More than 1.4 billion people around the world have no access to electricity. When the sun goes down, darkness comes up. Almost all of these people live in Africa and India. Kerosene generators are one solution, but they pollute the environment and are often too expensive for the millions of people living poverty. Those who rely on it go deeper into poverty just trying to read and work.
One innovation making its way into these regions is the solar-powered light bulb. Many of the newest models are comprised of a small solar panel, rechargeable batteries and an LED bulb, which requires very little energy to work.
Evan Mills, a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory hopes that solar light bulbs do for light-poor communities what mobile phones has already done for communities lacking a wired infrastructure. Mill thinks that solar light could leapfrog wealthy countries in acquiring advanced wireless LEDs and become ubiquitous. Beyond improving the environment, Mills said, "it will be a boon to literacy, safety for women and productivity of businesses who today are stuck with flame-based light."
Here is just a sampling of designs bringing solar-powered light to dark corners of the world.