Approximately 1.6 to 2 billion people live off-grid. Most of them use kerosene as their main source of light. They spend time transporting it, and store it close to their homes. Kerosene is an expensive, ineffective and dangerous solution. Both the transport of kerosene and the burning of kerosene is harmful to the environment (daily use: 1 ton of CO2 per lamp per year). When solar driven lamp with LED and rechargeable batteries replaces kerosene, it helps reduce CO2 emissions locally and globally. The product is most likely to be manufactured in India for the Indian market, and in China for the rest of the global market. We want the product to be as short traveled as possible, but yet has a low price.
Good quality components and assembly means long lifetime. Bell is designed so that it can be repaired/maintained by the user (screws and twist lock solutions instead of permanent snaps and glue.) The expansion of cell phones has exploded. Charging is a problem. Bell is the solution.
Bell will give off grid people a possibility to play, study and work after dark. A lot of children have to work during day, and there for study at night. Being able to study up to 10 hours in good light, will increase the average knowledge in the off grid population. A lot of women and children are breathing toxic fumes from oil lamps. This represents a huge health hazard. The solar-driven Bell is clean. Bell can help reduce fires started with kerosene lamps. It can also bring a higher degree of safety for people moving around in the dark, against wild animals, insects or people. Our aim is for Bell to cost around 35$. Kerosene is an expensive and ineffective solution. 1 kerosene lamp costs a family an average US$1 per week. Free is the sun and you only change batteries every three years. With Bell the income of a family can increase up to 30% in addition to what they save not buying kerosene. Cell phone charging opens up the doors of global communication to the off-grid’ers.
Most existing products have limited functions: for desk work, for traveling or for social lighting. With Bell we combine all three in one. The transport container also works as the lampshade/light diffuser. The flexible and adjustable goose neck gives optimal working light for desk work. When the lamp head is inserted into the shade, the goose neck becomes a versatile loop/handle that allows it to hang anywhere. The lamp module itself can be used independently as a flashlight on the bike, the head or in the hand. We have attempted to give the lamp a simple, timeless, yet modern lantern-like appearance, not a typical “humanitarian aid aesthetics”. We think Bell can fit into most homes, from mud huts to modern interiors. By providing several colors, we can suit different tastes. The round shape of the solar panel and the container make a strong snap lid solution. Bell has a compact and easy to understand interface.