Solar Powered Mangoes to Illuminate Your Patio


Image via Carlos Danes

Colombia-based industrial designer Carlos Cepeda Danes has come up with a concept design for outdoor lighting that can be as quirky as it is eco-friendly. Solar powered lanterns made to look like mangos would give your yard a fun source of light. But what's more intriguing than the shape the designer chose to give it are the production methods he recommends for turning this concept into a reality. Danes wants to keep the design super simple - just a mango-looking lamp with some solar cells. No switches, no wiring - just charging when the sun is up and light when the sun is down.

Danes gets a little more creative when it comes to the production methods, however. He suggests manufacturing the lamps in two ways. First, it can be produced by drying actual fruit - the Totumo. This large oval fruit looks like a mango and can be dried into a durable shell. The fruit can be raised locally and organically, and it has a long history of being used in crafts.

Where the Totumo isn't available, Danes suggests using blow molding from recycled plastic bottles, which would not only keep PET in the consumer stream, but would be a way to boost economies in developing nations. He writes, "Recycled PET plastic also means income for the poor. In many developing nations, recycling and garbage classification is not made by the state or companies, but by informal recyclers who had proven to be able to feed their families and send their children to school, only by selling recyclable material back to the companies; that would be the case with recycled PET bottles in those areas."

A solar concept light that keeps the bigger picture in mind all the way through the design... if you like the look of mangoes, it sounds like a winning idea.

Danes writes, "All of this, plus LED technology and flexible solar panels, makes this hangable product very profitable, ecofriendly, social responsible, and a funny choice for lighting our spaces."

Via EarthTechling
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Tags: Concepts & Prototypes | Electronics | Gadgets