In developed parts of the world, lighting is something we take for granted, but there are many who still live without this luxury. Aisa Mijeno, an engineering professor and Greenpeace volunteer recently came up with a simple design for a lamp, which is capable of running for eight hours on a single glass of salt water.
The invention is called The SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting) lamp and is aimed at providing reliable lighting to underdeveloped regions, many of which rely on kerosene to fuel their lamps. Not only do kerosene lamps pollute the air indoors, but the oil is also often hard and laborious to obtain. The lamp Mijeno created is also a great example of clean technology.
The SALt LED lamp uses a galvanic cell battery with an electrolyte solution made up solely of salty water. Two electrodes are then placed into this solution. As it is with other batteries, the electrodes won’t carry a charge forever. According to the creators, the lamp will last for six months when used for eight hours a day then the anode will need to be replaced. This is still a lot less work than servicing a kerosene lamp though. Apart from that, the lamp can also be used to charge smart phones via a USB port on the side of it.
As a start, the company developing the lamp is aiming to offer 600 lamps to native tribes in the Philippines as soon as possible. They are also striving to amp up production and plan to bring the lamp onto the market by early 2016. Pricing has not yet been revealed, but given the simplicity of the design, it should not be too steep. Since it is run on salt water, the SALt LED lamp is a great alternative to other portable lighting sources, and I’m sure it will be embraced by many looking to live more sustainably. It would make a great light source for camping trips and such.