Addressing a string of deadly kerosene lamp accidents in slums that have killed hundreds of people and left even more homeless, designer Alain Gilles created a safer alternative called the Nomad solar lamp that will be presented at Milan Design Week 2012. Featuring 12 energy-efficient LED lights, a 5-watt solar panel, and two lithium-ion batteries, the plastic lamp has a silicon crown and is designed specifically for people who do not have access to the national grid for electricity. It can be hung up, stood alone, or carried by a handle when on the go, and it was designed to be durable enough to withstand accidental abuse.

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Commissioned by O’Sun to design the Nomad Lamp, the Belgian designer will showcase his work as part of Belgium is Design at the upcoming Triennalle di Milano. Perfect for people on the go, the lamp can stay illuminated for up to six hours on a single charge, which is especially useful for people who typically are unable to do any kind of activities after dark because of an absence of electricity. It is very simple to use, but one must wonder whether it will be affordable in the areas for which it is destined (unless they are donated by an NGO or something similar). Gilles expects to have the lamps manufactured either in China or in South Africa, depending on where the market is stronger.

The Nomad lamp also has application in countries that do have access to electricity. Used for camping trips or as an outdoor lamp, it can be charged using a standard adaptor or a cigarette lighter socket, and even comes with an additional attachment that charges mobile phones. Both aesthetic pleasing and functional, this awesome design is more expensive than the plastic solar bulbs we featured last week and that are changing thousands of lives, but they are definitely worth writing home about!

+ Alain Gilles

images courtesy of Belgium is Design