Solar-powered lightbulb tips up

The inventors of a solar-powered light bulb are targeting the developing world with the invention, claiming that as well as being safer and cleaner than the usual kerosene-powered lamps it can also reduce the amount of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere up to 250kg (550 pounds) per bulb, per year, which is good news for the rest of us.

"We’ve done everything we can to make this solar bulb affordable and long-lasting so the people who need it can afford it, and reap the benefits, ” said Nokero’s inventor and founder Stephen Katsaros of Nokero International Ltd.

The rain-proof bulb is about the size of a standard incandescent bulb and can be charged during the day to provide hours of clean, safe light at night. It’s also designed with a replaceable, rechargeable battery so it can be renewed to operate for several years.

“There are so many ways this product can change lives: It can help keep families and shopkeepers safe, help students study at night, eradicate indoor pollution, and reduce worldwide carbon emissions," said Katsaros.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) estimates that those using fuel lamps spend five per cent of their income on fuel. The solar-powered bulb is an affordable which can pay for itself within months when replacing a kerosene lantern because of kerosene’s high cost, the manufacturer claims.

The bulb is cordless and bulb provides about four hours of light when fully charged, but takes about two days to charge in full sunlight, meaning it's good for about two hours of light per night, assuming it doesn't rain. The average use of a kerosene lantern is 1.5 hours according to a study (pdf) for the United Nations.

The UNFCC estimates that 190 million tons of carbon dioxide are released by fuel lanterns each year, the equivalent of 30 million cars. Since the Nokero bulb is solar-powered and does not emit carbon dioxide. Users can expect to save up to 250kg (550lbs) of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere in one year when they use the solar-powered bulb versus burning kerosene, Nokero reckons.

It also reduces the dangers associated with fuel lanterns such as increased indoor air pollution and fire risk.

"There’s no other product like this on the market,” Katsaros said. "This bulb represents our best chance at eradicating an outdated, dangerous practice and replacing it with a safe, sustainable solution."

The device is made of impact-resistant plastic, four solar panels, and five bright LEDs. The replaceable, nickel metal hydride battery lasts up to two years, and is easily replaced. The solar panels and LEDs are rated for 50,000 hours of light,

The bulbs cost $15 each reduced to $10 when buying in bulk.