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Cheap LEDs to Light Up Africa and Beyond
Posted By Mahesh Basantani On March 12, 2008 @ 1:36 pm In global development,social responsibility | 3 Comments
We love our LEDs for lamps  and Christmas lights , but there’s a global application for LEDs that could bring inexpensive and efficient light to the 75% of Africa that lacks dependable access to clean, safe electrical lighting. (In Sub-Saharan Africa over 500 million people presently lack modern energy , and rural electricity access rates is only 2%.) A $13 million World Bank Group Initiative called Lighting Africa  was launched  in September 2007 to develop and distribute a highly efficient and rugged LED light bulb for the electricity-deprived in Africa.
The researchers at the California Lighting Technology Center at the University of California, Davis, are working towards increasing the lumens per watt from LEDs to increase efficiency. In order to exploit LEDs in best possible way for African conditions they would be integrated with best optics, rechargeable batteries and charging systems, and housed in a casing that could last years.
Lighting Africa  is also aiming to bring down the cost of developing LEDs; it would award 20 grants of up to $200,000 to companies and institutions. The whole endeavor would serve several goods at once: provide affordable light to the people in Africa, try to mitigate the problems associated with disposal of mercury in CFLs, reduce the use of kerosene, which, in turn, would reduce pollution; and give social justice as Evan Mills says, “The number of people without adequate light is greater than the entire world population when Edison invented the light bulb.”
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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/cheap-leds-to-light-up-africa-and-beyond/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/03/12/cheap-leds-to-light-up-africa-and-beyond/
 for lamps: http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/06/07/sleek-new-led-desk-lamp-z-bar-by-koncept/
 Christmas lights: http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/11/24/go-green-this-holiday-season-with-led-christmas-lights/
 500 million people presently lack modern energy: http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/earth/4248193.html?series=15
 Lighting Africa: http://lightingafrica.org/
 launched: http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/09/05/america/NA-GEN-US-Lighting-Africa.php
 + Lighting Africa: http://lightingafrica.org/
 Via Popular Mechanics: http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/earth/4248193.html?page=1
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