Imagine a life where your day is done when the sun goes down. No evening basketball games. No late-night shopping trips. No vital tasks such as hospital visits. For the some 1.6 billion people worldwide with no access to electricity, this is their reality.
I, Dr. Bulb, was fascinated by Philips’ initiative to install 100 Philips Community Light Centers across rural Africa by 2015 as part of their “Philips Cape Town to Cairo Roadshow.” A light center is about 1,000 m² (3280 ft²), the size of a small soccer field, lit with new solar-powered LED lighting atop 8-meter-high poles fixed in concrete. In the past year, Philips installed about 40 light centers to extend the day in Egypt, Morocco, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. Illuminate!
The program is a vehicle for the company to raise awareness of how healthcare and lighting solutions can improve life in Africa. The installation of community light centers enables social and economic development life for rural communities. With a safe well-lit space, residents are able to host healthcare clinics, education and evening classes, sporting events, social events and commercial activities. I’d love to compete in a soccer game with this type of sports lighting!
Because LED lighting is super energy efficient, the community light centers are able to run on solar energy with batteries that only need to be replaced every 4-5 years. No electricity is needed! Even better, locals can make money by renting out the space for commercial uses.
I, Dr. Bulb, love how companies like Philips are using LED technology to improve quality of life! Hopefully LED applications like LED wallpacks or LED bollards are the solution to continue illuminating rural areas across the world. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @doctorbulb and subscribe to my blog.