' white so more on the 'cool' side.

    One thing is for sure, though the LED is efficient, engineers, scientists have only started to tap the potential luminous efficacy of the technology.

    I'm not a fan of CFL, most of my lights are still incandescent, and yes I have a closet full of them in case of a ban.. ;) I hope they make the leap to cheaper LED faster, and with better power factor.
  3. Aaron_Walkhouse

    Aaron_Walkhouse The Legendary Axeman Established Member

    I have a 3-watt LED in my Mag-Lite 3D. It's pretty amazing how powerful it is
    and the batteries seem to last as long as the expected shelf-life.

    I'm thinking of getting another one to use as a headlight for my mountain bike.
    Even without a reflector it's bright enough.
  4. Mels_Smileys45

    Mels_Smileys45 JabberZombie Established Member

    LED lights have came a long way in recent years. Its really amazing what they are doing with these things. I too have a Flashlight with 4 small LED's and runs on four AAA batteries. Batteries last a very long time and its powerful, pure white light.

    I did not think about having my home lit by low wattage LED's!!! I will certainly check into that. Florescent bulbs have saved my lots of money. I switched to all 15 watt Florescent bulbs and its bright and very cheap to operate...LED's would be an excellent boost.
  5. Boomer The Dog

    Boomer The Dog Anthropomorphic

    The problem with LED home lighting right now is to get lots of lumens of quality light, you have to pay a lot. That's because of the high power LEDs themselves, and the support components, like the power supply, which sometimes includes a small fan! Since LEDs use 'chip' technology like in your computer, they need to be kept cool.

    The 'cheap' 3.5 watt one I got uses a different method, it uses dozens of regular white LEDs like a flashlight has, instead of just a few high power chips, and it seems like it's only a little less bright than the 25 watt bulb it replaced in my hall light.

    You should find several models of LED bulbs if you go to a Walm Super, but I'll bet you haven't been in the lighting aisle for a while since you use fluorescent bulbs.

    Another thing for you indoor farmers, high power LED sticks are also as grow lights for your, tomatoes. Look it up!
  6. Atheist Icon

    Atheist Icon Member Established Member

    LED's have come a long way. I am happy that I am starting to see them on the shelves now.

    I was at HEB Plus!(same as Super Walmart without the hobos) saw them for 45.98 a piece. I was looking for ones that I could replace my fluorescents with. Unfortunately, for a 3-6 watts savings, I couldn't justify the price. I was looking to replace the lights in my 7 ceiling fans at 4 lights a piece. A little over 1300 dollars with tax. I could get 216 fluorescent for that price. Just for my ceiling fans alone.

    Until the price comes down its not worth it. At least for home type applications.

    I do have them in my Mag lites, flipping amazing results will not lie.
  7. Boomer The Dog

    Boomer The Dog Anthropomorphic

    Want a whole lotta light, weeeow.. by L.E.D. Zep

    I lived in McAllen-Brownsville area for a short time, and HEB there was just grocery stores, I never knew they had Plus stores. I sort of lived between HEB on one side and Whattaburger and Sonic.. :)

    Walm has $45 LED bulbs too, I think they are 10 watts, and with the efficiency of LED, that must be a whole lotta light.

    The key thing here is that over the bulb's long lifetime, even though you pay that much up front, you will save more on the electricity costs and bulb replacement costs.

    It's the way we think though, people tend to look for the immediate cheapness of something rather than the bigger benefit later. Heck, I lust for one of those 10 watt bulbs right now, and I still think it's better to wait for more efficiency and lower costs!

    H. E. Boomer
  8. Atheist Icon

    Atheist Icon Member Established Member

    I look at the savings to me, all my fluorescents in my house are 13 watts each, I would save enough power in 6 hour average to run my computer for about 2 hours.

    40(give or take) bulbs x 3 watts(savings from going to an LED) = 120 watts.

    6 hrs x 120 = 720watts.

    My comp sucks down about 400 watts an hour.

    To me, the savings are not there. Not only that, but I could replace all the lights in my house 4 or 5 times for the same price of replacing them with LEDs once. I could, in theory, go almost 20 yrs with replacing fluorescents for the same price of replacing them once every 10 yrs with LEDs.

    The great thing about the HEB Plus was that they had a pair of Fluorescents for 2 buck with a 4 dollar off coupon...I stocked up like crazy.
  9. thepuzzler

    thepuzzler parp

    If all the traffic lights in the UK were replaced with LEDs we could effectively shut down a power grid.
  10. Boomer The Dog

    Boomer The Dog Anthropomorphic

    $1 curly bulbs, I've seen sales like that, to get people in the store I think. People will line up outside of stores with a deal like that, like it's the next iTrash.. :)

    I'm sure that LED lights are going to be that cheap soon enough, since it's a chip, its development is like other stuff with chips in it, cheaper and cheaper.

    Traffic lights, do you mean the signal lights? Here the signal lights are switching to LED fast, and I think that all of them in my town are changed over by now. One problem with them is that they don't generate enough heat to melt snow out of their faces, so you might have trouble seeing the signal after a big snow fall.

    Right now LED solar charge street lighting is still for more remote areas, anywhere that would be hard or expensive to run power to, not as much main streets.

    I believe that the sodium vapor bulb (pink-orange light) is still the highest efficiency light out there, even more than LED yet. The color fidelity (CRI) is bad, but it saves a lot of power over any white lighting.

    Yes at one time I wanted to get into commercial lighting.. :)
  11. thepuzzler

    thepuzzler parp

    Yep the very same.

    That's an interesting point about the lack of heat vs snow. I hadn't even considered that.

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