An innovative product currently seeking $50,000 in funding on the Indiegogo site has two missions in life.
First and foremost, the BELL solar lamp is positioned as a replacement for kerosene lamps in emerging economies such as Africa – helping reduce pollution and fire hazards.
But the technology can also act as a charger for a mobile phone, which means it could be appropriate for established markets as well – for example, for people to use in emergency situations or to take on recreational camping trips. The shade of the lamp also doubles as an amplifier, letting you create a portable radio.
The design is from BRIGHT products, a Norwegian company that is using an Indiegogo campaign to fund the investments needed for mass production. The company has tested 10 prototypes in rural villages in Kenya, Tanzania and Bangladesh – and in remote regions of Norway.
The lamp can be charged with 8 to 10 hours of "good sunlight" or using a wall adaptor or 12-volt car charger. A fully charged lamp will last 50 hours on the low light setting, 8 hours for medium or 4 hours for high.
More information can be found in video below:
A $150 donation will get you two lamps – one for your own use and one that will be donated to a pilot project for women entrepreneurs in Rwanda. There are also other donation levels.
The campaign is funding through Nov. 10, 2012. If it reaches its goal, the products will be available in spring 2013.