Portable Light

July 14, 2009
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Energy-harvesting textile

Portable Light is an interdisciplinary design and engineering project initiated by KVA MATx to provide decentralized, sustainable lighting and electrical power to more than two billion people. Based on a marriage of low-cost LEDs and flexible textiles, Portable Light is a fully autonomous, off-the-grid light “engine” that provides durable, energy-efficient illumination to foster household economic self-sufficiency, community-based education, and healthcare.

A Portable Light uses 2 watts of power and produces 100 lumens of white light, which is enough for reading or performing local tasks. Units may be grouped together to produce 800 lumens, and charging efficiency is maximized with digital electronics and distributed intelligence. Unlike crystalline silicone (glass)-based PV systems, Portable Light is lightweight and flexible, with no breakable parts. These qualities reduce costs associated with transportation, implementation, and maintenance.

Developed in partnership with indigenous communities in South America, the flexible textile form of Portable Light creates opportunities for use with everyday artifacts and fosters greater levels of acceptance of between different cultures and technologies.

Contact: KVA MATx, Boston, MA, USA.

For more information, see Transmaterial 2: A Catalog of Materials That Redefine our Physical Environment

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