Solar-powered light bulbs = Hope?

We’ve checked it out.

Amid fretting about global warming and moving the Doomsday Clock one minute closer to midnight, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists offered some hope for the future:

… In Haiti, for example, a nonprofit group is distributing solar-powered light bulbs to the poor…

At $6 per Nokero bulb, a full day’s charging provides two hours of LED light. Here’s a video interview with the inventor.

The bulb looks like it may have limited possibilities for camping. But for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists to suggest that this is a serious effort to improve the standard of living for Haitians — or anyone else — is absurd.

6 thoughts on “Solar-powered light bulbs = Hope?”

  1. The version shown here is the “Nokero N100.” The solar panel is divided into 4 small panels. It is a liability because it takes longer to get a charge.

    Nokero has an updated version called “Nokero N200.” On a good charge it will last about 6hrs. The solar panel is NOT divided and this allow for a better charge. The bulb is also brighter.

    I have both versions and I use them daily. I have electricity, but why pay the electric company when I can use these, the power after cost is free.
    On rainy or cloudy days the batteries can be removed and charged with a battery charger.

    Having said all of this, the Nokero bulbs are not my favorite.

    For reading I use the “d.light S1.” It works like a spotlight and is much brighter.
    For an ALL NIGHT light I use “d.light S10.” It will stay on all night.
    On rainy or cloudy days you can charge them with a wall outlet.

    I bought them all (Nokero and d.lights) from Amazon. I have used them for over 6 months.
    I use them constantly and I am happy that I bought them.

    Now here is a shocker, I did not buy them to be green, I bought them to save money. I live in Hawaii and have lots of sunshine. We have the HIGHEST electric rates in the nation.

    And I’m saving lots.

  2. The Nokero specs say three day to fully charge the NiMH battery.
    One AA NiMH cell at the specified 800mAH(max), at a nominal 1.2 volts = 0.95WH capacity fully charged.
    Since the stated current drain on high output is 150mA, (0.95WH / 150mA) = 6.3 hours, not 7 as specified.
    Assuming 80% efficiency in the voltage converter circuitry, the available power for the LEDS is,
    (1.2volts * 150mA * 0.8) = 144mW.
    Assuming 80 lumens per watt from the LEDS, the light output = (80 * 0.144) = 11.5 lumens.
    Since the light goes through a diffuser the light output is probably reduced to 8 or 9 lumens.
    This is the equivalent light output of of 8 or 9 candles.
    It would take 100 of these to equal the output of one 60 watt incandescent bulb.

  3. I’ve surfed the site, and the Nokero will light up to 4 hours, IF charged for two days(–16 hours?). It does have an internal battery that’d last about 300 charges or 84% of one year(10 months). It’s “NGO” price of $6.00 pays for itself after 3 months, so it has 7 months of “free” usage. It looks like it needs more battery, but if not a more efficient battery, it also needs twice the photo-voltaic panels to maybe charge quicker, and then hold that charge longer. Still, a good effort, with improvements on the way.

  4. My solar walkway lights last more than 2 hours when fully charged. Send some of those things over to them. Come to think of it, how come there is no glimmer of hope due to the 2w solar lights most people now use for landscape lighting?

    Perhaps, because it makes almost no difference to the world power usage.

  5. Only 2 hours for a full day of charging?! What a rip off! What if they even don’t have electrical outlets in the first place? Do these people have common sense anymore?

  6. The Nokero bulb is a good start, but it should provide more than 2 hours after 8 of charging. There must not be an attached battery, because photo-voltaics should be able to charge a battery that would then light the bulb for more than 2 hours.

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