By: Amanda Froelich,
Upon waking, you groggily flip on your bedside lamp. Perhaps shortly after a television is turned on to blare news in a dimly lit house, and seconds later, a bathroom switch is flicked on while one prepares for their day. This pictures conveys the ease of which light is utilized by many every day, yet for billions around the world, illumination is still a rare luxury.
Not just limited to recreational campers, Luci’s reach could aid natural disaster victims or light up remote regions in Africa, for example. Because it is estimated that 1.3 billion people lack access to electricity today (and 1.5 billion have irregular access), Luci has the potential to transform the lives of many.
The first product to be developed at MPowerD, the little lantern is constructed primarily of see-through plastic and weighs about 4 ounces. With 10 tiny LED lights, the company says it can shine about 15 square feet of light; and on a full 8-hour solar charge, the light can last between 6 and 12 hours. The time can vary as there are two brightness modes as well as a flashing setting.
Piverger estimates the lantern may have a huge environmental impact. Because most people who live off the grid use kerosene or wood for light, they are expending valuable environmental resources and spending about $15-20 per month to fuel their lamps.
“As long as we can provide a product within that, they’re saving a hundred dollars the first year. And for people who make $2-3 a day, that’s significant,” Jacques-Phillipe said. As a social entrepreneur who has helped Haiti rebuild and previous chairman of the non-profit Soleil Global, he’s invested in creating renewable models that will have beneficial impact.
MpowerD’s vision is to eradicate energy poverty with high-tech, low cost solar powered lamps. It seems Luci definitely has the potential to ensure this mission; perhaps the masses will also eventually shift to such sustainable means of illumination as time progresses.
A video exploring more of Luci and Jacques-Phillipe’s invention can be found here.