Light has come to the darkest areas of the globe with bulbs powered by the sun. In June of 2010, Nokero International Ltd. announced the Nokero N100: the world's only solar powered light bulb, designed to bring light to areas farthest from the power grid.
According to founder Stephen Katsaros, the Nokero bulb is different from other solar projects in that it is both affordable enough and durable enough to be the best existing solar alternative to the 1.6 billion fossil fuel lanterns that are in use worldwide. The bulbs are aimed at the impoverished and rural areas of countries such as India and Africa, where many people do not have access to dependable electricity and rely on lanterns for night time lighting.
In addition to general daily use, the Nokero solar light bulb is also intended to be useful in disaster areas that have lost power. On a "lighter" note, users will find the bulbs suitable for camping or marine trips and for illuminating patios. A Nokero solar light bulb is not as bright as an incandescent bulb, but it is brighter and steadier than a kerosene lantern, and it is in no way dangerous. It is more than bright enough to study, cook, and perform household tasks by, as well as providing the measure of safety and security that any light gives.
When left in the sun all day, the battery of the Nokero N100 charges enough for two hours of light (even more when exposed to stronger, equatorial sunlight), and when fully charged, the Nokero solar light bulb will shine for four hours. The bulb consists of an extremely durable, impact resistant and rainproof plastic casing, four solar panels, and five light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The replaceable nickel-metal hydride battery has a life of about two years, and any typical LED can operate for thousands of hours. As a whole, one unit is designed to last around ten years.
The bulb was originally intended to replace kerosene usage; not only does the Nokero solar light bulb cost less than expensive kerosene, it is free of fumes and therefore healthier. An estimated 190 million tons of carbon dioxide are released yearly through the use of fuel-powered lanterns, which is equal to the emissions of 30 million cars; since the Nokero bulb emits nothing but light, it is also kind to the environment. If a single user switches from fossil fuel to Nokero bulbs, 550 pounds of carbon dioxide a year will never enter the atmosphere.
The next generation of Nokera bulbs is the N200, released to the market only months after the N100. This latest bulb is 60 percent brighter, is just as durable, and has triple the lifespan of its predecessor. The shape has changed slightly, with a dome-shaped, tilting base that holds a single solar panel beneath; when hung, it tilts upwards to charge, then tilts downwards when used for lighting. The N200 bulb has four LEDs, and the brightness is now adjustable; the lowest setting gives a user up to six hours of light--four more than the N100.
When purchased in bulk, the N100 Nokero solar light bulb costs as little as $6. When bought separately, the N100 costs $15, while the N200 is $20. In comparison to the price of kerosene, a Nokero bulb will pay for itself in months, and it also saves a user legwork in locating fuel, as kerosene is frequently scarce.
Taking advantage of the quick and constant leaps of technology, Nokero continues to improve their bulbs. Life will no longer halt when evening comes, as Nokero strives to eliminate the darkness with a light borrowed directly from the world's most potent source of illumination: the sun.