Shedding Light on Life in the Dark

In 2015, the United Nations celebrates the Year of Light, an “observance that aims to raise awareness of the achievements of light science…and its importance to humankind.”[2] Yet, as Pia Vogler writes, “Night time [in and of itself] is scarcely discussed when it comes to the analysis of life in a refugee camp.”

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Solar Suitcases to Light the World

Over 1.4 billion people – nearly 20% of the world’s population – are without access to electricity, while an additional 1 billion have access only to unreliable, intermittent electricity networks. The non-profit WE CARE Solar has created a portable off-grid solar electric system, the Solar Suitcase, which is providing dependable electricity to clinics, schools and emergency medical centres to help change this reality.

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Fresh Thinking Brings Solar-Powered Lighting to Indian Villages

TERI, India’s leading energy research institute, started the Lighting One Billion Lives initiative in 2007 to provide solar lanterns and charging stations (which also charge mobile phones) to villages in India that have no or little access to reliable electricity. The centralized stations power the lanterns during the day to make them ready for pickup by villages in the evening.

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Electricity from SPARKs creates light

Sudha Kheterpal, a percussionist from the United Kingdom-based band Faithless, has designed a device that she has dubbed the SPARK. This device, which doubles as a musical instrument, uses energy to power a rechargeable battery that can then be used to power electronics like lights and cellphones through a built-in USB port. After being played for only 12 minutes, it can power an electronic device for up to an hour.

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Soccket, Kicking Up Power and Rolling Out the Fun

Soccer, the world’s most popular sport, has now added innovative technology to its ball with a goal of reducing poverty in the developing world. A few Harvard female entrepreneurs invented Soccket in order to bring light to where there is no light. Soccket is “much more than a normal soccer ball, the Soccket is a portable generator that provides fun and power …

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Economically Accessible Solar Power

With rapidly increasing efficiency, revolutionary battery designs, and growing interest from key players (more on that here), solar power is poised to fulfill the hopes it has long promised. What is still lacking is an affordable way to bring solar technology to the world’s poorest and most isolated communities. Without access to clean technologies of reliable (and affordable) electricity, millions …

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The Moser Light: A Cheap, Eco-friendly Solution to Indoor Lighting

Sometimes the simplest innovations can have the widest impact. Although this idea isn’t as new as some of the others we highlight here, no collection of innovative ideas would be complete without mentioning Alfredo Moser’s brilliant solution to indoor lighting. Using only a clear plastic bottle, water, and a tiny bit of bleach, Moser’s invention refracts sunlight through holes in …

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