Most of you reading this story likely take the light that you are provided with during hours of darkness for granted. Electricity is cheap, readily available and part of our everyday lives, but did you know that 1 in every 7 individuals on this planet lack readily available electricity? For lighting, these individuals typically resort to using kerosene or candles, just like our ancestors did some 130 years ago. The use of these toxic and very dangerous alternatives to electricity causes a staggering one million estimated deaths each year from fire and health issues.
Not only is the lack of electric light dangerous, but it also holds back an estimated 1.5 billion people from reaching their full potential, as learning, working and functioning at one’s full ability is diminished.
In comes SULI, an invention by Santiago, Chile-based Ximena Munoz. SULI is a solar powered, multi-purpose light which aims to provide safe, affordable and versatile lighting options for those living in third world countries and just about everywhere else. Munoz has launched an Indiegogo campaign seeking to raise $20,000 to begin mass production of the lighting modules.
What makes SULI so incredible is the sheer number of uses it can serve, thanks in large part to 3D printing technology. SULI is not only able to screw onto virtually any bottle to transform it into a lamp, but the design, which is totally open source, is perfect for users to create and 3D print their own modules. Want to hang SULI on a window? How about use it as a backpack light? What about clamping SULI onto your bike’s handlebars so that you can be seen at night? All these applications are possible and much more because of the light’s modular design.
The company has designed and is printing out several useful attachments for the light, but also wants the open source community to share in the excitement by designing and printing new modules for even more incredible applications.
SULI is extremely efficient, utilizing three batteries to power a 25 lumen, high brilliance LED which can last up to 50 hours per charge. The typical charge time is between 6-12 hours depending on the amount of sunlight available, meaning that every day it can be charged in order to light up the night.
The team behind SULI is interested in more than just profiting off of an invention of their’s. In fact, they are seeking to transform the lives of as many people in third world countries as possible, starting first with the town of Boutin, Haiti. In Boutin, approximately 3,500 people live without access to water or light, including 5 schools with over 800 students. SULI has teamed with a Chile-based charity called America Solidaria to hopefully change all of this. While America Solidaria will be constructing 4 wells in the city that anyone can use, SULI will be providing the lighting for the construction of the wells. Additionally, if their project is funded enough, they would like to at least bring their solar lighting solution to the schools in Boutin, with a loftier goal of providing them for every household in the city.
If you would like to help out, you may do so by backing their Indiegogo campaign. For a pledge of just $85, you will receive your very own SULI, while also donating a SULI to the Boutin, Haiti community. Additional rewards are also available at the company’s Indiegogo page.
Let us know if you have backed this project and what your thoughts are on this innovative approach to lighting up The Third World. Discuss in the SULI forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the company’s Indiegogo pitch video below: