More than 2.1 billion people live without access to electricity. Another billion live with unreliable access to power. The vast majority of these people use kerosene to light their homes and businesses, but this light source produces a poor quality, smoke-filled illumination and has the potential to cause fires, burns and lung disease. Kerosene lamps produce more greenhouse gasses per unit of illumination than any other common light source. According to a 2005 "Science" magazine article, 190 million metric tones of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere annually. And, kerosene is expensive. The cost of kerosene lighting costs more per unit than what is paid in the developed world.
Mr. Barrie plans to bring 21st century Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights to people who are currently using 19th century fuel-based lighting. He plans to do this by developing a universal LED circuit board that will accept a variety of power supplies including photovoltaic panels and battery power or recycled charger power in Guatemala and Nicaragua. A universal circuit board will greatly reduce the costs of LED lighting to the point of being less expensive than kerosene lights. A single watt of LED light provides more illumination than a kerosene lamp. It is better for reading, and solar LED lights are more reliable, lasting approximately 100,000 hours, or 68 years at 4 hours per night. In addition, Mr. Barrie plans to provide data on the costs and benefits of moving from a fuel-based lighting system to high efficiency LED lighting in rural areas. He believes that providing LED lighting will improve the quality of life, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and remove a major cause of burns and lung disease for a large number of people in rural areas of developing nations while reducing energy consumption.
3rd Generation Circuit Board