Ideas
Ideas
22
Votes
474
Comments
349
Participants
246

Share this challenge

Archived challenge

I4C Challenge January 2014

Climate-KIC, Impact Hub Zürich and WWF Schweiz are looking for entrepreneurial ideas to tackle climate change.  You can  win up to CHF 15’000 to turn your early-stage idea into a full-fledged business model.

This challenge has been closed!

See full brief
Submit & Vote
22 ideas
Selection
4 ideas
Refine your idea
2 ideas
Jury session
3 ideas

​Current phase

Jury session

The finalists pitch their ideas live at the Impact HUB Zurich in front of the jury on March 3!

The finalists pitch their ideas live at the Impact HUB Zurich in front of the jury on March 3!

Idea score 0 Points
Idea voting is closed

Idea ranking

1
in I4C Challenge January 2014

Idea stats

Comments
49
Subscribers
11
Community rank
122

Score breakdown

Votes +
0
Votes -
0
Total votes
0

Share this idea

Winner
Elisa Wepfer

LEDsafari - The Lampmakers

We have designed a 2$ solar LED lamp(world's cheapest lamp) which has potential to replace kerosene lamps in developing countries.

Which problem are you trying to solve?

Over 1.2 billion people are still without access to electricity worldwide and use kerosene lamps which is harmful for health. Existing solar lamps are expensive and hard to repair at village level.

How are you going to address this problem?

We transfer the knowledge through workshops/training on how to build the lamp using locally available materials which makes it cheap and easier to repair at the village level.We have developed training materials which is made for any person in the village without any technical education. We also have an open-source website to promote DIY LEDSafari lamps and include people from all over the world.

What’s new and unique about your idea?

Our lamp is the cheapest in the world and easy to assemble without prior technical knowledge.It can also be used to charge cellphone.We give training to villagers, hence promoting local entrepeneurs.Our training is unique which is focused on low cost product and promoting sustainability to anyone.

How are you going to earn money?

We charge for the training and help local entrepeneurs to start the business in solar lamps domain. We also combine travel with social responsibility concept by training people in Switzerland who want to travel to developing countries and teach. We sell DIY lamp KITs on the open-source website.

How many tons of CO2 could your project save?

Assuming:Kerosne has an energy density of 10KWh per Litre and it produces 2.5Kg of CO2 per Litre. Weekly fuel consumption of one litre of kerosene: 2.5kg/week*365/7 weeks = 0.13 tonnes of CO2/year. There are 1.2 billion people, 300 million families (4 member/family) without light.LEDSafari can reduce 300 million*0.13 ton/yr * 5% (target market) ~ 2 million tonnes of CO2 emission / year.

Desired feedback from the community?

We have the mission to use the knowledge to build capacity which can impact positively daily lives of people, and make them independent. Our vision is to bring affordable clean light to everybody in a sustainable way. We welcome eveyone who wants to join us in this adventure or has some good advice.

Video
LEDsafari LAMP: A low cost self-made electric lamp
P1000298.JPG
P1000317.JPG
IMG_1360.JPG
P1000321.JPG
IMG_1386.JPG
526875_10201511033530687_1794488005_n.jpg
1001126_10201511243055925_406031344_n.jpg
1150958_10201511074491711_865068319_n.jpg
1174553_10201511123932947_1956683834_n.jpg
1175025_10201511194294706_1449657263_n.jpg
1175540_10201511974514211_1039064739_n.jpg
1176181_10201511930873120_491421003_n.jpg
1176404_10201511231215629_751743053_n.jpg
1185213_10201511956713766_1374618741_n.jpg
1185853_10201511222775418_1545659617_n.jpg
1208550_10201511170574113_262864481_n.jpg
1209113_10201511038210804_1931709704_n.jpg
1235197_10201511969234079_1822641875_n.jpg
1236910_10201511101972398_1643429525_n.jpg
1237039_10201511110812619_1088855112_n.jpg
1238766_10201510641400884_399213980_n.jpg
1238969_10201511942753417_975104518_n.jpg
1239578_10201511180494361_735728875_n.jpg
1240638_10201511116172753_9116054_n.jpg
IMG_1510.jpg

LED electric lamp sustainable grid independance green energy

Users tagged:

Status updates

Winner
Nick Wright
Nick Wright 8 months ago
Status changed to Winner

Comments (49)

Holger Hoffmann-Riem says... Jan 29, 2014

Hi Elisa

This sounds like a great project that combines several elements that make good sense: training people instead of giving things away for free; using open source concepts; cheap components. What's the technology behind these lamps - LED?

Holger Hoffmann-Riem says... Jan 29, 2014

PS: Regarding CO2 savings: I am interested in "tons per year and region". So if you focus on Africa, take the number of households in Africa without "clean" light; if you want to focus on Kenya, take the respective number for Kenya. I am interested in the overall potential, so if you plan to go global, you can also use global numbers, but I assume it will take you a couple of years to get there (which is ok).

Another aspect: there are lots of projects that go in the direction "lighting for people at the bottom of the pyramid". Do any of those use an open source, DIY approach? Who do you see as your biggest competitors?

 

Govinda says... Jan 31, 2014

Dear Holger 

I have updated our content. Do you think its clear now ?

Regards

Govinda  

Holger Hoffmann-Riem says... Feb 1, 2014

Thanks. I think it's pretty clear now, sufficiently clear for me to consider this an attractive candidate for pitching. Of course now it will depend on the crowd to let us know which projects they consider to be the most promising! And you can demonstrate that you already have some supporters!

Question for clarification: you write "There are 1.2 billion people with light.". Do you mean "1.2 billion who use kerosene"?

I do see a potential to integrate volunteers from Switzerland. For this, please look at organizations such as http://www.travel2change.org/home/ as potential partners! However, I also see a slight risk here in that using volunteers from rich countries might create an imbalance between "rich" and "poor". Maybe training ùniversity students in your target region would also be attractive?

Elisa Wepfer says... Feb 2, 2014

Dear Holger 

Thank you for the comment. We will try to get more supporters :). Yes, it was a typo. It is 1.2 billion people WITHOUT light . I corrected it. 

Yes, we provide training to anyone. We are trying to negoatiate with "Engineers without borders", an association which sends students in developing countries. 

Our training process is as follow:

1. We try to establish contact with an NGO working in these regions (e.g we went with CAPSAY in Kenya this summer).

2. This NGO finds trainees, who can understand English (mainly youths).

3. After our training, these youths go to villages/schools and hold training session in the local language and our volunteers observe the session. 

This avoids "rich" and "poor" gap because our volunteers do not train the locals directly but the local trainees. This helps in youth empowerment. 

Our main target will be youths in university who want to travel cheap and do some humanitarian activity. However, we also cater to people who want to travel in developing countries and do social work.  

Martin Mizera says... Jan 29, 2014

Elisa,

A good product, difficult to judge the economic merit without detail, but $2 is a lot of money in manufacturing. Let's have some details, please.

And make sure you use green electricity.  :))

Holger Hoffmann-Riem says... Jan 29, 2014

yes, I agree - green electricity is a must!

Govinda says... Jan 29, 2014

Dear All 

Thank you for the comment.

We use a  0.5 Watt solar panel so energy is green. Our main aim is to train people on making their own lamp and also to propogate the knowledge. We try to convery them that LEDSafari lamps are as simple as a kerosene lamp.  We will soon update the description. Thank you Holger for the pointer for C02 saving. Also Martion for the comment.  Here is a press link on our work. http://www.exploreselect.eu/News/SELECTNews2013/LEDSafari/tabid/1431/language/en-GB/Default.aspx   Do let us know if you need more information. 

Regards 

Govinda 

Holger Hoffmann-Riem says... Jan 29, 2014

Thanks for the link, it's good to know in some more detail how your setup works. Of course this generates a few more questions :-)

  • I don't know about the current situation in Africa and India - does almost everybody own a cell phone?
  • If not: can people use your system without a cell phone?
  • Do I understand correctly that you connect your cell phone to the solar panel, so that the battery is charged in the cell phone, taken out of the cell phone, and connected to the LED?
  • Does it work with every cell phone battery? (some stupid cell phones like mine have a non-removable battery...)
  • Is the solar panel included in the total cost of USD 2, or would that be on top?

I love the employment potential that your idea has!

Have you already launched a company?

 

Govinda says... Jan 29, 2014

Dear Holger 

Thank you for the reply. 

1. Almost everyone owns mobile phone. 

2. We use mobile cell batteries, because it is available eveywhere ( atleast we saw in India, kenya and Tanzania). Our lamp has a solar panel, which directly charges the mobile battery. We have carefully chosen the components which helped in avoiding the controllers.  And since our lamp is optimised to use mobile betteries, you can remove mobile battery from the cell phone and charge this also in the lamp. Hence, we not only provide light but also charging solution for the mobile celll, which is a big issue in these countries. Ofcourse, one full charging of the battery takes 3-4 hours ( small PV ) . So we will need almost 7-8 hours of sun to charge , lamp battery and mobile battery ( basically two mobile batteries). 

3. sytem works with any mobile batteries because all the mobile battries comes with almost the same specification such as voltage = 5 V. 

4. Lamps include solar panel. So everything including solar panel cost 2 $.  Drawback, we need to get solar panel from China, where we have contacts. Rest all components can be purchased in the local market. This will help in making LEDSafari suppliers in the local places also. 

We are in process of lauching. Need some finanances :P We exhausted our savings for doing this project in Kenya and Tanzania last summer. 

Do let me know if you want to know more. 

Regards 

Govinda 

Holger Hoffmann-Riem says... Jan 29, 2014

That looks like a really well designed system. I agree that using this to charge cell phones is a huge bonus. However I assume that you will have quite a lot of competitors who offer that as well. Though I wouldn't be surprised if your solution turned out to be cheaper!

Please do me (and yourselves) a favor and don't launch your company yet - otherwise we won't be able to support you! If you wait until after the pitching session, you will be perfectly ok.

Govinda says... Jan 29, 2014

 

Thank you again. We dont beleive in just giving the lamp. We want to teach people (common people , uneducated ( in terms of technical education) and  as a result you learn how to make a low cost product by yourself.  Ofcourse, we are the cheapest in the market. The cheapest lamp is around 10$ which is not at all realiable ( India, Kenya and Tanzania atleast we are sure). 

Thank you for the suggestion. We are still far from creating a company so we strongly feel that this event will prvide us a good direction. 

 

Holger Hoffmann-Riem says... Jan 29, 2014

If you are thast much cheaper then your approach has a huge potential. HHow are you going to earn money as a business?

Govinda says... Jan 29, 2014

We are still thinking on money making part. We have some ideas but not yet concrete thats why we need some expert advise. We are sure that our training and lamp wont generate income directly but we have some business models where it can help us to get some money. e.g. people ( local entrepeneur with our help)  can start rent the lamp business where we get some part of the profit and since the lamps can be locally made, repairing and replacement of damaged lamps will be at village level itself which is the main issue in renting lamp business models all over the world. Also by selling the lamp the profit margin will be very less. But we dont want to make a huge billion dollar company but more want to create impact and impart knowledge. But it true that we need to be financially sustainable. 

Elisa Wepfer says... Jan 30, 2014

Hello everyone! Thank you so much for your interest, it's very motivating :-)

Christian Lämmler says... Jan 30, 2014

Hi Govinda

Fantastic idea. Efficient illumination is a very important issue in the third world. I used to work almost for 10 years in Caribbean countries with efficient illumination in industrial and public sectors. ( http://www.updatecuba.ch/assets/Retrofit_RECIC_deutsch.pdf )

If you interested we can meet us.

Regards Christian

Holger Hoffmann-Riem says... Jan 30, 2014

Thanks, Christian and Govinda, for getting in touch with each other.

@ Govinda: Christian is one of the winners of the first i4c challenge.

Since it takes quite some time to get from Lausanne to Zurich, having a skype call might also make sense...

Govinda says... Jan 31, 2014

Thank you Holger. I will contact him soon. 

Govinda says... Jan 31, 2014

Dear Christian 

Is it possible to have your email address? We can contact you on that.

Regards 

Govinda

Govinda says... Jan 30, 2014

Dear Christian 

Thank you for reply. Yes, that would be great to exchange some ideas and get some expert advice. I am stationed in Lausanne. Do let me know whenever you are in Lausanne or I willl let you know if I am in Zurich ? In the mean time we can exchange some views on ledsafari@gmail.com.

Looking forward to hear you. 

Regards 

Govinda 

Marcio says... Jan 30, 2014

Hi,
this is really a very interesting project! Do you know how much kerosene a household consumes each month for lamps? That value could be seen as an indicator for your business model. Maybe it would make more sense to rent out the LEDsafari instead of selling it.

Holger Hoffmann-Riem says... Jan 30, 2014

I like the idea of renting out a lamp. However, renting may be difficult if people build their own lamps! I think you need an interesting financial package that will make it possible for people to buy the lamp within their existing budget. Payback times should be pretty short! I think one aspect that makes this idea special is that the lamp design is going to be open source, so basically any competitor can simply copy your idea. If you really want to make money, you need to add something to your business plan that can't easily be copied, and an interesting financial package might be such a thing! Or maybe you can make your money by running workshops to teach people how to teach those who want to build a lamp (train the trainers)? For example the trainers could charge each participant USD 0.5 for participating in the workshop; and you charege something like USD 20 per trainer that you train.

Govinda says... Jan 30, 2014

Hi Marcio 

Thank you for the comment. In india, it is around around 2-3 $/month of  kerosene ( subsidized) and mostly of the people get from Black market which cost around minimum 5-6$/month of kerosene. In Kenya and Tanzania it is more expensive ( no subsidies) which cost around 2$/week of kerosene. 

You are right. We are not in favour of selling lamp. We just beleive in training and helping entrepeneurs to set up rent-out-lamp business and monitor them. 

Regards 

Govinda

 

Marcio says... Jan 30, 2014

Hi Govinda,

Ah, then it's a franchising business model. In masses this sure can be sustainable.

An other question. If almost everybody in africa and india has a cell phone, how the people without access to electricity do charge their battery at the moment? Maybe this solar panel also can be a reason for some people without a cell phone to buy one. So, you possibly can get an aditional commission for supporting the cell phone sale.

Regards,
Marcio

Govinda says... Jan 30, 2014

Dear Holger 

You are right. If it is an open source, then competitors can copy. To be frank, we would be happy if someone else also use the design and teach people. Our financial aspect will be more on charging people for training as well as helping them to set up business in lamp/solar areas. So again you are right :). Our lamp is cheaper than the kerosene. Kerosene lamp cost 2-3 $  and fuel cost around 4-6 $ /month ( In india, fuel little cheaper than this because of the subsidies)  so we dont need any financial scheme for selling the lamp.  Poeple can afford it with existing prices. 

@ Marcio

People charge the phone by going to nearest town with electrcity and give around 0.5$/charging ( in kenya) and 0.1 $/charging in india. Or they go to the person with solar panel which charge their cell phone and get some money. WIth our lamp we make them self suffcient but yes, our panle is small and they need more time or they can make two lamps and still be profitable. 

Govinda says... Jan 30, 2014

Dear Marcio

People charge the phone by going to nearest town with electrcity and give around 0.5$/charging ( in kenya) and 0.1 $/charging in india. Or they go to the person with solar panel which charge their cell phone and get some money. WIth our lamp we make them self suffcient but yes, our panle is small and they need more time or they can make two lamps and still be profitable. 

regards 

Govinda 

Govinda says... Jan 30, 2014
Holger Hoffmann-Riem says... Jan 30, 2014

By the way, how bright is your lamp? I know there are not yet any good standards for LEDs, but maybe you can give me a rough comparison to an incandescent bulb... Is it more like a battery-powered torch or more like a 60 watt bulb?

Govinda says... Jan 30, 2014

Lamp is brighter than the kerosene ( we use ultra bright LEDS) . Kerosene has around 10-20 lm, our LEDs give around 20-40 lm using one LED. Market available lamps ( cheapest one) gives around 40lm in Kenya. You can increase the light intensity by putting more LEDs but then the battery usage time will decrease.  The incandescent light bulb is about 500 lm, while that of a 40-watt fluorescent tube is about 2300 lm. LEDSafari lamp is okie for study purpose and doing small work in 10m2 room. But of course you can increase the intensity by using more lamps. This lamp cannt compete with the lamps available in the market which use higher power battery and multiple leds/bulbs but then our approach is totally diferent. We dont give bright light but give them tool to increase/decrease the lamp specifications according to their requiremnets. We use three different kind of LEDs in our training where you can design lamps for study purpose or outside purpose or for normal household purpose.

Our aim is not to replace solar lamps available in the market but to make user feel the clean light and build confidence in sustainable technology . This problem exists in developing countries where people use these techniologies but then move back to kerosene because of bad user expereince ( repair problem, high price, not realiable). But our lamps are good enough for normal usage for village puposes. 

Holger Hoffmann-Riem says... Jan 30, 2014

Thanks for the data. In this case your lamp should be an excellent replacement for a kerosene lamp. And LEDs are becoming more efficient really fast, so it's going to get better (and you will have to redesign about once a year to keep up...). I think building such a cheap LED lamp could be attractive to DIYers in countries like Switzerland. Maybe you could get in touch with people like Makeorshop (https://innovate4climate.ch/post/35560) - running such DIY workshops could be a fun way to make people aware of the importance of green light! And organizations like Energiegenossenschaft.ch (http://www.energiegenossenschaft.ch/wp2/) might be interested - they already sell solar panels. How expensive is the lamp itself, and how expensive is your panel?

Govinda says... Jan 30, 2014

Dear Holger 

Exactly, when we say open sourse website, we wanted to include creative people all over the world to  design their lamp ( because it's creative)  and help us to have a large pool of lamp design. Thank you for the link, we will contact Makeorshop and Energiegenossenschaft . Also, we wanted to do some training/workshop in switzerland itself, to promote creativity and green energy among people and school kids. The LEDSafari lamp costs 2$ but we can bring down the cost if we purchase in bulk and panel cost around 0.5$ ( 0.5 Watt). We also thought of sending  DIY KIT of LEDSafari lamps to the interested people as it cost very less and they can send upload their design on the webisite. If you see the uploaded pictures above, every person had its own design, which gives them sense of confidence and acceptance as it was designed by them. 

Regards 

Govinda

Valentin says... Jan 31, 2014

Excellent idea! congratulations. A truely pragmatic way how to activate local people and ensure positive knowledge and good enough but clean technology transfer. try to marketing it better. good luck anyway.

Elisa Wepfer says... Jan 31, 2014

Dear Mr. Valentin

Thank you for the comment and your wishes.

Regards 

LEDSafari

Martin Mizera says... Feb 1, 2014

Elisa, you do not have to limit yourself to 0.5 W lamps as long as your energy is renewable.

 

Holger Hoffmann-Riem says... Feb 1, 2014

...and as long as energy is abundant. Since this project includes photovoltaics, I think the sunshine intensitiy will be an important element - and the ability to store energy in batteries. If a month of kerosene costs as much as one of these lamps, then people should theoretically be able to buy 12 lamps per year - but of course you also need the batteries, which are also going to cost money.

Govinda says... Feb 2, 2014

Dear Holger 

you are right . Our main concern is to have a quality control which is difficult in developing countries specially batteries. 

 

regards 

govinda

Martin Mizera says... Feb 2, 2014

If the customer buys a lamp KIT and assembles it him/herself, you have no quality problem whatsoever ! Very smart ...

Govinda says... Feb 2, 2014

Thank you martin for reply.  you are right. 0.5 W shouldnt be a limit but then it increases the cost. Also our system is optimised for specification of 0.5 W which makes us to go cheap . (2$). In future we will increase the capacity to get more light and storage. 

Martin Mizera says... Feb 2, 2014

My point was that only the initial cost is higher, the operating cost is zero.

As long as 1.0 W is below $4, you should be OK.

Elisa Wepfer says... Feb 2, 2014

Dear Martin 

Yes, you are right. We can play around with the battery and solar PV capacity. we want to acheive this deisgn process/improvement via open source website where people can upload their designs.

Regards

LEDSafari 

Arturo Sanz says... Feb 2, 2014

This is a very noce project, even if it seems to be already at a very advanced stage.

Holger Hoffmann-Riem says... Feb 3, 2014

Hi Elisa

I am not quite sure yet if I understand your CO2 calculation:

1 Liter of Kerosene per week = 0.1 tonnes of CO2 per year -> that makes good sense.

But what I don't know: how many liters of kerosene do you need for one lamp in a year? And how do you arrive at 0.5 tonnes/household? I think there is a step in between that is not yet in your text. It would be great if you could add a comment to clarify this! Since your numbers are so huge, it is important to get them right...

Holger Hoffmann-Riem says... Feb 3, 2014

PS: I think it is unlikely that you will be able to replace all kerosene lamps with your technology. Maybe a 5% global market share would be more realistic - and even then your project will have a huge potential!

Elisa Wepfer says... Feb 3, 2014

Dear Holger 

You are right. Our CO2 calculations are not very clear.  We have corected it, and I think 3 million households  (5% ) is more realistic. We modified the content. We took refrence from http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/co2-emission-fuels-d_1085.html for the energy content.

http://saurorja.org/2011/07/18/kerosene-vs-klean-lighting-up-rural-india-cost-and-emission-analysis/         this is for C02 emission. 

We know its around 4 liter /month per family in India. Its around the same in Kenya also.

Hope now the calculations are clear. Do let us know if things are still unclear. Thank you

Regards 

LEDSafari

Martin Mizera says... Feb 4, 2014

PLEDGING :

For each of "Gas-flaring-to-methanol" device sold, we pledge to DONATE 100 LED Safari lamps

OR for each of "GreenCold" device sold we pledge to DONATE 200 LED Safari lamps to your installations in Africa or Asia.

Martin Mizera

Holger Hoffmann-Riem says... Feb 5, 2014

I love this kind of synergies!

Elisa Wepfer says... Feb 4, 2014

Thank you Martin :) . This is very encouraging. 

Martin Mizera says... Feb 4, 2014

I will keep in touch on your web site after the Competition

Nick Wright says... 8 months ago
Status changed to Winner
Voting on comments has been closed in this challenge
SIGN IN or REGISTER NOW to join the discussion