Crowdfunding Pick of the Week: Solar Lamp Provides Electricity to Developing Countries

by Linzy Novotny

A startup out of Oslo, Norway, Bright Products is seeking to change the way the world uses power. According to the company, 1.4 billion people live without electricity. Their first product—the Bell Solar Lamp—is being created to replace kerosene lamps in developing countries and to provide electricity to those without it. The company is seeking funding through Indiegogo for the first production of the lamp.

Nvate Crowdfunding Indiegogo Project Bell Solar Power Lamp by Bright Products

Known as the “Swiss army knife of solar lamps,” the lamp can be used as a reading, ceiling or portable light. Cell phones can be plugged into the lamp to be charged, and while the phones are charging, the lampshade acts as a sound amplifier for music and radio.

The Bell Solar Lamp is fully charged after receiving eight to 10 hours of sunlight, according to Indiegogo. The light can last anywhere from four to 50 hours, depending on the amount of light that is used. If the light setting is on low, the solar power will last 50 hours, eight hours on the medium setting and four hours on the high setting.

The solar lamp is an energy solution that is not only sustainable. There are several ways replacing kerosene lamps with the Bell Solar Lamp will make an impact. There will be a “reduction in toxic fumes given off by kerosene lamps,” according to the project’s Indiegogo page. “These fumes are equal to smoke given off by two packs of cigarettes a day and are fumes that are inhaled by women and small children while they are in their small huts.”

Carbon Dioxide emissions will be reduced by 200 to 250 kilograms a year with the solar lamp and the lamp is less of a fire hazard than a kerosene lamp, according to Indiegogo.

The lamps will not only provide an environmental impact, but also an economic one. “Through our partnership with CARE Norway, we aim to support hundreds of local women entrepreneurs with a ‘Solar Shop Startup Kit,’ making every donation support a sustainable, local way of building competence and distribution of solar energy,” the project’s Indiegogo page states.

Nvate Crowdfunding Indiegogo Project Bell Solar Power Lamp by Bright Products

When contributing $50, a solar lamp will be donated to women’s groups in Rwanda or Tanzania, Africa. For donating $100, contributors will receive a solar lamp of their own. The lamp is great for use outdoors and is perfect for hiking and camping. Production is slated to start in the spring or summer of 2013 and the lamps will ship as soon as they are packaged, according to Indiegogo. As of Oct. 10, $20,949 has been raised with a funding goal of $50,000. The project will be funded on Nov. 10, receiving the entire amount that is contributed, even if their goal is not reached.

To contribute, visit the Bell Solar Lamp Indiegogo page.

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