Thanks to the invention of light bulbs, we are able to stay productive long after sunset. However, not everyone is blessed with the amenity of artificial light. According to the United Nations Development Program, 1.5 to 2 billion people around the world do not have access to electric lighting. Instead they are forced to use kerosene lamps or wood fires, causing them to spend most or all of their income on oil and wood. Also, the constant use of these is unhealthy for the people around them, and they also emit environmentally harmful toxins into the atmosphere.
One source of light and energy that will never run out is the sun. The issue of artificial light in third world countries can be resolved if they were given solar-powered LED light bulbs. The light bulbs can charge during the day, soaking up the energy from the sun, and then run on that energy during the night. LED light bulbs are the correct bulbs to use in this situation because they consume the least amount of energy, thus are not required to collect large amounts of energy in order to run for long periods of time. Several light bulbs companies are in the process of producing such light bulbs and figuring out ways to distribute them to these countries.
According to cnn.com, one particular company, Nuru Energy, has created a mechanism that uses human power in order to charge several LED light bulbs. The device, the POWERcycle, requires humans to pedal to generate electricity in order to illuminate light bulbs, operate cooking devices, and charging mobile phones. This product could also potentially create jobs. Someone may be hired to do the pedaling for a certain amount of time. The creator, Sameer Hajee, comments on the POWERcycle: “…in 20 minutes of pedaling, they’re recharging five lights, earning about $1 – any of us that work in Africa know that that’s much more than people make in an entire day. So it’s a huge value proposition for the customer and for the entrepreneur.”