The Lightie is a system that uses an empty bottle and a solar filament to provide cheap light in the places that need it most.
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Even though the lightbulb was invented in the 19th century, a combination of poverty and lack of electricity infrastructure means that two billion people still live in complete darkness when night falls. Many rely on non-renewable and dangerous paraffin fuel to light their communities, which is why we’ve seen a number of initiatives that hope to bring sustainable and safer options to developing nations, even including lamps powered by gravity. Our latest spotting is The Lightie, a system that uses an empty bottle and a solar filament to provide cheap light in the places that need it most.
Created by South African designer and entrepreneur Michael Suttner, the engine of the device is a robust acrylic test tube-like container that houses a flexible solar panel, a lithium battery and a 300-lumen LED. The kit can be attached to any bottle top and then simply screwed into an empty or water-filled soda bottle. When exposed to eight hours of sunlight, users can enjoy up to 40 hours of low-level lighting, although the light itself has three intensity settings and can offer up to 12 times the illumination of a paraffin lamp. The Africa-tough device costs under USD 10 to make and the battery will last for around five years.
Both cost-effective and sustainable, The Lightie is a simple solution that makes use of existing waste products that can be found in even the most impoverished communities. Are there other ways to help people living without nighttime light?